Romans 8:9 - 17 NIV
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit Who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “ Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now 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.
My biggest fear used to be, what if when I die I were to find out I really wasn't saved after all. These words in chapter 8 put all that to rest. In fact this whole chapter has become my favorite chapter in the bible. If the Spirit is in us we no longer have anything to worry about. Knowing for sure we have the Spirit is the big question. That's where faith comes in. Faith is what brings us to that fact and once we have that we begin our walk in the Spirit. There is now no condemnation. He died in my place because of what I did and then beat death and was resurrected to life again and we are told that because of that, once we die to sin we are also resurrected to life with Him. Jesus cannot be condemned and since we are now in Him and He in us we cannot be condemned either.
In the Roman culture, when you were adopted by a family, you no longer had any inheritance with your original family but now your inheritance would come from your new family. In addition all records of the former life were erased and all past debts were wiped out. Our debts have been wiped out and we have a new inheritance. We can be sure of this because, as Paul states, the Spirit Himself testifies that we are now God's children. There are times when our attitude may be bad or we in our weakness do something commensurate with our old sin nature but we are still His children. Just like as a child, when I disobeyed or broke the rules of the home, I was never kicked out of the family. The thing that did happen was my relationship with my parents was not very good during those times which always left me feeling bad. My desire soon was to make a change, sometimes rather forcibly but change soon came so that relationship would once again be restored, always knowing as bad as things were, I was still loved. That same thing is going on with us as God's children.
So now thinking of those things that cause our relationship to not be what God desires it to be. For me there are times when I get caught up in the things of this world and I lose sight of what my real needs are. Lately a big struggle I've been fighting is in gaining things of this world. The last few years and especially this past year it has been tough to just go to a store to pick up something needed and instead much easier to go online and purchase it. I remember the first time I did it. First I was pretty proud that I was even able to figure out how to do it. After doing it, though, I realized how simple it really was. Now I will be sitting on the couch and thinking about something I'd like to have and wonder what Amazon has to offer and before long find myself pushing the buy button. I am really having to start thinking about how out of control I'm getting with this and is it really what would be pleasing to God, going after all these things that I think will make me happy. I used to have a problem with candy. I loved sweets and would eat them until I got sick then eat more. That reminds me a little of this new struggle. It's amazing to me how easy it is for the enemy to influence us into doing something innocent and because of our sin nature it starts to control us. That's where walking in the Spirit is such an important thing to constantly keep our focus on. This seems so elementary but is something I need constant reminding of. I want to keep my desires on what He wants for me. It's ok to have things, I think, but I believe we need to be aware of whether or not they are things He wants us to have.
Growing up we used to sing this song often in church which has come to mind lately and one that I really miss. Actually just one of many.
"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand."
by Ken Edgerly