Romans 8:14-17  -  The Joy Of Being Grown Up


Intro: The story is told of an old violinist who was very poor, but who brought much joy to others through his playing.  Asked to explain why his music evoked a responsive chord in the hearts of his listeners, he lovingly fingered his instrument and commented, "Ah, a great deal of sunshine must have gone into this wood, and what has gone in comes out."


A) What that man said about that violin can be  equally true about our Christian lives - A lot of Son Shine has gone in

1)  And what has gone in needs to come out - and in Rom. 8 Paul gives us some great insights into how we come to experience the fullness of life in Christ


B) Because of our identification in Christ - we no longer have to be dominated by our flesh / Rom. 6

1)  And we are no longer - bound by the law Rom.7


C) Now there is a new law at work w/ in me - the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ - that has set me free from the law of sin & death .


D) Now this is such a radical truth - so important that we grasp it - In V. 1 Paul describes the 1st aspect of our identification in w/ Christ - In Christ

1)  And In Christ - there is no condemnation - ( Last week )


E) But in V. 2 - Paul is describing the 2nd aspect of our union in Christ - not just that we are In Christ - but Christ is in us = New law at work .

1)  The Spirit of life in Christ - Lit. is referring to Christ living his life through me / by the indwelling of His Spirit .


E) That is the new law -that  comes into to play that allows me to sour above that which held me down / kept me under


F) So what couldn’t be done through the keeping of the law because our flesh was weak

1)  Is done in us V. 4 - not by us /but in us through the spirit of Christ who dwells in us & as we walk according to the spirit & not the flesh


Now understand that Paul is not contrasting the Christian & the non-Christian here in Rom. 8

A) Rather he contrasting those who are walking in the spirit vs. Those who are trying to please God in the energy of their flesh


B) even those who are trying to please themselves by living for their flesh


C) And we are going to see today that this contrast is the determining factor which marks if a believer is walking in maturity

1)  Or immaturity in their Christian experience


D) It is the determining factor which reveals whether or not a Christian really comes to experience that fullness of life in Christ



Now we saw on Wed. night that Paul revealed how you walk will affect the way that you think - and vice versa ( How think affects walk)

A) Contrast the mind of the spirit w/ the mindset of the flesh / those who are fleshly minded only see things from a fleshly point of view .


B) But Walking in the Spirit - results in a new mindset - new way of thinking - a new perception - new perspective about our life


C) Jesus said in Luke 12 that those who are fleshly minded are only concerned about what eat / what wear / where go / how pay get there

1)  The person who is fleshly minded is thinking mainly of survival & or enjoyment


D) Those who are walking in the Spirit have a broader perspective / See this world differently - passing / heaven is where it is at

1)  See people differently - see them as eternal - spend eternity in one of two places heaven or Hell


E) They see situations differently - fleshly minded views the difficulties they face in life as troubles they want to get rid of

1)  Spiritually minded sees them as trials they want to get through - a training ground preparing them for the next - task or opportunity



Now minding the things of the Spirit doesn’t mean that you go through the day singing praise songs - quoting verses / thinking heaven

A) That is quite a misconception - because living on this planet - & living in these bodies - means we encounter the world everyday


B) My house - seems like when one thing breaks - everything breaks - many little projects to take care of -

1)  Went from a high maintenance home in Or. To a low maintenance home here - I’m still  looking for the No maintenance home


C) Now these little projects that need fixed - don’t come together by singing praise songs - quoting verses / praying or thinking about heaven

1)  No it takes mental & physical time & attention


D) You need to earn a living - work - to provide for your family - so you went out and got a job.

1)  Which means you cannot spend all day reading - praying etc.


E) So does that mean you are not minding the things of the Spirit ? / That depends on how you view your Job



See the difference between the having the mind  of the flesh" & having the mind of the Spirit" is not thinking about  different kinds of things,

A) But it is a different attitude with which you come to see those things

     Diff. Perspective / perception w/ which you view those things


B) Let me paraphrase what Paul is saying here  this way:

 He who sets his mind on the values of the Spirit, on the attitudes of the Spirit, on the point of  view of the Spirit, walks in the Spirit; but he who sets his mind on the values of the flesh, on the attitudes of the flesh, walks in the flesh.


C) So if you see your Job as only  a place of employment /it is  how you make your money - how you put food on the table & pay the bills

1)  You have a fleshly mindset  about your occupation


D) But if you see it as the very Job  where God has placed you so you can be a vessel He can work through -

1)  Place which allows you to make a living so you can support your family but also partner w/ the Lord in ministry through giving


E) You have the mind of the Spirit about your Job.


F) See Paul says to be carnally minded is death / connotation there is fruitlessness / bareness & spiritual poverty - empty

1)  IF you only see your place of employment as a Job - you will most likely be barren there - no fruit


G) But if you see it as your mission field - as your place of ministry - place  

      where God has divinely placed you - You will be used



What about where you live .Only thing you can afford - can’t wait until you can leave / move up / Is it only a place to live / shelter /

A) Fleshly mindset about your house - or apartment / probably not much fruit

      Grumbling complaining - not content - only dissatisfaction

B) But if you see it as the place God has placed you in at the moment - to be a light - to shine for Him - then you will - bear fruit


C) So Walking in the Spirit results in a new mindset - focus of v.5-9


D) But it also results in a new usefulness which is the focus of v. 10 - 13




Now as I mentioned in the beg. of this study today - walking in the Spirit is the determining factor which marks if a believer is walking in maturity

A) It is the determining factor which reveals whether or not a Christian really comes to experience that fullness of life in Christ


B) That is exactly what Paul moves on to explain in the section before us today in v. 14-17  Break it down

V.14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.


C) Now it is important to understand what Paul is saying here - / Paul is not saying this is what Proves you are a Christian / led by Spirit

1)  No the term sons of God here is very significant


D) The Word sons used here in the Greek is a word describing a child of God who has come into that place of  maturity - possessing inheritance


E) It is the same word used in Gal. 4: 5 in speaking of a child who has come of age vs. One who is still a minor

5  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"

7  Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.



The Same idea is set forth in v. 15 by using the term adoption Paul says 15  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."


A) Now the thing that we need to understand is that the term adoption in Paul’s day meant something completely diff. From our day

          1) Not an orphan being adopted into a family - though true


B) This picture that Paul  draws comes from the Roman custom of adopting their own children.


C) See A Roman father, if he had male children, never referred to them as his sons until they were of age.

1) They were his children, but they were not his sons.


D) But, when they became of age (which was about 14 in the Roman system) he took them down to the public forum, and, there, they were publicly adopted by their own father and thereafter regarded as his heirs.



E) They entered into participation in their father's business, and had a share in his inheritance. This is  what Paul is referring to here & in Gal . 4

1)  In fact in Gal 4 Paul says the child is really no diff. From a slave until he comes of age .



Now I want you to see the connection between Gal. 4 & Romans 8

A) In Gal . 4 Paul is talking about our position / our standing in Christ/ turn


B) You recall that the problem w/ the Church in Galatia was they had accepted a false teaching which had put them under legalism

1)  Circumcised in order to be saved



C) Paul said can that which has begun in the Spirit be perfected in the flesh ?

1)  So that is the general theme of the book /


D) Why are you trying to do in the flesh what God has already done by His grace / will do in the spirit

4:1  Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2  but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.   3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.


A) In the Roman world, the children of wealthy people were cared for by slaves.


B) No matter who his father was, the child was still a child, under the supervision of a servant.

1)  In fact, the child himself was not much different from the servant who guarded him.


C) The servant was commanded by the master of the house, and the child was commanded by the servant.

1)  This was the spiritual condition of the Jews under the age of the Law.


D) The Law, you recall, was the “guardian” that disciplined the nation and prepared the people for the coming of Christ (Gal. 3:23-25).

1)  School master that drives us to grace !


E)  So, when the Judaizers led the Galatians back into legalism, they were leading them not only into religious bondage, but also into moral and spiritual infancy and immaturity.



Paul states that the Jews were, like little children, in bondage to “the elements of the world.”

A) This word elements means the basic principles, the ABCs.


B) For some fifteen centuries, Israel had been in kindergarten and grade school, learning their “spiritual ABCs,” so that they would be ready when Christ would come.


C) Then they would get the full revelation, for Jesus Christ is “the Alpha and the Omega” (Rev. 22:13);     He encompasses all the alphabet of God’s revelation to man.


D) SO Paul in using this illustration is saying Legalism, then, is not a step toward maturity; it is a step back into childhood.


Now  It is important that a person know his ABCs, because they are the foundation for understanding all of the language.


A) But the man who sits in a library and recites the ABCs instead of reading the great literature that is around him, is showing that he is immature and ignorant, not mature and wise.


B) Under the Law, the Jews were children in bondage, not sons enjoying liberty. So Paul Continues in v. 4

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

5  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"

7  Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

A) Now Paul is saying that when you were born again / you became a child of God .


B) But you have been placed into the family of God as an adult Child - adopted - declared an heir

1)  In which you are able to enjoy all of the benefits of being an heir

 all the riches of the father are at available to you


C) But the Difference between Romans 8 & Gal. 4 is this - In Gal. 4 Paul is talking position - standing - ( Your standing = Adult child - adopted -heir)

1)  In Romans 8 He is talking primarily of experience


D) In other words, until you begin to live in the fullness of the Spirit of God, you are like a minor child who has  not yet entered into his inheritance

1)  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God these, are sons of God.


