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The one verse in this passage that succinctly sums up what Paul is saying is verse 14 – “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”
There are eight “if” statements in these nine verses. Paul is helping his readers to know whether they are indeed believers. He spells out a spiritual litmus test – if these certain things are true then you pass the test and you are children of God. His bottom line is this: If you are led by the Spirit of God then you are a child of God.
We live in a culture where people like to say that they are Christians but not act like they are Christians. People claim to be “saved” if they once upon a time mouthed the words “invite Jesus into my life.” Paul is saying that it is much more than this. Those who are truly children of God are actually led daily by the Spirit of God. What does this mean?
John Piper puts it this way: “It is to be moved by the Spirit to kill sin by trusting in the superior worth of our Father’s love. When you fight sin by trusting in Christ as superior to what sin offers, you are being led by the Spirit.”
So… if you are not growing in holiness, if you are living sinfully and selfishly without regard to God or His Word, if you can sin and not feel the least bit convicted – then be sure that you are NOT a child of God… no matter how many times you might have invited Jesus into your life. Becoming a child of God is not a matter of the mouth and saying a few “magic” words. It is a matter of the heart and a work of transformation that God does when He rescues His children out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Next Week’s Passage: Romans 8:18-25
Memory Verses: Romans 8: 1-17