“Wrestling With Romans”
Spirit Controlled Living (Chapter 8 Verses 1-17)
The Spirit’s ministering to you, leading you into great and greater freedom, is a sign of what you really are (v14), a son, daughter of God. The more we are submitted to the Spirit’s control, the more we are able to do the Spirit’s will, and the greater, the deeper will be our assurance of being family. Perhaps the reason we so often lack assurance is due to the fact that we are not surrendered in our minds to him (Joshua 24.23). It is a certain fact that one of the areas of the Spirit’s leading is the dealing with of sin (v13), refusal to surrender to him here, results in his being offended (1Thessalonians 5.19). Of course there are ways in which we can extinguish the Spirit’s fire within us. You can do it by leaning upon your own cleverness, rather than God’s word (1Corinthians 2.1-3). You can do it by going against the plain honest to goodness teaching of the word of God, when you know without doubt what is required of you. You can do it by following others, instead of following Jesus. As a Christian what did you think of Dolly, you know, the first sheep that was cloned in Scotland a few years back now? Not to happy I guess? Neither was I. Yet we as Christians are cloning all the time. We produce exact replicas of other Christians, or of other Churches. Why can you not be a Spirit-led Christian? The person, or the Church that God wants you to be, and by being conformed to the likeness of Jesus. When you imitate other believers or Churches all you do is copy their mistakes and errors, and probably add to them. Where the Spirit is, there is freedom (2Corinthians 3.17), freedom to follow Jesus, and to be the person and the Church he has made us and wants us to be. To be Spirit-led is to be Spirit-controlled, as long as you or some other human being is in control, he is not.
The Holy Spirit is God’s agent to lead God’s children into obedience (Romans 6.16). A Spirit-led person’s led by his word, he is it’s author, so to be led by some other spirit (teaching, influence), or simply pleasing themselves, well they clearly are not children of God, they are still slaves to the sinful nature. For the Holy Spirit will always lead us away from ourselves, will always lead to Jesus Christ, and to being more like him. He leads us to the truth of God’s word (John 14.26), from which we get our standard for a life of holiness (Romans 15.16), terminating in the glory of heaven. We are born of the Spirit (John 3.3), taught by the Spirit (1Corinthians 2.13), led by the Spirit (v14), empowered by the Spirit, gifted by the Spirit 1Corinthians 14.1), counselled by the Spirit, God’s agent. If not? Then we are not family (v9b).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)