Skip to content

Adopted and Empowered: Romans 8:1-18 (Storms of Life)

Devotions for the storms of life

Read: Romans 8:1-18

Key Verse

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Romans 8:15 (ESV)

What does it mean?

When we are in the midst of life’s storms, we can tend to feel weak and vulnerable, and it’s easy to focus on the negatives – our failings and our faults. If you look at Romans 7:14-25, you’ll see that Paul got caught up in this kind of thinking, too, so it’s a natural response. But Romans 8 serves as a reminder of exactly what Jesus has done to free us from any kind of self-condemnation and self-recrimination.

Not only does God not condemn us, when we belong to Him, but He recognises our weakness – our ‘sinful nature’, and sets us free from enslavement to it. The important thing to recognise here is that we will always have a sinful nature whilst we are in our physical bodies, but what God does for us, through Jesus, is fill us with His Spirit so that we have His power to depend on.

The Gospel of love

We’re not left to fight against our flesh on our own strength – if it were even possible for us to defeat our flesh by ourselves, Jesus would have never needed to die on the cross – but instead, we are controlled by the Spirit, which leads to life and peace. We no longer live as slaves to our flesh, but as empowered, adopted sons and daughters of God, with a glorious inheritance awaiting us in eternity. 

The next time you find yourself feeling weak and battered by life, and are focussed on your failings, remember that there is NO condemnation for those who belong to God, and that God’s Spirit in you is the source of your strength. Allow yourself to be encouraged and led by the Spirit within you, instead of feeling defeated by your circumstances.

Bottom Line

When we belong to Jesus, we are declared “not guilty” in God’s eyes. Forgiven and washed clean of all our former sin, we are also adopted as God’s sons and daughters, giving us an inheritance that makes anything we suffer fade into insignificance (v18). Not only that, but we no longer have to depend on our own strength in order to resist our ‘sinful nature’ – we are filled with God’s Spirit, and freed from enslavement to our weaknesses.

Journaling and reflection

Because we belong to God, the power of the Spirit has freed us from the power of sin (verse 2). In what ways can you use this truth as an encouragement when you are feeling weak and vulnerable?

Read today’s key verse again. How does it make you feel? Why?

There is NO condemnation for those who belong to God – that includes self-condemnation. Do you tend to be hard on yourself and focus mainly on your weaknesses? If so, how can you use this verse to break that habit?

Prayer Pointers

Spend some time thanking God for the gifts of forgiveness and adoption. If you struggle with the concept of adoption as God’s child, lay this before Him and ask Him to help you receive its truth. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.