One of the most common challenges Christians face is this: focusing on our condition rather than our position.
What conditions might you be facing? It might be a health problem or a financial burden. It could be a struggle with your teenager. Maybe it’s a persistent habit that keeps flaring up.
What is the problem with focusing on your condition?
Your condition is always changing. If you are in Christ, however, your position with God never changes.
As we’ll see in today’s passage, there’s even more to it than that:
If you are in Christ, the Holy Spirit is in you. Being led by the Spirit transforms how you relate to God.
This month we are in Romans 8. So far, we’ve discussed two aspects of living under new management – living without condemnation and living by the power of the Holy Spirit. Today we’re going to look at how being led by the Spirit transforms the way you relate to God.
If you are led by the Spirit, your status has changed from slave to son or daughter.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. – Romans 8:14-16
What is difference between being a slave and being a son or daughter? A slave has no authority. They don’t get a vote at family meeting. A slave simply does what they are told to do.
Being a child is different. When you place your faith in Jesus, you become a child of God. You can live in this world knowing that it belongs to your father. This shouldn’t make you cocky but give you confidence.
If you are a Christian, you are a daughter of the living God.
If you are led by the Spirit, you no longer have to live in fear.
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15
Paul uses one of my favorite metaphors to describe how trusting in Jesus can change your relationship with God. He calls it adoption. Adoption is intentional. It’s costly. It shows desire of the parents.
How does this change how you relate to God? A slave obeyed his master for fear of punishment. You might have had a boss that threatened your job if you didn’t do what was asked.
Here’s the good news: God is not your boss … he’s your dad.
Some of you live in fear of God because you only see him as a master to be obeyed and not as a Father to be enjoyed.
If you are led by the Spirit, you are an heir of God.
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. – Romans 8:17
In Paul’s day, the first born son was the heir and received the majority of the family’s wealth. From a financial perspective, it really stunk to be child number two or three. Even worse – you could be kid number 5 like me!
As far as God is concerned, all Christians are co-heirs with Jesus. God the Father loves you the way he loves Jesus. Unlike our earthly wealth, Scripture teaches us that our inheritance can never perish, spoil, or fade.
Let me close with two life-changing decisions that impact our ability to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Actively seek his direction. We seek his direction by spending time in prayer, reading God’s word, and listening to godly input. This is one reason we emphasize being in a small group. I believe Christians who are in community with other Christians simply make better decisions.
If you want to be led by the Holy Spirit, find out where he wants to go.
Trust the Holy Spirit, not your emotions. The Holy Spirit might be leading you to an area of change. Your natural response might be fear.
Trusting God doesn’t mean you have every question answered. It does mean that you can have confidence in his character and ability.
Experience and Background
- Professor at Warner University
- masters in business administration (mba)
- presenter at the WFX National Conference
- former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
- helped start 2 for-profit tech companies
To get a better feel for my style and personality, you can watch past sermons on our YouTube channel.
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