WHY it matters//
Once we decide to follow Jesus, who we used to be, while we were in bondage to sin, is put to death. Now that we are unified in new life with Jesus, we are invited to share in all that Jesus has. In Christ we become a son or a daughter of God. We have an eternal inheritance in heaven and an inheritance here on Earth. Someone who lives in the reality of God being their perfect father is not easily shaken.
WHAT it's talking about//
The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church in Rome between 55-57 AD. In this passage he is addressing the new nature and new identity that we have in Christ. When Paul speaks to the Romans about adoption, the hearers had a different cultural understanding than we have today. In the Roman empire it was a privilege to be adopted. It was a legal arrangement where a young adult or even a man would be adopted into a different family in order to achieve higher status, position or inheritance. It had nothing to do with being unwanted by his natural family. He was saved from the burden of any debts or obligations tied to his old family. When Paul tells the church they have been adopted by God, this is good news!
Romans 8:12-17 NLT
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.
13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.