The Spirit of Adoption

A Trinitarian, Christ-centered paraphrase of Romans 8.14-27

(14) The Holy Spirit is leading you deeper into your true life as Papa’s child. (15) He is not a spirit of bondage and fear. He is the Spirit of Adoption, the Spirit who puts Jesus’ sonship inside of us.  When we cry out “Papa! Daddy! Father!” (16) it is the Holy Spirit who is speaking the truth from inside OUR spirit.  The truth that we ARE Papa’s children, (17) the truth that we are the inheritors of the super-abundant life Jesus shares with Papa.  And of course, sharing in his glorious life means sharing in his sufferings as well. (18) But be encouraged:  The pain we’re experiencing now—and indeed, all the suffering in the history of the world—is NOTHING compared to the boundless joy and strength for which we are destined.

(19) We aren’t the only ones in pain.  The whole universe groans as it waits for the full unveiling of the human race as Papa’s children, as it longs for us to step up the plate and play our assigned role in the cosmos. (20) For the universe itself is slowly winding down, running out of gas, moving slowly toward its own death.  Papa chose to restrict his creation in this way, (21) with the intent of eventually moving it beyond those limitations.  The day will come when the cosmos will be free from its chains of slow decay.  The very fabric of space-time will be transformed in the luminous freedom of Papa’s children in the world. (22) The old created order will give birth to New Creation, but in the meantime, the universe writhes and groans in the pain of childbirth. (23) We ourselves are experiencing that pain now, because through the Spirit we have already tasted the fruit of the new world.  We groan inwardly as we long for more, as we wait for the full effect of our adoption—the liberating transformation of our bodies.

(24) We were saved so that we would have a future! The Triune Life was given to us with an eye toward a glorious future in which that Life would fill the cosmos to overflowing.  This is our sure hope, and hope by definition involves stuff we don’t yet see. (25) We hope for what we can’t see yet, and because of this hope the Spirit has given us, we can be content while we wait.  (26) This is the way the Spirit’s strength makes up for our weakness.  When we don’t know how to talk to Papa, it is his Spirit in us who does the talking for us, expressing what’s inside us in ways too deep for words. (27) The Holy Spirit knows us deep in the guts of our soul, and he shares his knowing with Papa.

~ John Stonecypher

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