Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“14 Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”
We left off yesterday thinking about what it means to be a child of God. Verse 14 clearly states that those who are led by the Spirit of God are Sons of God. Here we see the indicative, remember that indicative means “the objective fact or reality.” The reality for those that are led by the Spirit of God is that they are children of God. It’s a fact,; it’s like the law of gravity: what goes up must come down. It’s not something that is subjective to my emotions or feelings; it is what it is.
So what do we do with this? Well, here’s what we can do—we can look forward to the future with confidence! Why? Because we know that the Spirit is leading us; we can be confident we’ll live because we are children of God.
To be led by the Spirit means that we are not under the law; this is the description of all Christians. It means that we are no longer dependent on self-effort. It is the Spirit Himself, living inside of us who is resisting the motions of evil within us. The Spirit lifts us above the flesh—our sinful nature—turning our minds from what used to occupy our thoughts while we were controlled by the flesh. It is the leading of the Spirit that points us to the risen Christ as the only grounds for acceptance before God.
What does that look like in the real world? It’s abstaining from certain kinds of behavior, but not because we’re striving to live up to some regulation or law. In other words, we don’t steal because we think we might get caught and punished. Instead, we don’t steal because the power of the Spirit keeps us mindful of God’s ways so that the idea of stealing just doesn’t enter our minds—this is what Paul had in mind when he talked about being led by the Spirit (see Gal 5:16-18).
Here’s an important point to understand: Paul was not referring here to spectacular instances of divine guidance in the lives of well-known Christians. Rather, he was speaking of what is true of all children of God—namely, that the Spirit of God leads them. I’ll say it again—it’s all Christians; it’s not just those we think are superstars, but it’s for you and me as well. It is not a question of the degree by which they are yielded to the Holy Spirit, but of a relationship which takes place at the time of conversion.
The recognition that we are God’s own children and are led by His Spirit is such great news for us. It’s another reason for the assurance that Paul previously gave us when he said, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).” Those who are led and yield to the Spirit of God are those who are God’s sons; they truly belong to his family.
Think about this: If you have placed your faith in Christ, you are a child of God—that’s the objective reality of all believers. As a believer, the Spirit of God is leading you. Since the Spirit leads us, how might you open your life up to His leading so that the Spirit can determine the basic orientation of your life?
Take some time now and thank God for the reality of this truth.
*From what you have just read and considered, what is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the Gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live out this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the Good News today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest.