So then, brethren, we are under obligation not to the flesh to live according to the flesh. For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die.
But if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 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.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him so that we also may be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves grown within ourselves waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Let's pray. Father in heaven, we thank you for the fact that you have revealed yourself and your work Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in these scriptures. So Father I pray that tonight that your Holy Spirit would open our eyes more to get your word more deeply, that we would comprehend it in our own hearts what you're saying, what you're speaking to us, what you've declared, what you've promised, how you cleanse us, how you move us to serve you. Father open our eyes that we may be your servants indeed. And we praise you now in Jesus name, amen. When I was looking at this passage of Scripture I thought, well how can I explain this passage? It's just so deep, it is so rich, and I thought, well I sure need God's help to live it out in any any measure of that, because God is so great in what he's done for us, what he's provided for us. So as we look at this passage of Scripture, I'll just kind of give you the proposition first, and as we go through it you can think about this this is a matching proposition, this is really from the main point, and that is that the Holy Spirit, he always points us to the benefits and freedoms that we have in Jesus Christ.
He always does that. And also we can say the Holy Spirit constantly assures us of the benefits that we have in Jesus Christ as a believer. So the Holy Spirit always points us to Christ, that is the work of the Holy Spirit, to point us to Christ, to woo us to Christ, to have us focused upon him as our Savior and our Redeemer, the one who's loved us so. Now in today's text, we see that the there are the corrupt ways are supposed to be left behind, that's verses 12 and 13, and we see that the benefits that we receive from Christ and the promises of the Holy Spirit are for now, that's verse 14 through 17, and then we see that there is a hope that we have that goes into the future, and that's covered in verses 18 to verse 25, and so the Holy Spirit is at work changing us from our leaning toward fleshly things and sin itself, he is there assuring us and he is pointing us to the hope that we have in Jesus Christ, and all of this work that he does is constant every day. I think sometimes that I'm not thinking in terms of this chapter of Scripture, I'm thinking in terms of, well this is what I heard in the world today, this is what somebody else said to me, and it's not from God at all, it's just their opinion, it's just their thoughts, and so the influences of the fallen world are on us every single day. We're hearing all kinds of different philosophies and religious views and opinions that do not match what God says.
So there are two examples I'll give, these are kind of dated, they're not really like, you know, postmodern illustrations, but they are related to that. I know that you sometimes see people with their little symbols on their cars, or you see them there, there's that the yin and the yang, and that's sort of, that's from the East, and so now, and then I'll give you an example from the West, the Mediterranean area, but from the yin and the yang, that's basically a world-centered philosophy, and it kind of says that there are two opposing views in the world, there's the little paisley on this side and the little paisley on that side, and sometimes they're sort of like that, well, they're good and the bad, but they sort of work together anyway, there's the male and the female, they sort of work together anyway, they're opposing, but yet they're unified, and there's change and there's harmony, and basically it's a man-centered worldview, okay? Then we have the other illustration that's sometimes found in philosophies, and that is the illustration that the topic that Socrates and Plato discussed a little bit, and that if they were trying to discern about the nature of the human soul, they said, well, it's like the black horse and the white horse, and you're the charioteer, and one's pulling you this way, one's pulling you that way, the bad horse, the bad horse is trying to pull you over here into these things of immorality, things of the flesh, things of pride and, you know, and arrogance, whatever, and the good horse is trying to lead you toward, pull you toward what is honorable and good, you know, as far as man is concerned, and you're the children of the charioteer, you're trying to control these two things, well, that's a man-centered philosophy. Oddly, God is not mentioned in those two philosophies, he's not at play there at all, so they're forgetting the fact that we're fallen sinners and that we need a redeemer who loves us and cares for us, and so neither one is theocentric or Christocentric, they're just not, they're just, but yet, you may be watching a movie, I don't know if Star Wars is really talking about the force being with you, you know, but it is not talking about the power of the person of the Holy Spirit or the work of the Holy Spirit in giving you a new life in Christ, so we're getting philosophies all the time from different places, and so maybe, maybe the film producer, do you know what that person really thinks, do you know what their philosophy is, do you know what, who wrote that novel, do you know what their philosophy is, you know, do you know what that politician's philosophy is, do you know what the educator's philosophy is, where is this coming from, where are the voices coming from, how do I know, well, we know, we see life as God described it here for the believer, what is really true here in this passage of Scripture, and so the person of the Holy Spirit is there in a number of ways, he is there to change us, to show us what we need to leave behind, and he's there to assure us of our belonging to Christ as a child of God, and he is there to give us a definite hope and the pledge of the Spirit that we have a hope for eternity as well, he's taking care of the past, he's with us now, and he's taking care of the future as well, God has done all this work, so at verses 12 and 13, you can summarize those this way, the believer has freedoms and benefits granted by Christ, and the Holy Spirit constantly overcomes the foolish ways of the world and the flesh because the Holy Spirit is our helper, he's there helping us put those things to death that once were really prominent in our life, or they may crop up again, and he has to do that again, so Paul is reminding the Christians there in Rome who sit under the Caesars that they are not under any obligation to the flesh, to anything that is sinful or corrupt ways of the world, they are not an obligation to anything that is man-centered, that is avoiding God, that is denouncing God, or that is contrary to the Christian faith, so Paul says that no Christian is obligated to join the deeds of the flesh, now you may have met friends, oh come on and join us in this, just take a little bit of this, it'll make you happy, no you're not obligated, you're not obligated to that life, you're not obligated to that fleshly direction someone's giving you, or someone suggesting you in some kind of medium, you are free from that, God has saved you and the Holy Spirit is going to help you put that away, and so why, why does he do that, why is this way, well we have a new nature, we have a new love, we have a new life, we have a new status, the Lord Jesus has bought us with his own life and his own blood, we belong to him, we don't belong to the kingdoms of the world, and so Christ has overcome sin, death, and the devil, and we have no obligation to the flesh, none at all, so somebody may tell you you do, but you don't, okay, so also because we are free from the enticements because we belong to Christ and, and that and the Holy Spirit helps us realize that, so you can put it this way, you are under a joyful obligation to enjoy the benefits that Christ has won for you, he has won benefits for us, so constantly we are to overcome these foolish ways of the world and the deeds of the flesh, how, by putting the deeds of the flesh to death, and we are enabled, we are empowered to do so because the Holy Spirit is working in the life of a believer and in your heart and it, he dwells in you, so William Henderson put it this way, the Spirit's leading is constant in the believer's life, the Spirit's work is corrective, he puts to death the deeds of the flesh, the Spirit is in control, he is the controlling influence of the believer's life, and the Spirit constantly encourages us, he helps us move forward, he helps us grow, he helps us change, he helps us to, to follow Christ and God's leading willingly, so Galatians 6-8 puts it this way, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life, so that's who he belonged to, now also you are different once you trust in Christ, believers are just different then, because we have a new nature, we have a new master, we have a new one who loves us and cares for us, so we have been changed, now also we have a new sense of discernment because we we desire what pleases Christ and not what just pleases ourselves or what pleases others, so we're given a God-given worldview, we're given a God-given, we have a God-given new heart, you have a new mind because Christ has changed your perspective, you have a trusting, a new relationship, you have a trusting relationship with Jesus Christ, you're a different person that than you were before you became a believer, so we do kind of make choices, you know, there are some choices to be made, there are some decisions to be made, but the Holy Spirit and the Word of God is there to guide you, and so, you know, when it says choose this day whom you will serve, we know what that says, or if you're going to, you go back to the situation in Deuteronomy where the children of Israel had just seen the grace of God, took him through the desert for 40 years, but they realized that they had been saved by the Passover lamb, which they're to look forward to, who is coming, but yet as they as they stand there in the new land, there at Mount Ebal and Gerizim, they're reminded, wait a minute, you have to, you're called out to be God's child, and there are choices to be made, and so on Mount Ebal, part of the congregation, part of the people of God read all the curses that come upon a nation or a people if they depart from the covenant loving God, and on Mount Gerizim, there was the