Sonship Through The Spirit

Adoption is the process by which a person who does not belong to a given family is formally brought into it and made a full, legal family member with the rights and responsibilities of that position. The practice of adoption was not common among the Jews, but was more widespread … More


Paul now draws application from his previous discussion that each believer has a responsibility to live each day in the control and power of the Holy Spirit (vv. 12-17). It is not enough for us to have the Spirit; the Spirit must have us. Furthermore each Christian is to refuse to follow the inclinations and desires of his sin nature. The result of a sinful manner of life is death (v. 13). This does not mean that a believer who sins will face eternal death in hell, but instead that he will not enjoy his spiritual life.

Three characteristics of those who are adopted into the family of God.

  1. They are led by the Spirit (v. 14). - It is the Holy Spirit who places the believer as an adult into the family of God.
  2. They are loved by the Father (vv. 15,16). - Through the miracle of regeneration, we are brought into the closet intimacy with the Father.
  3. They are lifted by the Son (v. 17). - Adoption into the family of God involves being lifted by Christ so that we can share both His suffering and His glory.

We come into God’s family by Spiritual birth. But the instant we are born into the family, God adopts us and gives us the position of an adult son. A baby cannot speak, walk, make decisions, or write checks on the family bank account. However, the Christian can do all of these the moment he is born again. In New Testament times, adopted sons enjoyed the same privileges as natural-born sons. As children inherit their parents’ estates, each child is an heir, and the children together are co-heirs. In the same way, Christians are God’s children, and they are heirs and co-heirs with Christ.


How do I put to death the wrong things I do in my body? Do my thoughts and the way I spend my time match up to what I believe God wants me to do with my life? Why or why not?

Romans 8:12-17 (English Standard Version)

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »