Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, "Abba, Father."
Romans 6-8 provides one of the best explanations on the power of the Gospel for changing one’s life. Even with the clarity of this writing you are still left with some questions on how a sinner is transformed to one who lives righteously. As a young Christian of three years I memorized the book of Romans. It was the most revelatory thing I have done as a Christian. Even with my deepened understanding of faith from this experience, I still struggled with a Biblical understanding of transformation.
I have come to the belief that this struggle of understanding transformation exists because sin still exists within this precious body of mine! Transformation requires more than Biblical knowledge, but rather Biblical knowledge that is rooted in the power of your sonship in Christ.
Between the incredible statements of what God has done in your Christian life and the battle of living your life in Christ exists the need for faith. Faith is the atomic bomb that transforms a Christian’s life in their battle with righteousness and sin.
Romans 6:19 describes how to close the gulf between sin and righteousness: “I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.”
This transition from being a slave to sin to being captured by righteousness and holiness occurs through faith. Faith is that cataclysmic moment that is described in Romans 5:10`, “For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!”
It is this moment of reconciliation that says no to sin and yes to God. It is this moment of resolution that says that God is not only bigger than sin, but better than sin. It is this moment of stepping by faith into the bounty of your sonship in Christ to declaring not self-righteousness or self-confidence, but faith in God’s work on the cross, and the Holy Spirit’s power to lift you not just up, but out of sin’s morass.
Yes, the one that saved you can also transform you. Envision the prodigal son’s face when he experienced Luke 15:20: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Own this verse when you are confronted between choosing sin or the love of your Father in heaven! God’s love for you is so great that He meets you with open arms when you come to Him in faith!
The faith that transcends the gulf between sin and Sonship is defined in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” This step of faith into the unknown becomes the reality of experiencing God.
It is amazing how Paul could say in Romans 7:25, “Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!” while continuing to write with uncertainty. Paul fully recognized the ever-present danger of sin in Romans 7:21-23, “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.”
By faith Paul proclaimed in Romans 8:1-2 his sonship to Christ while drawing on the power of the Holy Spirit to close this divide, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Faith and affirmation of God’s work in making you His son provides the power, freedom, and fruit of all God has for you!
Romans 8:3-4 “For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so, He condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”
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