So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
I like the way that Nathan Nettleton translates this passage into Australian idiom…
The truth is, brothers and sisters, that we owe nothing to the preoccupations of our former life. We need no longer have our lives dictated by the mindless pursuit of fashionable dreams and selfish desires. After all, the attraction was fatal. But thanks to God’s Spirit, we can now be rid of all that — give it a decent burial and get on with our new lives. All those who dance to the Spirit’s tune are God’s beloved children. We were not sold into slavery where we would grovel timidly in the dust, afraid to put a foot wrong. Rather we were adopted into a family full of love and joy. Like eager children crying, “Daddy! Mummy!” we come running to God, and with loving arms, God’s Spirit gathers us up, demonstrating clearly to whom we belong. And since we are children of God, we are actually on the same footing as Christ. With him we will inherit all that has been kept in trust for God’s children. But we have to take the good with the bad, and we know the price he paid. We need to be willing to cop it on the chin with him now if we want to share the glory with him later.
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