Nations Day 10 I Am Daughter: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) What is the difference between living in the flesh versus living in the Spirit? (verse 13)

2) What is the spirit of slavery? (verse 15)

3) How does the Spirit communicate the adoption to our spirits? (verse 16)

Romans 8:12-17

12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, 13 because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Original Intent

1) What is the difference between living in the flesh versus living in the Spirit? (verse 13)
For Roman citizens dwelling at the center of the Roman empire, “living in the flesh” and indulging its desires through self-worship and innumerable gods was simply part of life. To intentionally lay aside a society that catered to every fleshly whim was an act of defiance to the Roman gods and the culture that worshipped them. In order to fully understand the proclamation that we are no longer debtors to the flesh, but to the Spirit, we need to read previous chapters in Romans. In Romans 6, Paul declares we have died to sin. Just as Christ was buried in death, so are we buried spiritually through baptism. “Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” (Romans 6:3) Baptism requires us to rise from the waters just like Christ rose from the dead. Christ conquered death for the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life! (Romans 6:4)And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.” (Roman 8:11) When we make decisions that run contrary to God’s Word, and His Spirit living inside us, this is “living in the flesh”. To continue participating in a living death, despite the Spirit of God indwelling a believer, is an act of rebellion to the holy God who died for our sins. “So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:12-13)

2) What is the spirit of slavery? (verse 15)
During Roman times, the persona of a slave gradually became “synonymous with the true nature of the individual”. The then-common phrase, “Servus non habet personam” translates to “a slave has no persona”. (Marcel Mauss) In essence, slaves had no personality and neither owned his own body nor had a family history or even a name. (Slavery in Ancient Rome) To be classified as a slave in ancient Rome was to be branded as non-human, equivalent to property, and stripped of all dignity leaving a person as a mere object for a master’s use. Slaves were powerless to request assistance or favor, and if they dared ask, they understood they could be punished. To be a slave was to live in fear. In stark contrast, Paul says all believers in Jesus have not received the spirit of slavery leading to fear. Instead, we have received the spirit of adoption which includes the right to call out, “Abba, Father.” (verse 15) In Rome, the male head of the household, paterfamilias, handled matters of adoption. The legal act of adoption resulted in immediate transfer of power, status, and heritage to the adoptee. (Adoption In Ancient Rome) Paul used the cultural example of adoption to help his audience understand the status change for someone who turns from sin and trusts Jesus as their Savior. The Christian is no longer a slave to sin, they have become an adopted member of God’s household! As adopted children, fear no longer rules the relationship between God and us; He is loving Father, not vengeful! “For through faith you are all sons of God in Christ Jesus!” (Galatians 3:26)

3) How does the Spirit communicate the adoption to our spirits? (verse 16)
The Holy Spirit will never force Himself on someone to possess a believer in the same way a demonic spirit would possess an unbeliever. Instead, He works with us and moves according to our obedience to His instructions. The more we surrender to Him, the more God works in us to free us from sin and unleash His power in our lives. “So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (verses 12-13) This idea of living free reminds us of Eden and the original blueprint for mankind. We were originally designed to walk in fellowship with God unhindered by sin. Adam and Eve, the original human children of God, lived and flowed through life as members of the household of God. What was stolen away because of our sin nature, is restored by Christ’s sacrifice when He paid the blood price for all sin. His sacrifice affords each of us the opportunity to return to Eden by enjoying direct fellowship with God if we accept Him as our Lord. This access required us to put sin away so we are free to walk in the light. “God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him. 6 If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” and yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. 7 If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7) No other elohim (gods) offers its worshippers adoption. Yet, the Almighty One has redeemed humanity to offer adoption into His family as His own sons and daughters!