E) The Son & the Child are the same but the difference is the Son has begun to possess & enjoy his inheritance !



Example : I have a decent Library of books in my office - I own them all and I have read many of them .

A) But I haven’t possessed them all - there are principles and truths found in many of them that I am still praying through -


B) Still need to become a reality in my life .


C) Take the Bible I have read the whole Bible - but have I possessed the whole Bible ? No

1)  Many books that I still wrestle w/ - many principle that are definitely apart of my life . /


2)  Hopefully we are coming to possess Romans


D) Paul says maturity becomes a reality- when we move from that place of position & standing as it relates to our inheritance to experiencing

1)  When we are walking in / living by depending on the spirit


E) Being sensitive to the leading of Christ - being open to the movement of Christ - becoming more like Christ though the work of His spirit in me!

Heb.5:14  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.


F)  So walking according to the Spirit results in a new mindset / new use for my members - my flesh -

1)  and it is the mark of those who are becoming mature in Christ



SO Paul says we haven’t received a Spirit of bondage again to fear

but you received the spirit of adoption - cry Abba Father

A) What a striking contrast this is that Paul is describing - on one side you have bondage & fear - our life outside of Christ


B) Afraid of God - in bondage to sin -bound to the law but we are no longer in bondage but now we are in relationship

1)  No longer need to be afraid - fear of doing wrong thing / not doing enough / doing to little


C) Not a spirit of fear but of intimacy cry Abba - daddy

          1) Thus walking in the Spirit - results in an intimacy & a confidence


D) Paul told Timothy 2 Tim. 2:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.



Now Why can this be our focus in life & in ministry ? Answer is simple it is the very description of our Lord Jesus Christ

A) I think these 2 verses gives us a good description of what He was like His heart - attitude /


B) His life was marked by an intimacy w/ the father - a boldness & power in ministry / of love for others / & of a soundness of mind that was incredible


C) And The very life He lived He now lives through us so that as we walk in the Spirit - these same traits can mark our lives


As you read through the record of the life of Jesus, you are struck with that remarkable life that he lived --


     The compelling power of his words,

     The tenderness of his actions,

     The courage and manliness of his deeds,

     His keen insight into human nature,

     The marvelous calm and poise that was his in every circumstance,

     The unforgettable impact that he made upon everyone.


A) What is the secret of a life like that ? What are the hidden resources of this

sinless life, mighty in word and deed?


B) Was it because he was himself the Son of God, God the Son now come

into human flesh? Is his deity the reason he had such a wonderful life?


C) Well, the strange thing is, as you read through the Gospels, you discover that the one thing he kept saying about himself was that he himself was nothing


D) When they challenged him about his healing of the impotent man, he said, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do"


E) And when they challenged him on the judgment that he passed, he said, "I can of my own self do nothing"  Jn.5:30

F)  Over and over this was his continual plea -- that, as the Son, he did nothing.



Then, toward the end He gathered with his disciples in the Upper Room, as he in the very shadow of the cross, was before Him

A) he spoke to them about leaving them and going to the Father, they

were very disturbed.


B) They said, "Well, where is the Father?" They were thinking in terms of space and time.

1)  They thought, "The Son is here, the Father is somewhere up there."


C) And, you remember, Philip voiced the words of all the disciples when he said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it will be enough for us"

1)  "open the heavens and give us one glimpse of God, and then we will be able to face the world with confidence, even though you are gone"



D) Do you remember what he said? He said, "He that has seen me has seen the Father" {John 14:9 }.

1) "I and my Father are one" {John 10:30 KJV}.


Now, if that were all that he said, we might think that what he meant was that he and the Father were the same person. (There are some people who have taken those words in that sense.)


A) But he didn't stop there; he went on. He said to them, 10  "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.

11  "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me,


B) The great secret was out at last. You see, in all that wonderful ministry of his, he was simply living in fellowship with an indwelling Father.


C) And He shows us, in his life, that man was intended to be a son of God like that.  ( Brought in as adult Sons - blessings & resources available )


The true son is one who himself is nothing, but who lives in continual dependence upon an indwelling one within who does everything -- both of them distinct beings, both of them thinking, and feeling, and willing, and

acting -- yet one is nothing and the other is all.



D) Jesus told His disciples after the Resurrection JN20:21 "As the Father has sent me, even so send I you"  then He breathed on them and said receive ye the H.S. -

1) Receive the Spirit of life in Christ /  so that "as the Father lived in the   Son, so Christ lives in the believer today").


The same wonderful secret that made him mighty in word and deed is the same secret that is available to every believer in Jesus Christ .

A) The Son Shine is in us - Spirit of life in Christ - H.S. /


B) His life comes out of us as we learn to walk in depend upon / live according to the H.S.


C) Reflect Jesus - ( Power love sound mind - full of grace & truth