Our Heavenly Dad!
Romans 8: 12-17
Greetings brothers and sisters in the name of the Father who created you, the Son who redeemed you and the Holy Spirit who continues to sanctify you.
Have you ever heard a child when they get into trouble or are told they are not allowed to do something say this?
“I can’t wait until I become an adult so no one can tell me what to do and I can do whatever I want!”
Perhaps if you can remember that far back, maybe you even said it yourself. Maybe you are still saying it!
I chuckle and laugh a little bit when I hear that said and I wonder , when is that going to happen?
The reality is that at no matter what time of life you are in from infancy to retirement and beyond there are obligations, responsibilities and duties that you must perform in order to live in relative complacency in society.
Choose not to make your car payment and what happens? Your car go bye-bye!
Don’t pay your electric bill and you will live in the dark!
Homework, jobs, bills, parenting, blah, blah, blah.
Life is full of obligations, responsibility, requirements and duties unless you want to live in a cave and even then you still have to have food, water, clothing and shelter. I guess clothing could be optional…
That childhood statement of doing whatever you want as an adult is the immaturity of childhood and is not based in the reality of wisdom and the maturity of adulthood.
In order to live in the world of man and get along in modern society and be a productive member and citizen of it, you are obligated and required to do certain things.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be a kid again with none of the obligations and requirements of adulthood? Sometimes….
Well don’t worry because Paul has good news for you in our Epistle from Romans today.
“Therefore dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.”
Maybe the kids were kinda right.
When I grow up I can do whatever I want!
You see you do not have to be obligated and required to do what your sinful nature urges you to do!
So why do we? Why do we give in and look to the sinful nature?
We pride ourselves on being independent and the whole idea of no one is going to tell me what to do idea but when we give in to the sinful nature, isn’t sin doing just that? Isn’t it telling us what to do? That doesn’t sound too independent to me. In fact it starts to sound like a slave/master relationship. If only the children could see us now being told what to do!
Paul warns in verse 13, “ For if you live by its dictates, you will die.”
If this is the path you depend on to go down, you will be trapped and caught up in these sinful obligations and you will die eternally.
“But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”
Your obligations and responsibilities are not to this sinful world. You re not required to and are under no obligation to do what your sinful nature nature tries to entice and invite and plead for you to do.
That sinful nature was put to death, though no thanks to you! God killed it and you!
And His method of killing was to drown it. “You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves but instead you received God’s spirit when He adopted you as His own children.”
God killed you in the waters of your baptism as you were called to faith by the sacrifice of Christ crucified. The Spirit brought you to the font of salvation and you and your sinful nature was drowned.
Chapter six, verse 3 says, “ Don’t you know that all who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?”
It doesn’t stop there, Paul goes on to say that if we share death with Christ than we also share in His life. As He was raised from the dead so we are also through the glory of the Father.
And now through Christ live a new life in which we have been adopted as His own children. We through Christ can put these sinful and evil deeds to death.
There was an obligation and responsibility that had to be paid and it demanded blood. The requirement was death. Our sin caused this and it was what we deserved but the Lamb of God took that obligation in our stead. He took the wrath of the Father so that we would and could be made His children, heirs of Heaven.
You don’t have to do anything for what has been freely given to you through His grace.
Sin can no longer tell you what to do. Thanks be to God!
You who are baptized and called in the name of the Triune God share something so incredibly special, you are His. You are His most precious children and our Heavenly Father takes great joy in that newly restored relationship.
So much so, that He says my kids, call me Abba!
This is not a proper title like Father or parental unit but a name that resonates deeper and with great love and intimacy.
He wants your relationship to be so close and familiar that you can call Him, Abba or daddy or papa or as I call my dad, Pop or whatever your custom is for calling your father with affection as a child and maybe even now.
You see He is obligated to you and through your baptism you are obligated to Him, not out of fear and requirement and some kind of duty but out of love and faith and trust given to you by the Holy Spirit in Christ. It is not about fear but confidence in Him knowing that since He has called you to Him and made you His children that you are now heirs to eternal glory just like Jesus. Verse 17 says that just like Jesus and together with Him we are heirs of God’s glory.
It also means that if we are to share in His glory, we must also share in His suffering.
After all through our baptism didn’t we share in His death and in resurrection?
Think about it. What kind of suffering did Jesus endure for the world and by the world? I am not just talking about His physical suffering and death but what about when He came to us in the Incarnation? God descending and living as one of us?
To leave cozy, comfortable Heaven and be born in a feeding trough and then deal with us on a daily basis? No thank you! That had to be suffering right there, have you met us?
But He willingly and joyfully suffered for us, even on a cross.
If we are united with Christ then we are obligated and even required together as the body of Christ in the suffering that this world can throw at us.
Christ came to suffer and die for all, so if you are connected and in union with Him then you will suffer. It may mean death. But, not all suffering in the name of Christ results in death. It can be much more subtle. It does and will most certainly mean persecution and sacrifice.
It is a stigma in the world to call yourself Christian and I don’t mean with just strangers either, but even some friends and maybe even family.
The world doesn’t want to hear the Gospel message of Christ died for all. It is obligated to its sinful nature. It will be and it is suggested that for confessing the name of Christ that you are ignorant or superstitious. You will be made fun of and prejudiced against. You will b called weak.
I am weak and in my weakness God is made stronger!
And if they can get away with it, the world will maybe even try to kill you. We see it happening all over the world and even here. Christians are dying around the world for their confession of faith.
But you see like Jesus who came and suffered and died and then rose again we will do the same. We share in His suffering but again as redeemed children called through baptism we are obligated to suffer with Him. As we suffer with Christ we also like Jesus, through the Father are obligated to share in glory.
As Jesus suffered here what did He do? Did He fight back? Did He assemble a spec ops team of Israeli commandos to take these people out? No, what Jesus did was love them. He did this through depending on His Father in Heaven.
We are called to do the same. That is our obligation
This happens through your baptism. You are obligated to do the same and you can through the Holy Spirit.
You can rest and depend knowing your Father is with you always calling you his children, His heirs.
When suffering comes we can bear it faithfully because we are baptized, we are called now and obligated through the Holy Spirit to be children of God living forever in that relationship of Trinity love.
Fear not little flock.
We got our daddy backin’ us up!
I remember as a kid we would always argue saying that my dad is stronger than your dad. I depended on Him confident that no matter what, my dad was stronger than any other dad in the neighborhood. Maybe it was true and maybe it wasn’t but I believed it was!
Well our Abba, Father is the strongest. He is our Almighty Heavenly Father.
Your faith depends on it. He is so strong that He gives up His only Son without pause so that we can be made sons and daughters, His kids of the kingdom.
He is obligated and responsible for us because He is always faithful.
So go and live in your baptisms knowing that your Father is with you and that all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
We thank you and love you Abba, Father!
Posted on July 13, 2014, in Deacon's Ministry, Sermons and tagged child like faith, christ jesus, father in heaven, Lord's Prayer, Ministry, sermon, sermons, sin, Sin's Bondage, sinful nature, VIcar Mark Jennings. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.