Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Romans Bible Study #17 "Abba, Father!" (Romans 8:15-17...Lesson Notes)

To go to the beginning of the series on Romans, click here...
To go to the last study (#16), click here..

To watch the entire series on YouTube, click here...

Following are my lesson notes for Lesson #17. Unfortunately, the video of this lesson is not available.

Vs. 12 - “under obligation” lit. means “debtors” (KJV, NKJV). We are not debtors to the flesh...Unstated implication is that we ARE debtors to the spirit!

Vs. 13 -
  • “You must die…” cannot be talking about natural death as both those who live according to the flesh and those who live according to the Spirit both die. Means separated from the life that is in God…
  • First part of the first corresponds to Romans 7. Paul describes there a man living according to the flesh…
  • Second part corresponds to the first part of Romans 8…”You will live” = “no condemnation” and “set free.”
  • “Putting to death” indicates an ongoing state. Means “to make ineffective.”
  • "...this teaching is Paul’s elaboration of Jesus’ own summons: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’Since the Romans compelled a condemned criminal to carry his cross to the site of crucifixion, to carry our cross is symbolic of following Jesus to the place of execution. And what we are to put to death there, Paul explains, is the misdeeds of the body, that is, every use of our body (our eyes, ears, mouth, hands or feet) which serves ourselves instead of God and other people." Wiersbe
  • We are under obligation “debtors” to the Spirit to do this.

Vs 14
  • “All who are being led” - Grammatically speaking this is “present progressive tense.” Describes something that is ongoing in the present.
  • “‘Being Led by the Spirit’ is virtually synonymous with “walking according to the Spirit.” “Walking” highlights the active participation and effort of the believer. ‘Being led’ (NASB “All who are being led”) underscores the passive side, the submissive dependence of the believer on the Spirit."
  • “Being led by the Spirit” is a sure indication of our “sonship.” How do we know that we really are God’s children? By the fact that we are being led by His Spirit!
  • Note connection between 13 and 14…”Being led by the Spirit” may correspond to “by the Spirit putting to death the deeds of the body” in vs. 13 as many commentators think. Seems to me is a prerequisite for “being led by the Spirit” or “walking according to the Spirit.” (in vs 4).
  • How do we know we are being led by the Spirit? Operation of the Spirit in us (internal), freedom from sin (internal), circumstances (external)

