For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. – Rom. 8:14 KJV
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The writing of thirteen to fourteen books of the New Testaments has been attributed to the Apostle Paul with one of them being his letter to the Romans. The crux of the argument of the Apostle Paul in this letter was to let all know that no one will be declared righteous by human efforts at observing the law as all continue to sin and fall short of the glory of God and so all such actions are like filthy rags – Isa. 64:6; Rom. 3:10. That even then, it is still possible to live the life of a righteous person if one accesses the righteousness of God which is available through Faith in Christ Jesus – Rom. 3:21-26. This grace allows man to escape the wages of sin committed in flesh but enjoy the reward of a righteous life that comes with honestly accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour. This makes the Holy Spirit available to such a person and it is with the Holy Spirit that such a life is able to continually avoid further acts of transgression that can lead to sin and death. The salvation obtained at that point will no longer be due to the human effort put in by the one who wants to obey all the laws but by the grace that came through Christ Jesus, and whoever desires this grace will have to operate in the Holy Spirit. It is simply not possible to live the life of Grace in Christ Jesus without being led by the Holy Spirit.
That remains the basis of his assertion that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus as they will be walking according to the direction of the Holy Spirit and not by their five senses or any other directive – Rom. 8:1 KJV. This is because the Holy Spirit is the mind of God and all who take directives from him are actually taking direction from the Almighty God (1Cor. 2:11), but it will be impossible to operate in the Holy Spirit without being baptised in the Holy Spirit and this will occur only after accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour – Acts 2:38. Operation in the Holy Spirit is able to enable the Christian have access to this grace because, it is able to provide direction for the one that is guided by him through the wisdom of the one who is the omniscient God.
The Apostle Paul makes it clear that;
1. To operate in the Holy Spirit is to acquire the ability to avoid actions based on carnal desires – Rom. 8:5. Such a person is able to over-ride human sentiments and work completely in the perfect Will of the Almighty God.
2. To operate in the Holy Spirit is to access life and peace as against death that is the consequence of carnally minded – Rom. 8:6. No doubt that most desires of the flesh run contrary to divine standards and the one that implements those desires will always find him/her self on the path of destruction unlike try one that seeks to operate in the Will of God as provided by the Holy Spirit, which in turn leads to salvation.
3. To operate in the Holy Spirit is to be a friend of God and be able to please Him unlike the carnally minded person who will always be an enemy of God – Rom. 8:7-8. Of course doing the Will of God makes such a person a friend of God unlike the one that acts contrary to His wish.
He went further to state that the presence of the Holy Spirit in an individual is the evidence of Christ in such a person and such may be dead body-wise because of sin, but is alive spiritually due to the righteousness conferred by the indwelling Holy Spirit – Rom. 8:9-10. Such may be dead due to sin committed even after accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour because as Paul himself put it, the pull to sin by the flesh makes it impossible for him to successfully avoid sin completely but at that point, it is no longer him that is sinking but the sin that is in him since he has no intention whatsoever to be involved with sin – Rom. 7:17-20; Gal. 2:20. Even the mortal body that is dead to sin will also be quickened by the one that raised Jesus Christ from dead if the Christian operates in the Holy Spirit so it is not going to be about a saved soul only but also an active body that will not be tied down by the effect of sin with several challenges including health and similar physical limitations – Rom. 8:11. So the life in spirit does not only guarantee saved soul but also a healthy body denied of all the negative effects of sin and all other actions that operating in carnal desires always present.
In the light of this great advantage that life in the Holy Spirit gives to the one who makes such choice, the Apostle Paul advises the Christian to owe nothing to flesh and remain indebted to living life in the Holy Spirit because as he put it in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s devotional, only people who remain indebted to living a life directed by the Holy Spirit can be regarded and accepted as the Children of God – Rom. 8:12-14 KJV.
So it is not about how you describe yourself but about the basis of the actions you take. Verbal pronouncements and description of oneself as a child of God will be meaningless if there is evidence that actions taken by such is not a product of the directives of the Almighty God as communicated through the Holy Spirit. Should the Christian today desire to be a true Child of God and desire to be seen as such, then such should do everything right and necessary to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit and yield to his directives in all that is to be done. That is when such can indeed be called the child of God. May God enable us to live a life that qualifies us to be so regarded not just by men but by Himself in Jesus name. Amen.