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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 8 - Verse 14

Verse 14. For as many. Whosoever; all who are thus led. This in- troduces a new topic, illustrating the benefits of the gospel—to wit, that it produces a spirit of adoption, Ro 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 want 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; Joh 1:12; Php 2:15; 1 Jo 3:1,2; Mt 5:9,45; Lu 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 consist 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."

{s} "led by the spirit" Ga 5:18

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