Romans 8:14
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
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8:10-17 If the Spirit be in us, Christ is in us. He dwells in the heart by faith. Grace in the soul is its new nature; the soul is alive to God, and has begun its holy happiness which shall endure for ever. The righteousness of Christ imputed, secures the soul, the better part, from death. From hence we see how much it is our duty to walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. If any habitually live according to corrupt lustings, they will certainly perish in their sins, whatever they profess. And what can a worldly life present, worthy for a moment to be put against this noble prize of our high calling? Let us then, by the Spirit, endeavour more and more to mortify the flesh. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit brings a new and Divine life to the soul, though in a feeble state. And the sons of God have the Spirit to work in them the disposition of children; they have not the spirit of bondage, which the Old Testament church was under, through the darkness of that dispensation. The Spirit of adoption was not then plentifully poured out. Also it refers to that spirit of bondage, under which many saints were at their conversion. Many speak peace to themselves, to whom God does not speak peace. But those who are sanctified, have God's Spirit witnessing with their spirits, in and by his speaking peace to the soul. Though we may now seem to be losers for Christ, we shall not, we cannot, be losers by him in the end.For as many - Whosoever; all who are thus led. This introduces a new topic, illustrating the benefits of the gospel, to wit, that it produces a spirit of adoption, Romans 8:14-17.

As are led - As submit to his influence and control. The Spirit is represented as influencing, suggesting, and controlling. One evidence of piety is, a willingness to yield to that influence, and submit to him. One decided evidence of the lack of piety is, where there is an unwillingness to submit to that influence, but where the Holy Spirit is grieved and resisted. All Christians submit to his influence; all sinners decidedly reject it and oppose it. The influence of the Spirit, if followed, would lead every man to heaven. But when neglected, rejected, or despised, man goes down to hell. The glory belongs to the conducting Spirit when man is saved; the fault is man's when he is lost. The apostle here does not agitate the question how it is that the people of God are led by the Spirit, or why they yield to it when others resist it. His design is simply to state the fact, that they who are thus led are the sons of God, or have evidence of piety.

Are the sons of God - Are adopted into his family, and are his children. This is a name of endearment, meaning that they sustain to him this relation; that they are his friends, disciples, and imitators; that they are parts of the great family of the redeemed, of whom he is the Father and Protector. It is often applied to Christians in the Bible; Job 1:6; John 1:12; Philippians 2:15; 1 John 3:1-2; Matthew 5:9, Matthew 5:45; Luke 6:35. This is a test of piety which is easily applied.

(1) are we conscious that an influence from above has been drawing us away from the corrupting passions and vanities of this world? This is the work of the Spirit.

(2) are we conscious of a desire to yield to that influence, and to be conducted in the path of purity and life? This is an evidence that we are the sons of God.

(3) do we offer no resistance; do we follow cheerfully, and obey this pure influence, leading us to mortify pride, subdue passion, destroy lust, humble ambition, and annihilate the love of wealth and of the world? If so, we are his children. God will not lead us astray; and our peace and happiness consists only in yielding ourselves to this influence entirely, and in being willing to be conducted by this unseen hand "beside the still waters of salvation."

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,.... Not by the spirit of the world, or of the devil, or by their own spirits: the act of leading ascribed to the Spirit is either in allusion to the leading of blind persons, or such who are in the dark; or rather to the leading of children and teaching them to go; which supposes life in those that are led, and some degree of strength, though a good deal of weakness; and is a display of powerful and efficacious grace, and is always for their good: the Spirit of God leads them from sin, and from a dependence on their own righteousness, in paths they formerly knew not, and in which they should go, in the paths of faith and truth, of righteousness and holiness, and in a right, though sometimes a rough way; he leads them to the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ, and to the fulness of grace in him; into the presence of God, to the house and ordinances of God; into the truths of the Gospel, from one degree of grace to another, and at last to glory; which he does gradually, by little and little he leads them to see the iniquity of their hearts and natures, to lay hold on Christ and salvation by him, into the doctrines of grace, and the love and favour of God, and proportionally to the strength he gives: now such persons,

they are the sons of God: not in so high a sense as Christ is; nor in so low a sense as Adam was, and angels are; much less in such sense as wicked magistrates be; nor merely as professors of religion in common; but by adoption, not national, such as that of the Jews, but special; and which has some agreement with civil adoption, it being of persons to an inheritance, which they have no legal right unto, and it is done freely: though there is a difference between the one and the other; for in divine adoption there is no need on the adopter's side; nor no worth on the side of the adopted; proper qualifications are conveyed to them for the enjoyment of the inheritance, and which is enjoyed, the father and firstborn being living, and is an inheritance which vastly exceeds all others: now this blessing of being the sons of God, is owing not to ourselves, nor to our earthly parents, but to God; to the Father, who predestinated to it, and fixed it in the covenant of grace; to Christ, it is by him, as the Son of God, it is through him, as the Mediator, and it is for him, it is for his glory; and also to the Spirit of God, who manifests it, works faith to receive it, witnesses to it, and seals up to the full enjoyment of it. This favour is an instance of surprising grace, exceeds other blessings, makes the saints honorourable, is attended with many privileges, and lasts for ever: such who are in this relation to God, ought to ascribe it to his grace, to require him with thankfulness, and a becoming conversation, to be followers of him, and to love, honour, and obey him.

{16} For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

(16) A confirmation of this reason: for they are the children of God who are governed by his Spirit, therefore they will have everlasting life.

Sons (υἱοί)

See on John 1:12; see on Matthew 1:1. There is an implied contrast with the Jewish idea of sonship by physical descent.

14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God, they, &c.—"these are sons of God." Hitherto the apostle has spoken of the Spirit simply as a power through which believers mortify sin: now he speaks of Him as a gracious, loving Guide, whose "leading"—enjoyed by all in whom is the Spirit of God's dear Son—shows that they also are "sons of God."For as many as are led by the Spirit, etc. - No man who has not Divine assistance can either find the way to heaven, or walk in it when found. As Christ, by his sacrificial offering, has opened the kingdom of God to all believers; and, as a mediator, transacts the concerns of their kingdom before the throne; so the Spirit of God is the great agent here below, to enlighten, quicken, strengthen, and guide the true disciples of Christ; and all that are born of this Spirit are led and guided by it; and none can pretend to be the children of God who are not thus guided. 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God - In all the ways of righteousness. They are the sons of God - Here St. Paul enters upon the description of those blessings which he comprises, Ro 8:30, in the word glorified; though, indeed, he does not describe mere glory, but that which is still mingled with the cross. The sum is, through sufferings to glory. 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God. Those who through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body (Ro 8:13) are led by the Spirit. They obey it rather than the flesh. The presence of the Spirit in leading them shows that they are sons of God. How are they led? (1) They have given up their own wills to do God's will, and seek to obey him in all things. (2) To them the Spirit is given as a helper of their weakness, and by its aid they overcome the flesh (Ro 8:26).

They are the sons of God. We become sons of God when we are born again, born of water and the Spirit (Joh 3:5), and we maintain the sonship by being led by the Spirit.

Romans 8:13
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