Life-Study of Romansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we come to the matter of glorification. What is the goal of glorification? The goal of glorification is the full sonship of the children of God. Condemnation requires justification, justification is for sanctification, sanctification is for glorification, and glorification is for the full sonship of the children of God.
Before 8:14 the terms “children of God” and “sons of God” have not been used in the book of Romans. The concept of “children of God” is only brought in at this point, proving that Paul wrote the book of Romans with a deep purpose in view. Starting with 8:14 Paul begins to speak about the sons of God and the children of God. However, the ultimate concept of the section on glorification (8:14-39) does not concern the children or the sons, but the heirs. We may be a child of God without the growth of a son of God, or a son of God without the qualification for an heir. Thus, Paul’s ultimate concept in this portion of Romans concerns the heirs of glory.
Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” This verse is a continuation of the foregoing portion in which Paul tells us that we must walk according to spirit (v. 4). In a sense, to walk according to spirit is to be under the leading of the Holy Spirit. Thus, verse 14 continues Paul’s thought by saying that as many as are led by the Holy Spirit, or by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God. By means of this short sentence Paul turns the whole concept from that of the sanctified ones to that of the sons of God. At the end of verse 13 the thought was on the sanctified ones, the ones who were condemned, justified, reconciled, identified, and eventually sanctified. With verse 14 Paul introduces the concept of the sons of God. How are we sanctified? By walking according to spirit. In a sense, walking according to spirit means to be led by the Spirit of God, and “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” In this way Paul turns us from sanctification to sonship. Now we have come to the matter of the sons of God.
We need to approach the subject of sonship in the spirit, not in the letter. If we are in the letter, we will have difficulty. Why? Because according to the letter all the sisters are excluded. How can sisters be sons? Paul did not say, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons and daughters of God.” However, we all, brothers and sisters alike, are sons of God. We must read the Bible not merely in letter, but in spirit. Although we are males and females, brothers and sisters, in spirit we are all sons of God. In eternity there will be no daughters, only sons.
One day the Sadducees came to the Lord Jesus, arguing with Him about resurrection (Matt. 22:23-33). They thought that they were quite wise. They told Him about the case of a woman who, in succession, married seven brothers. After they all had died the woman also died. Then the Sadducees asked Him whose wife she would be in the resurrection since all seven had been married to her. The Lord said that they were wrong and knew neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. The Lord said further that in the resurrection we would neither marry nor be given in marriage, but would be as the angels of God. We shall be wonderful persons with no difference between male and female. We shall not only be justified and sanctified, but also glorified. We shall all be glorified persons, the eternal sons of God. If we walk according to spirit, there is no difference between male and female, for we are all sons of God. However, we must not forget that we are still in the flesh. In the flesh we have male and female, husband and wife. We must not apply something that will be true in resurrection to the situation today. If we do that, we will have trouble. Nevertheless, we all, brothers and sisters alike, are sons of God.
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