Day 18

Joint Heirs with Christ

from the Romans reading plan


Romans 8:1-17, Isaiah 53:10, Mark 14:32-36

October 31, 2017, marks the 500-year anniversary of the day Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther’s burning conviction was to preach that salvation came to God’s people only by miraculous grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Now, there were other monks and priests at the time with similar convictions, but it seems clear that Luther’s intense study of Romans was his tipping point. In passion and in conviction, he penned and posted a document that would change the face of the Church in the West forever.

Luther knew from Paul’s letter to the Romans that the Spirit of God alone could mark us as children of God. Good works, good intentions, and good gifts to the church or the poor weren’t without value, but they could never stand as being able to save anyone in and of themselves.

The very good news of Romans is the same very good news of the Gospels: God entered the world, a world that He had created perfectly and that we, through sin, had marred. God sent His Son to bring us life everlasting. This life, as Paul so clearly points out here in Romans 8, comes with and through the gift of the Spirit, Who produces spiritual fruit in our lives.

Jesus said to His disciples that we could be recognized by our fruits. There seems to be a very similar thread here in Romans 8. Life in the Spirit is marked by the fruits of the Spirit. Paul is not only giving a promise here, but also a quick spiritual litmus test for our own lives. When we, as believers, examine our hearts, actions, and decisions, do we see a pattern of Spirit-filled movement? Of course, we will still see sin. In fact, both Jesus and Paul acknowledge this. But it should be troublesome to us if we see a continuous pattern in our lives incongruent with the marks of the Spirit.

The good news is that if you choose to be led by the Spirit, you can have confidence in your place as a child of God. Paul proclaims: “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” (Romans 8:11).

There should be evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in the Christian’s life. But as Martin Luther contended, that spiritual fruit does not come through our work. In today’s passage, Paul encourages us that we have the power of God—the same power that raised Jesus from the dead—living in us to help us produce that spiritual fruit.

When you’ve placed all of the good, the bad, and the ugly in your life at the feet of Jesus, you have the Spirit of God as your advocate. He is the one Who testifies with our spirit that we are the children of God.

Written by Andrew Stoddard

Post Comments (4)

4 thoughts on "Joint Heirs with Christ"

  1. Adam says:

    “3-4 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

    The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.”

    The law was week and could never save us. God sent Jesus to our mess of humanity to bridge that gap. He then gave us the Spirit. Lord help me to see the fruits and work of your Spirit transforming my life!

  2. DES says:

    Children of God. This is a life changing phrase. When we accept the value that God has assigned to us it can change everything. When we realize that God has called us holy and has made us his heirs; when we confess that we are the righteousness of God; when we view ourselves like God views us; we can start living a victorious life. A victorious life is dead to sin. A victorious life is in tune with the Holy Spirit. A victorious life notices the needs of others and acts. A victorious life is not perfect, and is also not guilt ridden. It is not fearful. Lord, I pray for a greater awareness of you today. A greater understanding of what you have said about me and what you have called me to. Lord, make me more aware of what you have prepared for me to do today. Thank you for love and transformation. Thank you for your grace.

  3. Chris Greenwood says:

    “5 For 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. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

    What power does sin hold in the life of a child of God? This is quite possibly one of the most important questions a Christian has to answer. The tension between Romans 7 & Romans 8 is a very real one with many people much smarter than I weighing in with multiple views. This, though, is the wonder of our faith! We ask the hard questions and dig for the truth to them.

    What is my view? That is a discipleship question. You are welcome to step into discipleship and find out though. 🙂

  4. Kyle says:

    I can’t get over how often it’s brought up that we have the same power in us that raised Jesus from the grave. That same spirit is what’s inside us. Have I been asleep the last twenty years and not noticed how much this is mentioned in Romans? I have another study I’m doing that brought this same thing up. Maybe it’s some weird man thing, and I sound dumb for liking that word “power” so much. But there really is something about it that’s more comforting and reassuring to me than anything else in the season I’m in right now. Thankful that he loves us so much, we get to be adopted into his family and share in the power of his spirit.
    My prayer this week is that I can truly embrace my identity as a child of God, give my life over to his spirit, and let those fruits be evident in my daily life as I walk with him.

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