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Pastor Brant Seacrist

April 29, 2018

"SONS AND HEIRS"

TEXT: Romans 8: 12 - 17
READING:  Psalm 119: 49 - 64

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SUBJ: The identity of God’s children as sons and their special identity with Christ both in Spirit and as coheirs with Him.

AIM: That we should see ourselves as dear children and cherish our blessed family relationship with Christ in the family of God.

INTR: The redundancy and reinforcement of Paul continues with the transition to another aspect of our relationship with Christ through the Spirit; he would have us to understand the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit bringing assurance to the hearts of the children of God.
1. This chapter continues to be centered on the Holy Spirit and His function in bringing Christ and the things of Christ to us.
2. The question of heirship is introduced and explained along with the fact that it is ours as a result of adoption and that special identity with Christ as a result thereof.
3. It is important that we understand the aim of God in glorifying us together with Christ and that requires sonship that is proclaimed and experienced.

THESIS: Being the children of God is a matter of both fact and experience and so we must be led of the Spirit as a matter of divine purpose or there is no identity with God and especially not sons.

I. The Children of God Identified (vv. 12-14)
1. The words of v. 12 suggest that we are debtors and that is true in many ways (I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. Romans 1:14).
2. But, we are specifically debtors “not to the flesh” which is to be indebted to a corrupt nature demanding that it be satisfied and thus be subject to the condemnation of the Law.
3. The consequences of living after the flesh are well known:
1) It is the way of death and is the way of the world and ultimate destruction and has no part with the children of God.
2) In the believer, such a way is to be mortified (made subject to death) – not that we should destroy our bodies or believe that we may erase it; it does mean that we should subdue it and labor strenuously against it.
4. To be led by the Spirit of God is to be declared to be the Sons (children) of God:
1) Under a conscious and continuous constraint to love the Lord and please Him,
2) Led in the sense of being made to and enabled to see the truth and to love righteousness and pursue holiness in heart and lives.
3) We are sons, not so high as Christ, nor so low as Adam, or even in the sense of the Angels; we are the redeemed of the Lord.

II. The Spirit of Adoption (v. 15)
1. Fear is considered as a spiritual matter and we are reminded of: And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:15.
1) The fear of death is an enslaving effect to them who are dependent on themselves in that they know there are no “do-overs.”
2) It is from such fear that we are delivered through this special revelation of the Spirit in us.
2. We would first mention adoption (before addressing the Spirit of Adoption).
1) It is not a work of grace done within us – it is a work of grace done from without us – that is it is God’s doing and we are passive.
2) It is essentially a legal term but made more special in the light of the ministry of the Holy Spirit here.
3. Thus, He is called here the Spirit of Adoption (many names of God depict that which He does in redemption and so it is here with the Spirit)
1) We would note the following: And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Galatians 4:6.
2) By the Spirit of Adoption we are constituted as Sons – Sonship is experienced and
3) The endearment of our Father becomes real and evident.
4. The term “Abba Father” embraces the highest form of esteem and acknowledgment and reflects the loving submission of God’s children. This is the term used by our Lord in His most desperate hour.

III. The Dual Witness to Sonship (vv. 16-17)
1. A question of doubt may arise in the concerns of true believers and God has fixed it up so that we need assurance as a matter of faith exercised.
2. Here we are told how that is given us – the Holy Spirit bearing witness with our spirit.
1) This is that regenerated spirit in us that is born of incorruptible see and so lives on
2) By faith, this is that which is responsive to the promptings of the Spirit who is ever directing us to Christ and revealing the things of Christ to us.
3) So involved is He that: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:5.
3. Not only children, but heirs and Joint heirs with Christ.
1) The relationship of Christ to His brethren (children) is such that we not only receive Him, but all that pertains to Him and so we share in the Kingdom and glory with Him.
2) It is an ownership that cannot be divided – illustrate by multiple heirs to properties.
4. Suffering and glory: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1 Peter 1:11.
1) This is certainly related to Gospel opposition against believers – the world hates Him
2) But, it does not exclude all that pertains to this life and simply looks to Christ being with those for whom He died.