Vs. 15
  • “Spirit of slavery” is equivilent to “no condemnation” (vs. 1). We are not slaves to sin any more, but without due diligence we can be brought back under the “spirit of slavery” again. It is characterized by fear.
  • “Spirit of adoption” -“Adoption” means in Greek “Son
placement.” “It is a legal term that in this context indicates that believers have been given the full privileges of sonship into God’s family. Concurrent with this placement into sonship, God places the Spirit of His Son into our hearts so that we become, in effect, His natural-born children.”
  • ”In ancient Rome, an adopted son would possess all the rights of a son born into the family.”
  • Wiersbe - “In NT adoption means “being placed as an adult son.” We come into God’s family by birth. But the instant we are born into the family, God adopts us and gives us the position of the adult son. A baby cannot walk, speak, make decisions, or draw on the family wealth. But the believer can do all of these the instant he is born again.”
  • F. F. Bruce ‘The term “adoption” may have a somewhat artificial sound in our ears; but in the Roman world of the first century AD an adopted son was a son deliberately chosen by his adoptive father to perpetuate his name and inherit his estate; he was no whit [sc. not in the smallest degree] inferior in status to a son born in the ordinary course of nature, and might well enjoy the father’s affection more fully and reproduce the father’s
character more worthily.’
  • “Abba, Father” - Joachim Jeremias’ researches into the prayer literature of ancient Judaism convinced him that Jesus’ use of this colloquial and familiar term of address to God was unique. ‘Abba was an everyday word, a homely family-word. No Jew would have dared to address God in this manner. Jesus did it always, in all his prayers which are handed down to us, with one single exception, the cry from the cross.’
  • This term would correspond to “Daddy”. Note contrast between this cry of “childlike and joyous assurance” and the attitude of a slave. No slavish fear because He is our Daddy!
Vs. 16
  • Watchman Nee - “It is imperative that believers recognize a spirit exists within them, something extra to thought, knowledge and imagination of the mind, something beyond affection, sensation and pleasure of the emotion, something additional to desire, decision and action of the will. This component is far more profound than these faculties. God's people not only must know they possess a spirit; they also must understand how this organ operates: its sensitivity, its work, its power, its laws. Only in this way can they walk according to their spirit and not the soul or body of their flesh.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart”
  • Immediately(when) the sinner believes in the Lord Jesus he is born anew. God grants him His uncreated life that the sinner's spirit may be made alive. The regeneration of a sinner occurs in his spirit. God's work begins without exception within the man, from the center to the circumference. How unlike Satan's pattern of work! He operates from the outer to the inner. God aims first to renew man's darkened spirit by imparting life to it, because it is this spirit which God originally designed to receive His life and to commune with Him. God's intent after that is to work out from the spirit to permeate man's soul and body.
  • “When God's life (which can equally be called His Spirit) enters our human spirit, the latter is quickened out of its coma. What was "alienated from the life of God" (Eph. 4.18) is now made alive again. Hence "although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness" (Rom. 8.10). What we are given in Adam is a spirit made dead; what we receive in Christ at regeneration is both the dead spirit quickened and the new spirit of God's life: the latter, something Adam never had.
  • God's children receive within them the permanent abiding of God's Spirit...Few are those who know they have been born anew and thus possess new life; but fewer still are those who know that from the moment they believed in the Lord Jesus they have the Holy
Spirit indwelling them to be their energy, their guide, their Lord. It is for this very reason that many young Christians are slow in spiritual progress and never seem to grow...Regardless the dullness of Christians in recognizing the dwelling of the Person of God's Spirit in them, God nonetheless has given Him to them. This is an immutable fact which no condition of the Christian can gainsay (contradict). Because they have been regenerated they automatically have become a holy temple fit for habitation of the Holy Spirit. If only these would claim by faith this part of God's promise as they did the other part, they would gloriously experience both.”
  • Thus are we able to recognize what is authentic spiritual life. It is not to be discovered or experienced in the many thoughts and visions of the mind, nor in the many burning and exhilarating feelings of the emotion, nor in the sudden shaking, penetrating and touching of the body by outside force. It is to be found in that life which emanates from the spirit, from the innermost part of man. To walk truly after the Spirit is to understand the movement of this most hidden area and to follow it accordingly. However wonderful may be those experiences which occur through the components of the soul, they are not to be accepted as spiritually valid as long as they remain in the outward and run no deeper than sensations. Only what results from the operation of the Holy Spirit within man's spirit can be accounted spiritual experience. Hence to
  • live a spiritual life requires faith.
  • "It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Rom. 8.16). Man's spirit is the place where man works together with God. How do we know we have been born anew and are therefore children of God? We know because our inner man has been quickened and the Holy Spirit dwells therein. Our spirit is a regenerated, renewed one, and He Who dwells in, yet is distinct from, this new spirit is the Holy Spirit. And the two of them bear witness together.

Vs. 17 -John Stott
  • the Spirit is the firstfruits of our inheritance (17, 23). Paul cannot leave this topic of our being God’s children without pointing out its implication for the future. Now if we are children, then we are heirs as well— heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (17a).71 At first sight this seems to refer to that heavenly inheritance, which ‘can never perish, spoil or fade’, which God is keeping in heaven for us. It is possible, however, that the inheritance Paul has in mind is not something God intends to bestow on us but God himself. Indeed, ‘it is difficult to suppress the richer and deeper thought that God himself is the inheritance of his children’.
  • “If indeed we suffer with Him…” Here is another way that we can know that we are being led of the Spirit of God. Walking according to the Spirit will lead us into suffering.
  • 1 Peter 4:14-16

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