Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Romans 8:11 begins with that small but important word “but”. That small word is followed by another small word that is also very important. That word is “if”. It is not an automatic fact that the Holy Spirit indwells each person. It is a fact that He does indwell every born again Christian. God is never going to give anyone a false sense of hope. It is important for us to be sure that we have truly been saved.
Notice as well that God identifies the true Holy Spirit. The one and only true Holy Spirit raised up Jesus from the dead. The Godhead works together on all things. Here the Holy Spirit is mentioned as being involved in that important work.
If that Holy Spirit dwells inside you, then that same Holy Spirit will raise up your mortal body. Physical death is a reality for all of us. The saved die and are buried and the process of decay begins immediately after death. At the rapture, the saved will be raised up and their new bodies will be reunited with their souls. This is true for all New Testament saints. Old Testament saints will be resurrected at the end of the Tribulation.
Paul is again directed by God to remind us that the Holy Spirit indwells the true child of God. This is important for us to know. God has reminded us of this fact several times here in close succession. He wants us to be clear on this fact.
In verse 12 we, those who are brethren (saved people), are debtors not to the flesh. God does not require that we work in order to be saved or to maintain or to enhance our salvation. We are not debtors to the flesh. We are not bound by the lusts of the flesh. Those who are truly saved have been given the power to be called sons of God. We have the ability to say no to sin and yes to God. We not only have that ability, but it is expected that every born again Christian will learn to follow God more obediently, the longer they are saved. We are not governed by the flesh. The born again Christian needs to learn to walk in the Spirit and not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.
In verse 13 we again come across that word “if”. If a person lives after the flesh he will die. He is obviously not a born again Christian. A born again Christian cannot lose his salvation.
Paul again put the word “but” in the verse. But, if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. We are again reminded that the Christian life can only be lived by those who have the Holy Spirit indwelling them.
Actors are not the real deal. The true child of God is called upon to “mortify”, “kill or put to death” the deeds of the body. When the true child of God is tempted to sin, he can say “no”. He must learn to say “no”. He must take the escape that God has provided for him when tempted. The Holy Spirit within his life will direct him to say no to sin and yes to God.
Jesus showed us that the escape is always the Word of God. When He was tempted by the devil, He quoted Scripture as His response. This is why the true child of God must be reading God’s Word daily. He must also be memorizing God’s Word. God’s Word should become more familiar in his heart and life. It is as we draw nigh to God, that we can resist the devil. We are never told to command him to leave us. We are told to draw nigh to God.
The true child of God will exercise this new life and he will live due to that fact. Christians cannot sleep their way through life. They cannot just cruise through life. They are in a war. In Ephesians 6, Paul wrote of the need to have the full armour of God on. The Bible never promises ease of life for the saved person.
In verse 14 we are reminded that “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” There will be evidence of God’s gift of salvation in the saved person’s life. That is what God says. He can make that claim because He is the Author of salvation. He knows the effects of His salvation on the recipient’s heart and life.
God did not need to conduct experiments to try to figure out what would work in salvation. He has no lab where He conducts experiments. He is God and He knows how to provide every need man has. He proved His omniscience in Genesis 1. He reinforced that fact throughout the Bible. He is unlike man. He knows everything and never makes a mistake. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. Those who are saved need to be yielded to the Spirit of God. We cannot insist on having our own way. We must follow God’s way.
Church history shows us that there have been many who claim to be saved, who have insisted on their own way. We have far more religions that teach heresy than the few that teach the truth. Those that teach the truth need to constantly be examining what they believe and make sure it is soundly built upon God’s truth. We do not walk around doubting the truth. We study to meet God’s approval. We grow stronger in the truth.
In verse 15 we see another important truth. Those who are saved do not need to fear death. We have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear. The lost fear the unknown. What happens at death? Is there life after death and if so, what kind of life is it. Many false religions teach that heaven is “party town”. You like golfing, there is a place for you in heaven. You like fast cars, there is a place for you in heaven. You like shopping, that will be there as well, etc. Then of course the Muslims are taught that the men will have 70 very sensual virgins awaiting them if they die as martyrs.
The Bible teaches something very different from all those lies. The Bible teaches that those who are saved have a home in heaven and their focus in heaven will be to praise and glorify God. Earthly things will pass away. Heaven is a much different place than what we see on earth.
Those who are saved have received the Spirit of adoption. We have been adopted into God’s family. That fact causes us to cry, Abba, Father. The term “Abba, Father” is a term of endearment and intimacy. There is a special relationship that every true child of God has.
We have a family in our church with a young child. That young child wants his Mommy all to himself. If his older sister sits on his Mommy’s lap, and he sees it, he fusses about that. If one of the other children stands too close to Mommy, he fusses about that. He needs to learn that Mommy can look after all her children.
God is well able to give full attention to all His children at the same time. There will be no fussing about position or anything in heaven. James and John were in a tug of war about position in heaven. They were not alone in that. The other disciples took offence to their asking to be closest to Jesus. Jesus taught them that His children have a different attitude than the world. He also told them that His Father would take care of position and role in heaven.
Those who enter heaven will have a different mindset than that which we have on earth. God is good and He promises to provide for our needs now and for eternity!
It is great to be saved and have the God of Creation as my God and Father!
In verse 16 we see that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. We do not live for ourselves. The Holy Spirit will never endorse sin, nor will He overlook sin. In order to have the endorsement of the Holy Spirit in my life, I need to be walking with the Lord. Yes, I will sin. The Holy Spirit will help me to identify that sin and to deal with it Biblically. He will not allow me to rest in my sin, if I am truly saved.
In verse 17 we see that those who are saved are not only children, but also heirs of God. We are also joint-heirs with Christ. We have an inheritance that is out of this world. Jesus promised:
John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
I know there are Bible “scholars” who will tell us that the word translated as “mansions” is actually “rooms”. I know they will not be mansions as we read of on this earth. They will be much better than that. When we read God’s description of heaven, we also know they are not just mere rooms. Heaven is a beautiful place and the most important aspect of heaven is that God the Father is there and the Lamb is there as well. Our attention will be on that which really matters, when we get to heaven.
Paul also reminded us that if we suffer with Christ now, we can also be assured that we will be glorified together with Him. The Bible is clear that every born again Christian will suffer for their faith in God. That suffering may take different forms, but it will be there for those who are truly saved.
Our flesh wants to avoid suffering. There has been much compromising done by professing Christians. However, true Christians will suffer with Christ. Jesus warned that if the world hates us, those who are saved, we need to remember that the world hated Him first.