Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity – Wednesday
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. – Romans 8:14
Dear Christian! May God prevent that you be seduced to live according to the desires of your flesh, according to your old Adam, according to the evil lust that dwells within you; for if you live so, you are lost. Earlier in Romans 8, the Apostle Paul declared to his fellow believers: “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die [spiritual and eternal death will come]; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live [the spiritual and eternal life which we already have will continue forever]” (Romans 8:12-13).
With the aid of the Holy Spirit that “dwelleth in you” (I Corinthians 3:16), working through His Word, you are equipped to mortify, to keep on killing, to keep on crucifying (Galatians 5:24), to keep on knocking out your old Adam. Does this – your work of daily mortifying, daily killing, daily crucifying, daily knocking out your wicked flesh – save you? By no means! You are saved solely by God’s grace, for Christ’s sake, “through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
By mortifying, by crucifying your old Adam with the daily aid of the Holy Spirit working through His Word in your heart and life, you prove yourself to be a believing child of God. The children whom God has received through grace have this disposition, this God-given disposition, that, led and moved by the Holy Spirit, working through His Word, they mortify, they knock out the old Adam and gladly and willingly serve their heavenly Father according to their “new man” (Ephesians 4:24). “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons [the children] of God” (Romans 8:14). And this leading of the Holy Spirit, by His Word, is no slavish constraint and compulsion, so that you must live in continuous dread and be full of trembling, like those who are under the Law and know nothing of grace. No! No! This leading of the Holy Spirit is a sweet and childlike impulse within you which causes you to say: “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15); gladly will I renounce sin and serve Thee, but do help me! And when the Holy Ghost so leads you, He always bears witness to you through the Word of grace that you are a child of God, His dearly beloved child, whom He has received into His gracious arms, and that you have forgiveness of sins from Him and are an heir of eternal salvation through your dear Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:16-17).
Is not this a most precious truth? Being a child of God, are you not glad to have the Holy Spirit lead you each day through His Word of never-changing truth and everlasting grace in Christ Jesus?
PRAYER – O Holy Spirit, continue to guide and direct my life with the light and lamp of Thy Word, preserving me in the saving faith in Christ until the end of my earthly life, when I shall enter my marvelous heavenly home. Amen.