The Berean Expositor
Volume 20 - Page 7 of 195
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The testimony of Rom. 8:
These four key words find their exposition in Rom. 8:, and we therefore turn to that
chapter for illumination. Let us quote the passages first:--
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear: but ye have received the
spirit of ADOPTION, whereby we cry, Abba, Father" (Rom. 8: 15).
"If children, then HEIRS; heirs of God" (Rom. 8: 17).
"Ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan
within ourselves, waiting for the ADOPTION, to wit, the REDEMPTION of our body"
(Rom. 8: 23).
"Whom He did foreknow, He also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the
image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8: 29).
Adoption is closely connected with inheritance here, for that is the sequel of verse 17.
Adoption is also most certainly connected with a future redemption, the day of
resurrection. By noticing exactly what is said here, we shall better appreciate not only
Rom. 8: but also Eph. 1:
In verse 15 we are not said to have received the adoption, but "the spirit of adoption".
Now if adoption in the future be resurrection, the redemption of the body (8: 23),
then the spirit of adoption will be resurrection anticipated now. This is what we find.
Verse 15 is part of an argument that commences at verse 1.  There is now no
condemnation, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the
law of sin and death. This Spirit of life is explained as "the Spirit of Him that raised up
Jesus from the dead dwelling in us", and it is connected with the quickening of these
"mortal bodies" (8: 11). In verse 14 this Spirit of life is expressed in terms of sonship:
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
Now this passage leads on to verse 15 where we read of the Spirit of adoption. It is
clearly a continuation of the argument, commencing as it does with the word "For". In
verse 15, moreover, we have another way of ascertaining something of the special
character of the Spirit of adoption, for it is placed in direct contrast with another spirit,
namely, "the spirit of bondage".  The Spirit of adoption therefore carries with it
"freedom". But what kind of freedom? It has been already defined as, freedom from the
law of sin and death. This is further confirmed when we observe that in verse 21 this
bondage is specified as "the bondage of corruption", and the freedom as "the freedom of
the glory of the children of God". Now if the bondage be that of "corruption", freedom
from it will be the "redemption of the body", or resurrection. We arrive therefore at the
following important conclusions:--
We receive now the Spirit of adoption, but look forward to the adoption itself in
This Spirit of adoption is placed in opposition to the spirit of bondage. This bondage
being called the bondage of "corruption", it follows that the Spirit of adoption
anticipates the resurrection.
This is manifested in present sonship whereby we cry "Abba, Father". While we are
sons of God now, the day of our "manifestation" awaits the resurrection (verse 19)