What Does Romans 8:15 Mean?

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

Romans 8:15(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

When we were released from the slavery of Satan's dark kingdom of sin, death, and fear, we were transferred into God's kingdom of life and light, hope and freedom. The spirit of slavery that entrapped us in doubt, darkness, and deep depression is replaced at rebirth by the permanently indwelling Spirit of God, but too often we do not appropriate what is ours by grace through faith and we retain a spirit of fear because we fail to believe the truth of God's Word.

The finished work of Christ does not only refer to our initial salvation "when we first believed," and ongoing sanctification "throughout our earthly life," but Christ's work at Calvary incorporates our final glorification "the redemption of our bodies," when Christ returns to claim the Church as His Bride – the time when we are officially adopted as sons of God. It is a complete package, because we are complete in Him!

The indwelling Spirit of God is the same Spirit of adoption that was given to us by the Father as a down payment and assurance that all that God has promised us is sure and steadfast, immovable and unchanging. We have the right and the privilege to cry out to our Father God in the most intimate of terms - my Abba - my dear precious Father - in assurance that He hears and He will answer. We have been awarded this unmerited gift of His grace, simply because we trusted Jesus as Saviour.

As events unfurl in the wider world and in our own personal lives, it is easy to forget this precious promise and adopt a spirit of fear, uncertainty, anxiety, and depression. But our loving Lord, Who is the same yesterday, today and forever, knows all that is transpiring, and is in full control. If we would but rest in Him, in our Abba, that spirit of fear would be replaced by the calm assurance of faith in God. Paul reminds us of Abraham who "with respect to the promise of God, did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was also able to perform." 

Our Father's promise to us stands as firm as His promise to Abraham. Let us never doubt God's Word, even when we are surrounded by the trials of this life: "For you have not received a spirit of slavery that leads you into fear again. Instead, you have received the Spirit of adoption by Whom we cry out, 'Abba! Father!'"

My Prayer

Thank You, Father, that You are my Abba and I am Your child. Thank You that I have Your indwelling Spirit of love, peace, joy, and hope in my heart. You are a faithful and gracious God. Thank You, Abba Father. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

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