We start off a new week back in the book of Romans and chapter 8. This is the 4th time in this chapter during our study. A powerful chapter on love! Let’s dig in!
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (NIV)
I had to turn to some bible notes to really grasp the context here. We can only share in the glory if we share in the suffering. And it’s hard to comprehend and digest. We don’t want that part of it…we want our cake, but we want to eat it too. And there is still an obligation to lead life by obedience to God. Just because we are His children, doesn’t give us the freedom to do as we please. As a child must always obey their parents, we are His child, and we must obey Him. I felt these notes from Halley’s Bible Notes really summed it up well.
Our obligation to the Spirit (vv. 12–17). Living in accordance with the Spirit means that, while we depend wholly and implicitly on Christ for our salvation, we still struggle to the utmost to obey His Word. Paul is very explicit that the grace of Christ does not release us from the obligation to do everything in our power to live right.
On the other hand, “living according to the sinful nature” means giving in to the gratification of the desires of our sinful nature. Some desires are perfectly natural and necessary, such as the desire for food. Some are wrong. Those that are wrong we must abstain from altogether. The others we may enjoy, but we must always be careful to keep our true affections focused on Christ.
I think the conscience plays a huge role here. We know right from wrong so we must always strive to do right. I think for the things we are more unsure of, we should stop first and ask God. He will always provide a way out…but we have to take it! Being a child of His, we know that He will discipline us when we don’t obey, and I’m learning to welcome that discipline because that is how I grow into a deeper relationship. Maybe the circumstances aren’t what I want, but a child should never tell the parent what they should do. And I can never tell God how to deal with me. He will do what is best for me, and I always need to realize that.
Father, I know that I do not listen to You as I should. I want everything that is good, but never want the consequences of what is bad, especially the bad that I know is wrong. I thank You, Father, for never giving up on me and always making sure I am disciplined in order to live like You want me to. I know that I must take the good with the bad, for that is how every parent raises their child. Thank You for always being there for me, especially in my continued defiance and attempts to get my own way. I pray I recognize Your voice above all else so that I can do as You wish. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.