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Sermon 29 Romans 8 verses 14 thru 17 The Spirit of adoption

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Bible Text: Romans 8:14-17

Subject: Adoption

Title: The Spirit Of Adoption


Biblical Orientation:

Chapter 8 introduces us to the powerful potential we have to conquer sin through the Holy Spirit. Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are alive in the Spirit of God. We now have the Spirit of Christ in us (Holy Ghost) and we are in Him

The last sermon ended with the fact that; we are not at all obligated to the flesh, to live after the dictates and desires of the flesh. In fact, we are to mortify the deeds of the flesh that are contrary to the Holiness of God and the will of God. Through the help of the Holy Spirit, we mortify the evil deeds of the flesh

Our obligation is to the Holy Spirit, which has translated us from death to life It is to be a constant obligation. In other words, if you through the power of the Spirit kill the sinful desires of the flesh today, that is wonderful. Nevertheless, be ready! You must do it again tomorrow!

Sermon Orientation:

Notice yet another aspect of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. This one is a great blessing, as well. The Spirit of God in us gives us a wonderful position as children of God. Therefore, we will study “The Spirit of Adoption”



A. Keeping The Verse In Context

1. These verses teach about the fact that God’s children have promises that cannot be broken

a. They are led by the Spirit of God

b. They are the Child of God

2. It appears the intent is to give assurance to those who are God’s child

3. The Holy Spirit in us, proves to us that we know Christ

B. What Does It Mean To Be Led By His Spirit?

1. There are two things we need to notice:

a. First, the word “are,” as God’s child, you have the Holy Spirit at all times to lead

i. He will and is leading you now
ii. He will lead you in the future

b. Second, He leads, you are being led, not leading yourself when you place yourself in God’s hands

2. The possibilities of the leading of the Holy Spirit

a. The idea of carrying and bearing along

i. The Spirit leads the believer and carries him through the trials of this life
ii. He bears the believer up, carrying him over the corruptions of this world

b. The idea of leading and guiding along

i. The Spirit leads and guides the believer along the way of righteousness and truth
ii. He guides the believer by moving in advance and going ahead of him, He blazes the path, making sure the believer knows where to walk
ü John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come

c. There is the idea of bringing along to an end or a destination

i. The Spirit directs the believer where to go and how to get there
ii. He actually brings the believer to his destined end
iii. The Spirit actually becomes involved in the life of the believer, directing him to live righteously and conforming him to the image of Christ
iv. He leads the believer to his destined end, that is, to heaven, to live eternally in the presence of God Himself

3. No matter which aspect, it always means to guide or to show the way

a. The Spirit of God does not force us

b. However, He certainly will make His presence felt, drawing us to do God’s will


A. Believers Have Not Received The Spirit Of Bondage Again To Fear

1. Primarily this was written for the Jews who knew what it was to live under the bondage of the law

a. The law was a hard task-master, because the Jews never knew the purpose of the law

b. They thought they would be made righteous by keeping the law and lived in constant fear (a spirit of fear) of violating the law

2. Paul teaches, as believers, you have not walked into more bondage and fear

a. As a matter of fact, this relationship is totally different

b. The same Spirit that leads your life is there to give you assurance of this relationship

c. His purpose is to Comfort God’s children

ü 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind

B. The Believer Has Received The Spirit Of Adoption

1. A note about the word “adoption”

a. How we presently use the word adoption is a little different than how it was used in Paul’s time

b. We generally use the word as meaning a child has a set of parents but through a legal process is going to be given different parents

c. That is our definition of adoption, but the adoption process meant something different to the Roman culture

d. Since Rome is where Paul sent the letter, we need to understand the use in the Roman sense

2. Their meaning of adoption

a. From two Greek words - υἱός- adult son, τίθημι- to set, to place, to put

i. Placed in a position as one’s own child, sonship[1]
ii. To formally and legally declare that someone who is not one’s own child is henceforth to be treated and cared for as one’s own child, including complete rights of inheritance[2]

b. We have received the Spirit, who has placed us into God’s family

c. We were aliens to God and He saved us

i. He took us from the family of the lost and brought us lovingly into His family
ii. Technically we entered His family by the spiritual birth

d. As soon as we were born of God, He gave us His Spirit (8:9) and His Spirit gave us our place as adult sons

3. This is made more clear by explanation of a Roman custom

a. A son was under constant care and tutorship until he reached 21 years of age

b. When he reached 21, the father would go to a public place and hold an “adoption” ceremony

c. He would place a certain ornament on him and declare, “This is my son who is a man”

d. Of course, the youth had always been his son

i. However he then took his place as an adult son with all the privileges of inheritance and authority
ii. We can be sure this is what Paul had in mind here

4. Just think what this means to a believer

a. For example, at this point in my life, I have been saved for 21 years

b. Someone else is here who has been saved less time

i. Because we both received the same Holy Spirit of Adoption, I hold no higher standing with God than he/she does
ii. We have both been placed as adult sons
iii. Salvation and the Holy Spirit has given us the same rights and privileges

5. “Whereby we cry, Abba, Father”

a. In other words, we are not strangers, but close intimate sons of God

b. Whereas the Jews of the Old Testament would not even speak or write the name of God for fear and awe, we who have received the Spirit of adoption may address Him as “Abba, Father,” a close, intimate term


A. We Who Believe In God’s Son Have God’s Witness In Us

1. The tense of this verb reveals a continuous action

a. We can sing “no never alone” because the Child of God always has the Holy Spirit in them

b. The Holy Spirit continuously testifies to us

2. The Spirit of God tells our spirit that we are God’s child

a. It is Spirit to spirit because it takes the spiritual nature of man to communicate with the Spirit of God

b. The person who knows Christ as their Savior has the Spirit of God in them

c. The Spirit of God continuously testifies that they are part of God’s family

3. The purpose of the Holy Spirit regarding Scripture: When you read Scripture and commune with God, His Spirit says in your heart, “You are God’s child. His Word is truth. This is for you, I love you…”

B. As Adopted Children We Have The Inheritance Of Christ

1. We will receive a portion of all God has

a. Our share is equal to all other shares

b. Your inheritance is sure

i. This can be a hard concept for us
ii. Most of us have said, ‘nothing’s forever;’ but in the case of God, it is!

2. If so be that we suffer with him

a. This does not mean you have to physically suffer to inherit

b. Philippians 3:9-10 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death

3. Through this fellowship we will be glorified with Christ, that must be part of the inheritance


Do Not Be A Wayward Child

I had a good friend in High School that was adopted

He thought of nothing else but to find his family

The whole time, he overlooked two loving parents that gave him a real family

We have been adopted into the greatest family there is, we should never take a spiritual vacation

Be A Grateful Child

The grateful child continues to praise their adoption

The grateful child speaks highly of their Father

The grateful child is a blessing to the family


Therefore, we need to make sure we are led by the Spirit in all things. What we have received and what we have promised to us is of value beyond compare. Gratefulness should be a trait of the adopted child

Make sure you carry the Spirit of adoption


[1]Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.) (DBLG 5625). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2]Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996, c1989). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.) (1:463-464). New York: United Bible societies.

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