The Berean Expositor
Volume 25 - Page 137 of 190
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And being the Son of God `it was not possible that he should be holden of death,
therefore God raised Him from the dead' (Acts 2: 24); and by His resurrection He was
thus by Divine power declared to be the Son of God" (The Giver and His gifts by
Dr. E. W. Bullinger).
The spirit of Christ was not antagonistic to the flesh He bore, for that flesh knew no
sin. In our case it is different. In our flesh dwells no good thing, and consequently the
spirit of sonship, which partakes of His holiness, must for ever be diametrically opposed
to the flesh. It is this antagonism that we see in Rom. 8:, and wherever flesh is
contrasted with spirit in the believer. The "spirit" of Rom. 8: 5-15 refers to the new
nature in the child of God. It is a Divine spirit, being of God. It is Christ-spirit, since it is
ours by union with Christ. And it is the spirit of sonship. Not until verse 16 do we read
of the Holy Spirit.
It is good for us to get a clear conception of "the spirit we are of". We must not
confuse the new nature, which is spirit, with either the Holy Spirit, or His gifts as at
Pentecost. As Eph. 1: 19, 20 teaches, the power that is to usward that believe is the
power of His resurrection. And Rom. 8: would impress us with the fact that the spirit
according to which we now walk is the free spirit of sonship, the spirit of Him that raised
up Christ from the dead.  Holiness or sanctification, therefore, is implicit in our
justification and our acquittal, and its outworking in life and practice is the outworking of
the spirit of sonship that we have received.
The witness of the Spirit Himself (8: 15-17).
pp. 216 - 221
The section before us contains the key-word of the chapter, "adoption"--a word of
great importance and worthy of the closest attention. The "spirit of adoption" sums up all
that has been said in the earlier verses of chapter 8: It is the spirit of life that is set
over against sin and death. It is essentially "free"; for it is in contrast with the spirit of
bondage and fear. It is not only the spirit of sonship, but includes also the conception of
The following is the structural outline of the passage:--
Romans 8: 15-17.
A | SONS. | a | Ye have received.
b | The sonship spirit.
a | We cry.
b | Abba, Father.
B | Spirit Itself bears witness with our spirits.
A | HEIRS. | a | We are the children of God.
b | And if children.
b | Then heirs.
a | Heirs of God.