If God’s forgiveness and eternal life are a free gift from God in Jesus, am I then free to sin as much as I like? After all, I’m forgiven anyway! Here Paul says why we’re not free to sin as much as we like.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
“Abba” was a term that Jewish children used like our children say, “Daddy!” Yet with deep respect for their father as well. Paul says that the message of the cross of Jesus creates a new relationship between us and God. Instead of the fear of death and judgement, we become God’s adopted and loved sons and daughters (“sonship” was a technical inheritance term that applied to both men and women in Paul’s day). If God is now our loving Father, won’t we want to please him in all that we do? What better Father could we have than God? In Jesus, he’s guaranteed his relationship with us, forgiven us and granted us eternal life. With a relationship like that wouldn’t you want to “put to death the misdeeds of the body” as Paul says in verse 13? Wouldn’t you even be willing to suffer as a follower of Jesus, as Paul says in verse 17?
Let’s come again to the foot of the cross of Jesus and rejoice in how much the Father loves us. Motivated by that love, let’s cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. Let’s put off evil ways and replace them with those ways of living and speaking that please our loving Father.
Head: Do I see that the message of the cross of Jesus creates a new relationship between me and God, of loved son or daughter?
Heart: In my inner most thoughts I now pause and see myself before God at the foot of the cross of Jesus, and I rejoice in how much the Father loves me.
Hands: How might I cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s work in my life today? How might I put off evil ways and replace them with those ways of living and speaking that please my loving Father?
Prayer: Loving Father, I thank you for the message of the cross of Jesus that has created a new relationship between me and you, that I can truly call you “my Father”. I rejoice before you as I think of the cross of Jesus, I rejoice in knowing how much you my Father love me. Please open my eyes today to see how I might cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s work in putting off evil ways and replacing them with those ways of living and speaking that please you, my loving Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
A song to listen to: The Love of the Father
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of the Must See Passages series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.