Hello everyone on this Saturday evening. At least, as I write this, it is a Saturday evening. I hope all is going well for you. We’re going to of course tonight be continuing our look through the New Testament as we seek to come to a deeper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. We’re going through the Pauline epistles now and we’re in the book of Romans and in the 8th chapter. Tonight, we’ll be looking at verses 12-17.
12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.17Now 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.
I blogged on this passage a long time in my look at the concept of hearing the voice of God. That will not be my purpose of reviewing this passage tonight, but for all who are interested in that, the post can be found here:
Let’s note that at the start, the Spirit is the one who enables us to live holy and righteous lives. Paul has no concept of holiness coming to us without our submitting to the Spirit. We know from other Scriptures that this is because the Spirit is God working in us.
Why is this the case however? It is because the lives we live indicate that we are indeed sons of God. This is where we definitely have to be clear in our terminology. Are we sons of God the same way that Jesus is the Son of God?
Not at all. The passage tells us that we are co-heirs of Christ and we will share in his glory. However, the main difference comes to how Christ came to be an heir and how Christ came to glory. John 17 has already told us that Christ had that glory before the world was and he had it with God.
This is what was so important in John 20:17. Christ is the archetype of what it means to be a Son of God. He is that by his very nature. He has eternally been Son. We are sons only by adoption. Paul stresses this point in verse 22. We await our adoption. Not that we are not adopted already, but we wait the full fulfillment of this in glory.
Note also again how Trinitarian this passage is. We have God, Christ, and the Spirit all together working. This passage makes no sense without the doctrine of the Trinity. It is this beauty that we see at work in this passage and working to bring the children of God, which is what we are, into full fruition and adoption of sons so we may share in the glory of Christ for all eternity.
That final remark is something that we should keep in mind in this study. It is important to know the Trinity, but make sure you know the difference the Trinity makes in your day-t0-day life. The Trinity’s not just a nice theory on paper that helps you study systematic theology. The Trinity invites you into the wonder of who God is and enables you to live a life that brings glory to him.