other crowd that read, that read the promises of God's blessings, if they're faithful to him, that God will come through for them, so the believer, you see, lives free, we're free from sin, we're free from the slavery to sin, we may be tempted and we may fall, but yet we have a Redeemer who picks us back up, so we're free from the slavery of our fallen natures, why? Because God has given us a new nature, God has given us his Holy Spirit, he has created this in us to help us to live for him, but sometimes I don't know, another point I want to make here is when you look at verses 14 through 17, it talks about some of the blessings, so we're leaving, the Holy Spirit helps us take care of those things of the flesh, to put them out of our lives, to repent, to move on, to admit honestly before God, that's a problem area in my life, deal with it, Lord, help me, so, but then we look at verse 14 through 17 and there's this list of, or we could say it's a list, but it's just a number of things that God puts there that reminds us that there are benefits in knowing Christ, now the reason I'm saying it that way is because I remember people saying years ago that there are people who are skeptical of the Christian faith and that's okay, I understand that, people have doubts about it and they say, well I don't want a pie in the sky by and by, I want something that works for me now, I want blessings now, and you can see that the desire that some people would might have is it expressed that way and they're kind of critical of the Christian faith, always talking about eternal life, eternal this, no no no, when you look at verses 14 through 17 and you see some of the great benefits that you and I as believers have now and and they are tremendous, God answers that question because he's generous with his benefits and we're just looking at some that are mentioned in this one passage, so the Holy Spirit, what is he doing here, what's being taught here, he's assuring us that we are presently the adopted children of God, if you believe in Christ, you are an adopted child of God, whatever anybody else might call you by name, you are a child of God, and so we are people who are led by the Spirit of God, we are not led by impersonal forces or the force be with you, no we're not led by those forces, we are not led by hunches, we are not led by our fallen nature and our sinful inclinations, we are not led by to be led by deceitful men, no there is a holy leading, a pure leading, we are led by the Holy Spirit of God.
When we read the Spirit's book, the Spirit of God illuminates it, he gives us understanding, he gives us discernment, he gives us guidance, he gives us assurance, what does this mean? Basically this means, well God is busy sanctifying us, he's busy changing us and growing us all through our earthly life, he's going to make us more and more Christ-like, it may be slow, it may be faster for some, but he is in that, that's his work that he's going to do. Believers are not slaves, now sometimes it says slave or servant, but technically we are not slaves, we are children of God, that is a tremendous benefit, you're not a slave, you're free in Christ, you belong to him.
A slave has no good assurances, they can be sold on a whim, they can be beaten, they can be chastised for no reason, just because the master is cruel, but you know a slave pays with their labor and then their slave masters decides how they're going to spend the profits from that labor, you don't get to decide, you just slave, you just work. That's the kind of bondage that sin brings us into, that's the kind of thing that sinful men will bring you into, but believers are not slaves to sin. Believers are children of God and they have the benefits of knowing God and knowing that they belong to him. Now if you look at verses 15, the believer is also not to fear, they're not to fear, we're not to be afraid that God is going to discard us, he's not. The believer has a new nature, he has a new trusting spirit, a new attitude, he has a spirit of adoption, knows that he's wanted or she's wanted, God wants you and has loved you and drawn you to himself. So in Rome, adoption as we look back at time, the culture in some ways it was very very strict, it accomplished a lot of things, it controlled a lot of things, it did a lot of things right and wrong, but in that culture adoption was primarily legal, so it doesn't mean that you were going to bless your children with things, no, it meant that you might be blessing someone else that you like more than your child or daughter, actual son or daughter, but the believer is different.
When we were adopted, it's a very different meaning. We have an anticipation of knowing God better, we have an anticipation of belonging to God because we're children of obedience, not the children of disobedience, and so the believer delights in the ways of God. So we can say it this way, the believer constantly has the benefit of a personal prayer and personal communion with God in this life. We have communion with him now.
This is clearly seen in the language that's being used here. We can and do call God our Father. He is our Father, and the Father has sent Christ, and the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit, and we have received the promise of the Holy Spirit. No other world religion or faith, major religion, ever calls God their Father.
