“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God…” —Romans 8:14
One of the truths that we understand from the first ten verses of Romans 8 is that the Christian life means that once we are saved, the general direction of our lives is toward godliness because we desire to draw nearer to God; our general direction in life is toward holiness because God is holy; our general direction in life a desire for righteousness to be worked out in our lives because of the justice-ness God has worked in us through Christ Jesus, our Lord: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).
This “general direction” of godliness, holiness, and righteousness in the Christian’s life is the reality of the salvation that God has wrought in the sinner by His sovereign grace. This is what it means to “walk after the Spirit” and this is why there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
We also closed our last article with some instruction on “” as a specific commandment to combat the lust of the flesh. What follows in this portion, and in the sections of this chapter to come, is the groundwork that allows the very practical truths of Romans 12-16 to take shape in our lives so that we may be conformed to the image of Christ.
Surrendering to the Spirit means applying discipleship principles to our lives for a fuller life, a richer life in Christ Jesus, and by this, the eternal benefits of the inheritance to come are manifested in the mortal flesh we inhabit now.
The Christian life must be one of abandon first before it becomes one of activity; it must be more of denying first before it can become one of doing. Before we can take up our cross and follow Jesus, we must first, deny self. Before we can earnestly contend for the faith, we must be much more acquainted first with “surrendering to the Spirit.” We will look at what this means through Romans 8:11-17 in three main points: (1) Perfect Logic of Sovereign Grace; (2) Precious Adoption as Children of God; and (3) Powerful Privilege as Joint-Heirs with Christ.
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Read the previous article in this series, “Special Assistance for Pilgrims” (Romans 8:9, 10).