Greetings in Jesus name Amen, today’s message is titled “Adopted as Sons of God“
Just as a background to our scripture today which is Romans 8:12-18. In this chapter Paul, who is the writer of Romans, explains from verse 1-11 in this chapter that our life is no longer in the flesh but it is now in the spirit. He says that in Romans 8:3-4 (ESVST)
3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
The death and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, released us from the law but not only that, it also released us from the works of the flesh which are:
Galatians 5:19-21 (ESVST)
Now the works of the flesh are evident:sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
So, Paul is saying that we have been released from all this. We don’t have to do them anymore. This leads us to our scripture of today.
Romans 8:12-18 (ESVST)
Heirs with Christ
12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Here Paul is now saying, now that you know that you have been released from the law and the works of the flesh, you are no longer indebted to the works of the flesh. You no longer have to live according to the works of the flesh. You don’t owe your flesh anything. Having seen above how bad the works of the flesh are and having being relased from those, why continue to do them. This is like saying that you owed the bank R100 000, and someone else pays the loan up on your behalf. Once paid, you still insist on paying monthly installment of a paid up loan. This is exactly the same thing.
Paul continues to say, if however you do continue to live according to the flesh “YOU WILL DIE” but if you stop to live according to the flesh but now start to live according to the spirit, well, then “YOU WILL LIVE”. It’s a simple choice. Flesh, you die, Spirit, you live. The kind of death Paul is talking about is spiritual death, which is also eternal death. Although he only meant spiritual death, if you look at all the diseases that we have currently, living according to the flesh will not only kill you spiritually but also physically. So either way, living according to the flesh leads to death both physical and eternal spiritual death.
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “ Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Now, Paul says, if you live by the spirit and if you allow the spirit to lead you, well, not only will you live but you become a Son of God. Wow! A son of God! Can you imagine that. This means you can actually call God,”Father!”. Paul says we have received the spirit of adoption as sons of God by whom we can cry to him and say Abba Father. Abba is an affectionate word that a child uses to call his father . It is like the word daddy. If you are led by the spirit, you can call God, daddy. This is so good. I don’t know about you but, this makes me feel like screaming “Hallelula” 100 times. Who does not want to become an eternal child of such a loving, kind and merciful God? Can you imagine how spoiled we will be. We will be so spoiled and guess what, there will be no one to stop God from spoiling us forever and ever, Amen.
17 and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
This gets even better, if you are a son of God, this means you are also an heir in his kingdom. An heir to the kingdom! This cannot get any better, you are wrong, it does get even better, for not only are we heirs but, we are also fellow heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ. This is simply unbelievable but, it is true. I mean if there was any incentive for being a Christian, it is this one. It is just wonderful. I simply cannot explain the joy I feel right now knowing that I am not only going to live forever in God’s kingdom but, I will be an heir and a fellow heir with our Lord Jesus.
For all this, for all this benefits, all we have to do is to believe. You know it is like someone giving you a bank card with R10 000 000 000 000 in the account, and says its yours but, he does not give you the pin. All this money is yours but without the pin, you cannot have it. All these Godly and heavenly and eternal benefits are yours but without faith in Jesus Christ, you cannot access them. God has given you the pin so you can access all these benefits and the pin is just to believe.
John 3:16 (ESVST)
For God So Loved the World
16 “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 10:9 (ESVST)
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
There is only one condition though to these benefits. To become fellow heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ, who was glorified and made an heir because of all that he did for us, the suffering that he went through for us, to share in his heavenly wealth, we also have to share in his sufferings. It is only fair is it not? I mean the suffering that we will have to go through will be nothing compared to what he has gone through and will be nothing compared to what we will receive.
I can just see some of you saying “I knew it, it was just too good to be true. I knew there was a catch”. This is not a catch my brother. The suffering that we will be going through will not be from God or caused by God. This is the suffering that will and is caused by those who have a problem with us as Christians. Who hate our God and our way of life. It has been happening and it is happening and it is only going to get worse. God is allowing it because through suffering, our faith is strengthened.
Romans 5:3-5 (ESVST)
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God ‘s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
2 Corinthians 12:10 (ESVST)
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
God is also allowing it so that our faith can be tested.
James 1:2-4 (ESVST)
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
So be content with the suffering for the sake of Christ. Most importantly, when being persecuted or caused to suffer, don’t fight back, live all to God.
1 Peter 2:23 (ESVST)
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
There are lot more other people that has suffered for Christ sake. Persevere.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
There are huge benefits for going through the sufferings.
Matthew 5:10-12 (ESVST)
“ Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness ‘sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “ Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Be like Shadrack, Meshack and Abednigo who persevered even when facing a fiery furnace for refusing to obey false Gods. They said to the king, king, we will not obey your gods and our God will deliver us from your fire,He will save us from the fire but even if He does not, we will still not obey your Gods.
Daniel 3:16-18 (ESVST)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Remember Job, he praised God even in times of suffering
Job 1:20-21 (ESVST)
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “ Naked I came from my mother ‘s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Job 2:10 (ESVST)
But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
This is a small price to pay for the glory and benefits that awaits us in heaven. I simply cannot wait.
If you have not given your life today to God then, this is the right time.
Father, Abba Father, Daddy, thank you for this message. Thank you for giving us hope and comfort. We know that we don’t suffer because you don’t love us. We know that we suffer because you love us and you want us to be as perfect as you. We are very thankful for all the rewards that Wait us in heaven, in Jesus name, Amen.