Never. There's that relationship, it's not there. Other systems, by comparison, are really cold and hard because there is no loving Father there. And, you know, if you have a good earthly father, like I had a good earthly father, yeah, you say, but call God my Father? That's even still a stretch, but he's the eternal Father, you know, that intimate, that close, that loving, that's an amazing thing. But that's exactly who God is. He is our loving Heavenly Father, our forgiving Father, who has drawn us to himself when we were running the other way.
That's who he is. He has saved us from those deeds of the flesh and pulled us into his family. And so the imagery there is of the prodigal son coming home. The Father loved us. The imagery there is of the forgiveness of Joseph to his brothers who had sold him into slavery and perhaps death.
The imagery is there of Christ telling Peter, feed my sheep, because even though he had denied him three times publicly there near the trial time, yes, he is our loving Father who pulls us to himself. God is also our Abba Father. That is a personal, intimate term. Now I know you, everybody has a nickname for Gammy or whatever it is, or Papa or Baba, whatever you, but here's the Abba. Abba is a is an Aramaic word that was used up in Syria, you know, to Iraq and Mesopotamia. It was a common word. It's the language that Jesus spoke in mostly was probably Aramaic, and so he's using this word of personal intimacy in in this at this time in his own preaching and teaching and his own references to the Father.
The term is a term of great endearment and a personal family name. So, you know, there's a song, I'm going to talk about gardens here for a minute. There's a song that talks about a garden in the garden.
Now this this song is not necessarily biblically accurate. It's a lot of a speculation on what was happening in the garden, and it's really emotional and sentimental, but there's a good line in there, and the good line is when Mary's in the garden, it says, and the joy we share as we tarry there none other has ever known. That connotes the intimacy that we can have and should have with Jesus Christ. He is in our Father in heaven.
He is our Abba Father. Now think about that intimacy in that garden and go back to the first garden of Eden, and Adam and Eve were walking in the garden. They were in the cool of the garden, and they were fellowshipping day after day with God in personal direct communion, and then they exchanged that personal communion for the promise of a prideful position that they would be like God, and they lost that close fellowship. They sinned against God and brought us all down in that garden.
But then there's another garden. John 14 36. Jesus is there praying as he begins the work that enables us to be called children of God, and he says this, Abba Father, all things are possible for you.
Remove this cup from me, yet not what I will, but what you will. He did that for us. God is our Abba Father if we are a believer.
He's won that for us. He is constantly there for us to cry out to. Verse 16 talks about us being children. So if he's our spiritual father, we are his children. We are constantly and always and forever his children. We are sons and daughters of the Most High God, the only living and true God. We are offspring of the living God by a spiritual birth from above. We are children.
We are not slaves to sin. We are children of God. Verse 16 says the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. Verse 16 speaks of two reassuring witnesses. There's a testimony of two witnesses here.
And the first witness, of course, is the witness of the Holy Spirit testifying to you as a believer that you are a Christian, that you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, that you're trusting in him. But then the second is our spirit. It's our new nature. We've been given a new nature that makes us different from what we once were. We desire to know God. We desire to think about him, pray to him, be with him.
So the Holy Spirit, by applying the scriptures to us, confirms that we belong to God as his child. Now this is a real wonder. It is a mystery that we as fallible, sinful people can become actual children, adopted children of God. This is miraculous.
It's supernatural. It's the work of God himself. Think about it this way. Look at what it cost or what it took to redeem us from our own sin. And we know what the cross says, what happened there. Look at the wonder that God had the plan to adopt us when we were not seeking him at all. Look at the infinite love and tender love that we do receive from God. He does love us, and that's just hard to fathom.
And look at the great breadth of what God is doing. He saves us. He adopts us. He assures us of our sonship all the way into eternal glory. So it is no small thing for us to claim Christ, to know him, to be confirmed by God that we are his, and he's claiming us as his children. So thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Father. Thank you, Spirit, for calling us to yourself.
This is an amazing thing. He has chosen us. He has called us.
He is wooing us. He's regenerated us. He's adopted us, and now he is continuing to sanctify us. Verse 17 declares something else.
