Children of God

“Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”
Romans 8:12-14 NLT

Paul referred to the Roman Christians as his “dear brothers and sisters”. He hadn’t met any of them but he spoke of a bond that was not bounded by geographical distance. Instead he knew that he was united with the Christians in Rome just as he was related to his own family back in Tarsus. Such a bold statement might have been a bit strange to those early Christians, so Paul continued to develop the family theme.

From the black and white, hard hitting, teaching of the previous chapters, Paul was now much more conciliatory in tone, appealing to his dear friends. Once again he gently pointed out that sin leads to death, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, sin is instead put to death, resulting in life. Life in the Spirit, not life controlled by sin. 

But we should note a little word used by Paul, a word of profound importance to pilgrims, just as much then as it is today. The word, “if”. We have a choice. We can discard a life of sin, or we can live a life powered by the Holy Spirit. A simple but profound choice. But one with equally profound outcomes. 

Paul’s writings next dropped a bombshell of seismic proportions on his audience. If we are led by the Spirit then we become God’s children. If true, then this must be one of the most important and significant events this planet has ever seen. But we must accept that this is an amazing truth, one we cannot ignore. But the logical question then is whose children are we if we don’t live a life led by the Holy Spirit? Of course, we are referring here to spiritual children, not to our physical origins. And in that perspective, we are either children of God or children of the devil. I John 3:10, “So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God”. 

So we pilgrims have another message for this lost, confused, chaotic and dying world around us. We are spiritual beings, members of one of two families. I know which of them I would rather belong to! Perhaps we need to ask our friends and families which family they want to be a part of.

Dear Father. How amazing it is that You want us imperfect humans to be part of Your family. Thank You! Amen.

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