Romans 8:15-18 Devotional Commentary

God: our Father! Devotional Commentary for March 12-18

Romans 8:15–18 (NASB)

This is the Word of God. May the Spirit of Truth give us wisdom and insight to receive what has been conveyed through His Word by His Inspiration.
The Word of God for the Christian.

15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"
16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

We are the sons and daughters of God. This is not merely the new fact of our new life in Christ. It is the fullness of the riches we are given by God through His redemption.

As the redeemed children of God, we are no longer under the condemning authority of the Law. We are free; free from bondage, free from fear. We are no longer under the spirit of fear. We are filled with the Spirit of power, love, sound mind, and courage.

We are actually God's children, having been born of the Spirit of God. We can actually call God, (the Creator of all of creation, the sovereign Authority over everything, the Source of all that there is, the One Who gives and takes life away), Father because He has adopted us as His children. That is, God made us His children not only by redeeming us from condemnation, but also by formally and legaly declaring us His sons and daughters. He justified us by declaring us righteous before Him in the righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ and qualified us to be His children.

Created, redeemed, and adopted, we are privileged to address God as our Father because He is indeed our Father. We are blessed to relate to Him as our Father because He is indeed our Father. Therefore, we are privileged to live as God's children but not as those who tremble in fear of the Law. We should not look to God with fear of condemnation but with a sanctified understanding of our freedom and privilege, because the indwelling Holy Spirit gives us the sure sense of belonging to God as children but not the feeling of fear.

The mystery of divine filiation baffles the mind. It is enigmatic and eludes understanding. It is not natural nor biologically empirical. It cannot be proven or validated through experimentation or by expert observation. It is affirmed and confirmed by the internal testimony of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Anyone who has received the earnest of God's redemption would recognize the Voice of the Spirit of God when He speaks, directs, or prompts from within His temple in our hearts. The proof of our filiation with God is affirmed from within by the testimony of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God Who carried us across from Death to Life and from darkness to Light through the conviction of guilt and confession of faith does also keep us in a closer fellowship with God by consistently assuring us that we are the children of God our Father.

If we have such a strong and indisputable divine assurance, then we should not behave as slaves but as children, not in fear but with power, love, sound mind, and courage. We should not live in fear as those in bondage, but with confidence and in peace because we have been set free.

To be sure, if we are children then we are heirs, join-heirs with Jesus Christ the Son of god. And if we are co-heirs with Jesus Christ, then we share in His victory over sin and over slavery to sin itself. We share in our Lord's victory over fear because we have been declared satisfactory to the Law, in Christ. The Law can no longer condemn us.

Indeed as co-heirs, we share in the suffering, victory, and glory of our Lord and Savior, because we are united with Him, in Him. The Lord laid down His Life for our sake so we might have life, and life abundantly in Him. Therefore, whatever source of fear or apprehention we face here on earth is of little significance in light of what awaits us in heaven when we receive our inheritance with Christ. We are no longer slaves. We are not under the spirit of fear. We are free from wrath. We live and serve in the fredom of our redemption because we are the children of our gracious Father, God the Almighty.


If indeed the Spirit of God dwells in us, then we are the sons and daughters of God. This is the message of Paul's exhortation in these verses: that we recognize, understand, and actually feel our position with God as children. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul speaks with emphatic imperative that the essence of our Christian journey is to complete our race of life by pressing on toward the finish line and by forgeting that which we left behind, the old nature, the life of sin and disobedience. That is, our behavior, decisions, and actions should reflect the reality of our redemption.

At the outset, Paul's exhortation in Romans 8:1-14 seems to focus on mere compliance. While compliance is a necessary aspect of our response to God, our relationship with our Father is not defined by our dutiful behavior. In our present meditation, Paul stresses that we need to understand and recognize our position with God. We are much more than redeemed, much more than saved or ransomed. We are His children and He is our Father.

Take a moment and pause to consider this imponderable great Truth. We are the children of the sovereign God and we are privileged to call Him Abba. Dutiful compliance does not express our favored position with God. We honor and glorify Him through a loving response Because we are His children. To the child of God therefore, obedience is not a dutiful compliance. It is an affectionate devotion.

Slavery has been replaced by freedom. Fear has been displaced by courage. The past life of bondage has given way to the new life of liberty in Christ. The old way of disobedience under the corrupt influences of sin has been superseded by a sanctified behavior of responsive obedience. So we do not relate to God merely as law abiding. But we respond to our Father as His children, as co-heirs with His Son Jesus Christ.

There is a reason, a good and godly reason for living as those who are under no condemnation. As co-heirs with Christ, what awaits us in heaven cannot be reckoned with the limited faculties of our finite mind. We live in keeping with the new Law of life because our life is guided by the revealed Will of our Father.

Our love for our Father bids us to respond to Him in love. We are His children privileged to share in the Glory of Jesus Christ our Savior. Our Father Who did not spare His Son to sacrifice Him for our sake has also given us everything with Him. The Love of God has found room for each one of us in the family of God. He is our Father. We are His children. He has removed the spirit of fear out of our lives. The Spirit of God has entered our hearts to seal us as the children of God, and so shall we remain forever.

Here at Practical Christianity Foundation we believe that God has mercifully extended His Grace toward us and has given us His living and Holy Word to guide us in our journey in this world. We count it privilege to come alongside you and minister to you through prayer and the sharing of God's living and holy Word. Please contact us if you have any questions concerning your faith and journey as a Christian.

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