It declares that God, that there is a constant new position that we have before God. We are heirs, and if you're an heir, then you must inherit something, but we inherit something of great value, immense value, immeasurable value. You know, human inheritances are...some people time people fight over them.
They take them to court. They're not satisfied with them or whatever, but usually you might receive some inheritance before your parents or your guardians pass away, but sometimes it's really after the death of the testator you receive it, and that's when you get it. But Christ has already died and risen, so he's alive. God's alive. He never, you know, he's there, so that's not necessary anymore, so our God lives, and he still gives his...he gives us the full inheritance that is there.
We can...what he's promised, we received. It's for sure, but you know, an earthly inheritance can really give out. It can be stolen. It can be squandered. It can be lost. An inheritance can be lost in the market crash. It can be gone, but our inheritance with Jesus Christ is never lost. It is secure.
It is definite. It is constant because we are in Christ. We belong to him, and we receive all kinds of good things, and these are just a few of them. We are prime inheritors of the kingdom of God, but also it says that we have a joint inheritance. We are fellow heirs with Christ, so this is really hard to comprehend. What Christ receives for his suffering, his living that perfect life, we're going to enjoy those same benefits in heaven with him. We are joint heirs with Christ, but then it says we are fellow heirs. That means every believer in this room and one that's listening, we together are equally going to receive the prime top level of inheritances from the Lord Jesus Christ. How that works, I do not know, but it's going to be wonderful, and that's what's God's promise.
It's a done deal. So there are things here we can say about this, but there are two aspects connected with the inheritance that we have and the faith that we have, and that is when the end of verse 17 and the beginning of verse 18, it talks about this. It says that we will also share in what? We're going to share in his suffering and his glory.
They're together. Quite often scripture puts those together because we are identified with Christ. Because we belong to him, we will also suffer some things because of our association with him. John 15 puts it this way. Verse 19, if you were of the world, the world would love its own, but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this, the world hates you. Remember the word I said to you. A slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If you keep my word, they will keep yours also. So God has promised us a great glorious future with him. He's given us many blessings right now on this earth. We belong to him, we are adopted, we're heirs, we're joint heirs, we're fellow heirs together, and we have the person of the Holy Spirit living in us, and we have his word, the Spirit's book.
We have all kinds of assurances. Now the third major point, verses 18 to 25, and this is that the Holy Spirit constantly encourages us in the hope of our complete redemption. We're looking for redemption.
We've already received it, been saved, but it is not complete. We're still here in this physical body which has aches and pains and all the other things that are coming with it. But one day, we will be both complete, perfect with new bodies, and perfectly in the presence of Jesus Christ in a sinless heaven with each other.
This is a great thing. Paul told the Christians that were living under the shadow of the Caesars that they were going to experience suffering and they will be aware of the glories of Christ. And so there's various levels of human suffering in the world. Maybe our suffering might be when somebody just turns and walks away because they don't want to hear the gospel, or they're not interested in Christian things, or they just think you're a goody-two-shoes or something like that. But others people suffer physical suffering and death on this earth. We know that because they belong to Christ.
But Paul makes one qualification. He says, in the balance of things, when you weigh the suffering against the glory, there is no comparison. There's nothing to compare to the glory that we're going to receive when Christ returns.
So we have a reason to wait and anticipate for his coming. The glory that we will experience and share with Christ is unimaginable. We cannot measure.
We can't weigh it. So the glory of God's redemption is beyond our comprehension. Now, why would anyone think that the physical and the living creation would be longing for Christ's return? You know, that's what it says here in verses 20. It says, verse 19, for the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. What? You mean the mountains and the trees and the birds and the animals that they're waiting for for Christ? Well, it says, why?
Why? Because with Adam and Eve's sin, the earth was cursed. So Adam did have to deal with briars. Eve did feel pain in childbirth. We do have disease. We do have famines. We have earthquakes, and we have wars, and we have all kinds of things, and we feel it in our own bodies sometimes. And we see it in our friends that the world is breaking down, and it does from generation to generation. So we have this curse, and it began with Adam and Eve, and they were living in a perfect condition, and they gave it up for their own selfish reasons. They disobeyed God, and we've been cursed. Even as beautiful as the earth is, we can't imagine how beautiful it was. But it explains that the earth was subjected to futility.
