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Romans 8:15-16

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 8:15
  • Romans 8:16

Christians have been spiritually adopted by God. We are not so much slaves who are afraid of their old evil master, but sons taken in by a new master, whom we endearingly call “Father.” The Holy Spirit indwelling us is a sign that we are indeed children of God.

Paul now makes a clear distinction between the unconditional gift God gives us to be His child forever through simple faith, and the great reward He bestows on those who walk in obedience and dependence, even as Jesus walked.

So far, Paul has been prescribing the way to live contrary to the flesh, which is to live through the Spirit. He has used the word “Spirit” more times in this chapter than the prior seven chapters combined. Paul now turns his attention to a new aspect of faith; he’s showing the next level of the newness of life we have in Christ. Paul has argued, practically, isn’t it better to walk in Spirit rather than in the dead, sinful, former way of living? Now, at this point in his letter to the Roman Christians, Paul goes beyond his prior argument to talk about something even greater.

Paul has already established that [we] have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, we are no longer slaves to sin, and that this new life we receive when we put our faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection does not result in fear; it really is like being adopted into a family. So much so, that Paul declares [we] have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”  God has taken us into His care, and we call Him “Father.” Paul expresses that when we believe on Jesus the Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. He gives us an inner testimony that we are His children. If you go to Israel today you can hear boys call their fathers “Abba,” which simply means “Daddy.”

Biblical Text

15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,




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