March 28, 2020

Sunday’s Gospel: You Have Received a Spirit of Adoption

By Chaplain Mike

On this great feast day of the Church, Pentecost Sunday, we bring to your attention one of the great passages in the Bible on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer and the church.

No comments from me today. No sermon. Just God’s words. May the Spirit lead you into contemplation on this passage that will:

  • allow you to feel heaven’s refreshing wind,
  • point you to Jesus,
  • enable you to rejoice in his finished work that has set you free,
  • encourage you to seek his enabling grace to put off the old and put on the new,
  • and experience the ministry of the Spirit of adoption that will witness to your spirit and bring you deep assurance of God’s love.

Happy Pentecost!

Romans 8:1-17 (NRSV)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for 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. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Hymn

Spirit of faith, come down,
reveal the things of God,
and make to us the Godhead known,
and witness with the blood.
‘Tis thine the blood to apply
and give us eyes to see,
who did for every sinner die
hath surely died for me.

No one can truly say
that Jesus is the Lord,
unless thou take the veil away
and breathe the living Word.
Then, only then, we feel
our interest in his blood,
and cry with joy unspeakable,
“Thou art my Lord, my God!”

O that the world might know
the all atoning Lamb!
Spirit of faith, descend and show
the virtue of his name;
the grace which all may find,
the saving power, impart,
and testify to humankind,
and speak in every heart.

Inspire the living faith
(which whosoe’er receive,
the witness in themselves they have
and consciously believe),
the faith that conquers all,
and doth the mountain move,
and saves whoe’er on Jesus call,
and perfects them in love.

Text by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788

Comments

  1. “Enables you”?

    The Spirit of God is a much more powerful God than that.

    The Spirit of God actually grabs a hold of you and makes you His own.

    It knocks you off your horse (St. Paul) and says, “You are mine. End of conversation.”

  2. That we as no more than dust can call our creator “daddy” astounds me.

  3. Thank you, Chaplain Mike! It was refreshing to read that passage and that hymn.

  4. That Christ would choose to suffer an agonizing and humiliating death on a cross in order to inplant His own Spirit (basically implant Himself) inside a rotting, sin-infested piece of meat like myself … that just boggles my mind. Now I have His Spirit, but my flesh is stil here too — and my mind and will have become the ring where these two slug it out round after round, day after day.
    It’s strange how, in the middle of this pitched battle between Spirit and flesh, the gift of the Spirit can feel like both the greatest of blessings and a terrible curse at the same time. As Jesus Himself experienced, human flesh (even flesh uncorrupted by sin) does not go willingly to the cross, and only by the power of the Spirit can it be wrestled and prodded along that bitter road to Golgotha.
    Sometimes I wish I did not have these two foes living inside me — and sometimes I wonder what it will be like when He completes His work in me and I finally become one, undivided person in Him.