Everyday Application

1) What is the difference between living in the flesh versus living in the Spirit? (verse 13)
I wake up most mornings with a choice on how to start my day. Beside my bed, my phone vibrates with its alarm to wake me from my sleep. Beside my phone sits my Bible. Naturally, I reach for my phone to silence the alarm before it wakes my kids. My alarm is intentionally early so I can have a few minutes of calm before “mommy mode”. With my alarm silenced, I usually check my email and Google homepage to catch the latest news. I wonder what’s going on with Facebook friends and check in for recent “likes” from previous posts. My timeline feed is filled with politics, life, dating, and distractions from people and advertisements, all tailored to keep my attention on my phone. Before I realize it, my extra hour has gone by quickly while my Bible remains unopened. I made the choice to feed my flesh instead of my spirit. This is just one way we fall into habits that make it difficult to live in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit requires discipline to say no to junk that feeds our sinful nature. For me, choosing to gorge on the internet, with all of its division, hatred, lust, and entertainment feeds my sinful nature. Paul says in order to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions, then we should not offer ourselves up to sinful opportunities as instruments for unrighteousness. (Romans 6:12-13) Instead, if we choose to offer ourselves up to God as those who have been brought from death to life, then we must give ourselves over to opportunities for righteousness as often as possible. One way I can fight against flesh is to put my phone down and reach for the Words of Life sitting on my nightstand. What will you do?!

2) What is the spirit of slavery? (verse 15)
For most of us, it is difficult to comprehend the biblical concept of slavery or a spirit of slavery. How does one relate to a Roman slave forced to obey their master’s commands? Paul gives this example to explain how sin works in our flesh; because there is nothing new under the sun, the struggle with sin is something relatable for all people. Our sin addiction could be food, pride, gossip, alcohol, drugs, lying, thievery, pleasure, pornography, or even laziness. At some point, we all have fallen prey to sin and continue to offer ourselves to the master of sin, Satan. Sin eventually takes control of our lives through our desire for more, and these vices cause us to obey its promptings, enslaving us. As believers in Jesus, slavery to sin creates a tortured existence because the Word of God commands us to reject sin’s pull and the Spirit living within us teaches us to flee sinful desires because sin separates us from God. If we ignore the Spirit’s call to reject sin, we will gradually separate from God and cease fellowship with Him and other believers, becoming isolated in our sin. Instead of maintaining the mindset of being adopted and having access to God’s power to flee sin, we begin thinking and acting like a slave, afraid of the God we have been freed to call “Abba, Father”. Instead, we shamefully hide from Him like Adam and Eve, “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” (Genesis 3:8-10)

3) How does the Spirit communicate the adoption to our spirits? (verse 16)
Good parents are committed to raising children, and investing in them, from infancy until the day that parent departs this world. Loving parents ensure their children know how deeply their children are cared for and loved. A good parent actively guides children through each stage of life from infancy to adulthood. As the child ages, the nature of the parent-child relationship changes with the parent revealing more of their heart and secret wisdom on how to navigate life. At the end of their days, a good parent leaves a will dictating the terms of the children’s inheritance to further support them in life. God does the same thing with us except His legacy of love began with His death on the cross. His death created the New Covenant which is His will (inheritance) for those adopted into the household of God. The New Covenant lays says we have been predestined for adoption into the household of God through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of His will. (Ephesians 1:3-6) As a result of our adoption, His Holy Spirit is given to us as a guaranteed promise of our coming inheritance. From then on, God begins teaching us, just like a parent would, on how to live our everyday lives inside the very life of Christ. Starting at our new birth in Jesus, we mature from babes in Christ to full grown adults. (1 Peter 2:2, Colossians 1:28) Slowly, over the journey of a lifetime, we begin reaching maturity in Christ, leaving the elementary teachings and enjoying the depth of rich relationship with Jesus as He has shaped us into His image. (Hebrews 6:1-2, Romans 8:29) The Lord has not left as orphans or slaves! He has sent Jesus to free us and His Spirit to guide us and to lead us into all truth, just like a loving faithful parent would do for their child. (John 16:13) Because He died for me, and I have trusted Him as my Savior and adopted Father, I Am His Daughter! We, as daughters of His, should take our rightful places as members of the household of God, rejecting sin, fear, and shame and living free in the life He has marked out for us!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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