Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Can you have both the spirit of slavery and the Spirit of adoption?
Never mind just twelve verses ago (Romans 8:3-8) that we have already made that distinction. So, let us see what Christ says:
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. 1
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? ‘ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.‘ 2
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.“ 3
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 4
For those who simply believe in His name, they shall be saved. They will not be the chaff that is separated from the wheat in order to be burned in unquenchable fire. They are not the ones who have the wrath of God remain on them. 5
There is no indwelling spirit of slavery to drag you into fear of God. There is nothing in you that would indicate anything of your old self. You old self is dead. Your old self did not have eternal life. Your old self did not have the Spirit of God. You old self was dead!
Yet, you were loved. You were chosen before the foundation of the world. The hound of heaven chased you down. God Almighty called out your name and cried out, “Arise! Follow me!”
You have been purchased with a price—price of the life of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. You are a new creation. You sins have been removed. They have been replaced with not your soaked bloody rags of self-righteousness but rather with the true righteousness of Jesus Christ.
You have been atoned for. You have His Spirit to lead you. You are His adopted son. You are His joint heir with the One who is heir to everything.
Oh in the glorious end, when you have seen the chaff burn in the unquenchable fire, when you have seen the goats cast away from the Good Shepherd, when you have heard the Judge utterly dismissed the unknown.
You will stand before the throne and your spirit will cry out, “Abba, Father”.
My Father, who art in heaven.
You believe in Christ.
You have this access.
What cast out fear? How do adopted children have unlimited and unrestricted access to the Creator of the Universe?
That is love.
Series: Intrigued by the postmodern oft-used answer of “God is love”, by just by digging a little deeper, what I have learned is that people usually mean, “Love is God”. But this begs the question: what is love? To that end, I began writing a series that answers that question.