And so there is a longing that the earth has, in a sense, for the coming of Christ when God comes back to gather his people together. I want to tell you a story about two people many of you know. Many of you know Betty, and you may know Herb. They both used to be in two different assisted living places, and when they told me their stories, the passage scripture jumped out at me. And Herb was in one place, and he said... Herb's in his 90s. He said, I don't understand it.
We have a Bible study, and we got about six people that come. The people living here, well, don't they realize this is assisted living? Where do they think they're going next? And they're not interested. There may be different reasons, but they're not interested. And she said, I just don't understand it. Well, Betty told me the same thing, and she did some Bible studies in the place where she was before, and she had people coming and asking her questions after she did those studies, but she said, I don't understand it. Why are people interested in eternity and the things of God?
And Betty's in her 90s, too. And she's wondering, what's wrong? And I thought, I read this passage. I said, I don't know all the reasons. There could be many health reasons, there could be hearing reasons, there could be other legitimate reasons like that, but, you know, if you don't want to talk about redemption, and you don't want to admit that you have redemption, need redemption, and you don't want to even think about redemption, well, maybe you wouldn't go to a Bible study, because that's not in your view. Your view of the world doesn't say, I don't need that.
I'm all right. It's like Dr. Alan McGrow, who was a professor at Cedar Hill College and worked with our organization overseas, he said, you know, a lot of people when their friends die, they say, well, they're going to heaven, because in the southeast we really believe in salvation by death. Whenever they die, they all go to heaven, just like the preacher says, they almost be in heaven.
No. If you're in a bad physical condition, if you have come close to death, why not think about your need for redemption? Why not?
Well, why aren't you thinking about it? Well, in the last verses, he says, and not only this in verse 23, but also, we ourselves have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves, grown within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. So here he's talking about the fact that, yeah, we're waiting, we're waiting to see Christ, we're waiting for him to return. The true believer has that anticipation in them. They want to see their Lord and Savior. They want to be through with putting off the deeds of the flesh.
I want that battle to be over with. I want to live free from sin and true to Christ for eternity. You know, in the Psalms, sometimes the Psalms express things that are just clear in the New Testament, and just think about this. Psalm 90, Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Is the Lord your dwelling place? Is that what the Holy Spirit says to you? Is that what he confirmed from the Word?
Is he not? That's what he's saying, that he should be our dwelling place. We should, we are either in Christ or we're out of Christ. And so we have this anticipation of being completely with Christ when the body and its ailments and all these things are gone away and the temptations of the flesh are gone, and we are with him in perfect communion.
That's what we long for in this world. There's one more section of Scripture here, and that is the last couple verses where it talks about the hope that we have. And that is, you could summarize that with this couple verses here in Corinthians. For the momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond comparison.
Why we look not at the things which are seen but the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. And so we wait and look and long for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is our Redeemer, and we will be through with the struggles that we have, and we will be complete in him. And the Holy Spirit has confirmed that as a first fruit in our lives. He has given us a pledge and a guarantee that we are children of God. So these are some of these, just some of the assurances that you find in this passage of Scripture that we should meditate upon and rejoice in day by day. We are encouraged by the words of Scripture as the Spirit applies them to our hearts. And the Holy Spirit constantly assures us of the benefits of Christ, and the Holy Spirit is constantly pointing to our future rewards with Christ. The Holy Spirit is at work changing us, assuring us, and pointing us to the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.
Let us pray. Father in heaven, we thank you for the fact that you take us, men and women made of dust, and you offer us salvation, and you woo us by your Holy Spirit, and you change our sinful thoughts and ways, and then you call us your own children. It's all your work, and the fact that you live in us by the Spirit is all your plan. The fact that you've given us in your nature is all your design, and we are blessed. We are rewarded beyond anything. We are totally unworthy. And so Father, we praise you for the work that you've done in our lives, and we praise you for the offer of salvation in Jesus Christ. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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