Our Epistle this week is Romans 8:12-17.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Paul shares that rejecting the ways of the flesh and accepting God’s spirit through Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life. He explains that by faith we can understand our relationship with our Creator – “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (v. 17). What an awesome blessing!

With this blessing comes an equally awesome responsibility – to show others the love of God and how they too may become part of His plan of salvation. We are all called to this relationship and obligation, and gifted differently to be able to accomplish His purpose. However, until we give up our selfish ways we are not ready to participate fully.

We are told that “if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (v. 13). This is not to say that the body is evil – nothing God made is evil! It means as with so many gifts we are not using it properly. We must ask the Holy Spirit for the help we need to follow Christ’s path faithfully and serve God with joy.

Heavenly Father, You sent Your Son and the presence of Your Holy Spirit to teach and guide us. Help us to see the that only by turning from human things can we be saved to eternal life. Amen.

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