Privileges through the Holy Spirit

3 April 2022 AM – Romans 8:12-17 – Ro2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Most of you know that one of my hobbies is artistic painting. I have found many good painting websites. Some of them share their information freely; however, others require a financial membership of some sort. By becoming a member, a painter gets the privilege of receiving valuable painting tips and lessons that are not available to non-members.
Spiritually speaking, a person who trusts Christ for salvation receives many privileges. First, God forgives his sins and gives him eternal life in heaven. He also receives the indwelling Holy Spirit. This gives him access to many more privileges.
Transition: This morning, I want to point out several privileges that every person who is “in Christ” may enjoy through the Holy Spirit.
  1. He enables us to live after the Spirit (v.12)
a.         We are no longer debtors to the flesh.
1)         The Holy Spirit enables us to overcome the flesh.
2)         We are no longer indebted to live according to the flesh.
b.         This implies that the Spirit has set us free.
1)         Christ paid the debt to set us free from sin (Ro 6:7).
2)         We now live after the Spirit or according to the Spirit.
3)         The Holy Spirit lives in us to enable us to live in victory.
2.        He gives us eternal life (v.13)
a.         Unbelievers who live after the flesh will die.
1)         Paul could not see the hearts of his readers, thus, he reminds them that those who live after the flesh (i.e., unbelievers) face eternal death.
2)         Those who claim that this verse teaches that you can lose your salvation if you stop living right have missed the thrust of this chapter summed up in verse one. (Rom 8:1) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
b.         Believers through the Holy Spirit destroy the deeds of the body and live.
1)         True believers have the indwelling Holy Spirit, who enables them to mortify or kill the deeds of the body.
2)         In the context, this cannot be a requirement for eternal life, for there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (v.1). NT doctrine clearly teaches that salvation is not of works of any kind (Eph 2:8-9; Tit 3:5).
3)         When we mortify the deeds of the body, it is an evidence that we are walking in the Spirit.
3.        He makes us the sons of God (v.14)
a.         All who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God.
1)         The Holy Spirit makes every true believer a son of God at the moment of salvation. We see that in Galatians 4:7, “Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
2)         Being led is not a requirement for becoming a child of God. That would be a works salvation. Nor is it a requirement for KEEPING salvation. Since we cannot work to earn salvation, we certainly cannot work to keep it. We are kept by the power of God (1Pe 1:5).
3)         Being led by the Holy Spirit is an assurance that we are the sons of God.
b.         This implies that those not led by the Spirit are not sons of God.
1)         The Holy Spirit does not lead unsaved people.
2)         Jesus said that unbelievers are the children of the devil (John 8:44).
4.        He adopts us into God’s family (v.15)
a.         We have received the Spirit of adoption.
1)         Wiersbe states, “The word adoption in the New Testament means ‘being placed as an adult son.’ We come into God’s family by birth. But the instant we are born into the family, God adopts us and gives us the position of an adult son.” (cf. Ryrie)
2)         “The word indicates a total break with the old family and a new family relation with all its rights, privileges, and responsibilities.” (Rogers)
3)         Another author states, “For some people today, the concept of adoption carries the idea of second-class status in the family. In the Roman culture of Paul’s day, however, an adopted child, especially an adopted son, sometimes had greater prestige and privileges than the natural children.” (J. MacArthur)
b.         This gives us an intimate relationship with God.
1)         We are no longer in bondage to sin, causing fear.
2)         We are adopted children of God. He is our Father.
3)         We may address God as our Abba (Papa). It is a term of endearment. Wiersbe
c.          We are now children of God (v.16)
1)         Having been adopted into God’s family, He now treats us as His offspring, as one born in His family. We now have an intimate and reciprocal relationship with God.
2)         We find the same word used in John 1:12 where it is translated “sons”. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
d.         We are now heirs if God (v.17)
1)         An heir is one who receives an estate from another, often his or her father.
2)         Being an heir of God assures us of our future salvation and eternal inheritance promised by Him. (1Pet 1:3-5) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
3)         We find a parallel of this promise in (Gal 4:7) “Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
e.         We are even joint-heirs with Christ.
1)         All that belongs to Jesus Christ uniquely belongs to every child of God.
2)         Evidently, by being a joint-heir with Christ, we not only inherit the glories of heaven, but we also inherit the oppositions of this godless world. This may speak of a faithful Christian’s daily “anxieties, tensions and persecutions.” (Moo/Rogers)
3)         Being a godly Christian, we will partake in Christ’s suffering. (2Tim 3:12) “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
4)         After all that Christ has done for us, we ought to consider suffering for the cause of Christ a privilege. I must admit, this is challenging! That is often not my attitude. I still have growing to do in this area.
5)         Those who suffer with Christ will share eternal glory with Christ. (2Tim 2:11-12) “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Conclusion: If you have trusted Christ, God has forgiven your sins and given you eternal life in heaven. He has also given you the indwelling Holy Spirit. Through His indwelling, you have access to many privileges. This morning we have highlighted several of them. These ought to be a great encouragement to you. You can now live according to the Holy Spirit. You now have eternal life. You are one of the sons of God. God has adopted you into His own family with more special privileges. You have an intimate relationship with God. You are an heir of God. You are a joint-heir with Jesus Christ.
            Let me encourage you to meditate on these privileges given you by the Holy Spirit because of your relationship with Christ. They are blessings!
            If you do not truly know Christ as your Saviour, you have no access to any of these privileges. If you will trust Him today, the Holy Spirit will give you immediate access to all of them.
Song: Thank You Lord – 221