So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
God’s people live by the Holy Spirit. We may not always realize that fact, but, it is true nonetheless. The Spirit of God lives within us and leads us each day. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Paul juxtaposes life in the Spirit and life according to the flesh in these verses. He makes it clear that the Spirit and the flesh cannot coexist in our lives. We either pursue the Spirit or we adhere to the old nature. As we follow the Spirit, the old nature is being put to death. This process will take place for the remainder of our time here upon earth. Living by the Spirit is the command of this text.
We are made children of God through the Holy Spirit. Believers are no longer slaves to sin. Rather, we have been ushered into the family of God through adoption. Where we once were far off and separated from God, Christians now have closeness with God as we cry out to our Father. Upon the cross, Christ was separated from the Father so that we would no longer be estranged from God.
Paul also reminds us that we are not only children, but heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. God has promised us an inheritance that will include His power, peace, and everlasting presence both in this life and for all of eternity. There may be suffering along the way and life will not always be fair. We have the victory through Jesus nonetheless.
Praise be to the glorious name of Jesus, great things He has done!