As we continue our Romans study in chapter 8, we continue to see Paul talking about living life “in the Spirit”. This is in contrast to another kind of life that Paul says is “according to the flesh”. Living a life pleasing to God is not about following a rigid set of moral laws and performing spiritual rituals. It is about the very life of God (the Spirit) being infused into our lives by faith and the power of God! Would you rather have a book about swimming, complete with pictures and diagrams and explanations of all the different strokes and even the history of swimming, or would you rather have the Spirit of Michael Phelps come into your life? Which would make you a better swimmer?! The first option gives me knowledge but no power, and the second gives me knowledge and power.
In this next section, Paul uses some pretty clear illustrations to tell us that life with God – life in the Spirit – is not about rules but about a relationship! Now he uses the relationship between a father and son. Now we are going to have to undo a common misunderstanding about being a child of God. Who are “children of God”? Isn’t everyone a child of God? If not, how do i know if I am a child of God?
These questions and more will be answered in the next section of chapter 8, and the answer may surprise you.