[The index for the series is here.]
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(NET) Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear18, but you received the Spirit of adoption19, by whom20 we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness to21 our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)22 – if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him.
18 tn Grk “slavery again to fear.”
19 tn The Greek term υἱοθεσία (Juioqesia) was originally a legal technical term for adoption as a son with full rights of inheritance. BDAG 1024 s.v. notes, “a legal t.t. of ‘adoption’ of children, in our lit., i.e. in Paul, only in a transferred sense of a transcendent filial relationship between God and humans (with the legal aspect, not gender specificity, as major semantic component).”
20 tn Or “in that.”
21 tn Or possibly “with.” ExSyn 160-61, however, notes the following: “At issue, grammatically, is whether the Spirit testifies alongside of our spirit (dat. of association), or whether he testifies to our spirit (indirect object) that we are God’s children. If the former, the one receiving this testimony is unstated (is it God? or believers?). If the latter, the believer receives the testimony and hence is assured of salvation via the inner witness of the Spirit. The first view has the advantage of a σύν- (sun-) prefixed verb, which might be expected to take an accompanying dat. of association (and is supported by NEB, JB, etc.). But there are three reasons why πνεύματι (pneumati) should not be taken as association: (1) Grammatically, a dat. with a σύν- prefixed verb does not necessarily indicate association. This, of course, does not preclude such here, but this fact at least opens up the alternatives in this text. (2) Lexically, though συμμαρτυρέω (summarturew) originally bore an associative idea, it developed in the direction of merely intensifying μαρτυρέω (marturew). This is surely the case in the only other NT text with a dat. (Rom 9:1). (3) Contextually, a dat. of association does not seem to support Paul’s argument: ‘What standing has our spirit in this matter? Of itself it surely has no right at all to testify to our being sons of God’ [C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:403]. In sum, Rom 8:16 seems to be secure as a text in which the believer’s assurance of salvation is based on the inner witness of the Spirit. The implications of this for one’s soteriology are profound: The objective data, as helpful as they are, cannot by themselves provide assurance of salvation; the believer also needs (and receives) an existential, ongoing encounter with God’s Spirit in order to gain that familial comfort.”
22 tn Grk “on the one hand, heirs of God; on the other hand, fellow heirs with Christ.” Some prefer to render v. 17 as follows: “And if children, then heirs – that is, heirs of God. Also fellow heirs with Christ if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him.” Such a translation suggests two distinct inheritances, one coming to all of God’s children, the other coming only to those who suffer with Christ. The difficulty of this view, however, is that it ignores the correlative conjunctions μέν…δέ (men…de, “on the one hand…on the other hand”): The construction strongly suggests that the inheritances cannot be separated since both explain “then heirs.” For this reason, the preferred translation puts this explanation in parentheses.
- Those led by the Spirit are sons of God. (vs. 14)
- The Spirit frees us from the life of slavery that leads to fear.
- The Spirit brings us into being “adopted” by God.
- The Spirit creates personal intimacy with God.
- The Spirit testifies with our spirit: we are God’s children.
- If “children”—then “heirs”: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ
- We share in His suffering and we share in His glory.
- God’s “children”—and also “heirs of God”
- All God’s children are “heirs”
- The poor of this world inherit the richest inheritance
- Our inheritance is eternal and imperishable (1 Peter 1:3‐5)
- Begins with our needs met on earth (Phil. 4:6,19)
- But the greatest part is yet to come (Phil. 1:23)
- Full possession when Christ appears (1 Peter 1:13)
- New bodies in a new creation (1 Cor. 15:42‐44, 49; Rom 8:23)
- Fully purchased by the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:15‐18)
- A gift of God’s eternal predestination and purpose (Eph. 1:11)
- The Spirit given as a “deposit” and “guarantee” (Eph. 1:13‐14)
- Enjoyed in fullness after faith, patience and struggle (Rev. 21:7)
1 John 3:1-2: (See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children – and indeed we are! For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know him. Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.
- “Heirs of God”—and also “co‐heirs with Christ”
“Sufferings” and “glory":
- How do I view suffering?
- What happens to me when I suffer? Good or bad?
- What is the long term result of suffering in my life?