Believers are to walk in the Spirit and are to discipline the deeds of the body. What more was Paul going to teach?
Romans 8:14-18 (KJV)
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
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.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
According to verse 14, they, that are led by the Holy Spirit, are the sons of God. Here Paul again stressed that although all people are his children in a sense, true sons and daughters are only those that have entered into a relationship with God and are walking accordingly. There is a definite distinction between the majority of mankind and His own.
But believers have not received the spirit of bondage that results in fear (verse 15). They have received the Spirit of adoption which entitles them to call God, "Father." Traditional Christianity has thought that the spirit of bondage came as a result of being under the obligation of Torah. But based on Paul's glowing descriptions of the Torah, it would be unthinkable that he would consider obligatory Torah observance to lead to bondage.
Romans 7:22 (KJV)
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
John also agreed with Paul.
1 John 5:3 (KJV)
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
The spirit of bondage results from being enslaved to sin, which leads to fear of the judgment of God. For believers, however, their status has changed. They are no longer enslaved to sin, but to righteousness, where there is no fear.
Verse 16 assures believers that the Holy Spirit is dwelling within. He witnesses with their own natural spirit that they are children of God.
1 Thessalonians 1:5a (KJV)
For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance...
And if believers are the children of God, then they are also heirs of God, just as Yeshua is (verse 17). Although this means that believers will suffer persecution and reproach because of faith, they will also be glorified like Yeshua. In fact, believers will be glorified together with Him! This statement was meant to be a great comfort for believers. Paul went on to compare the sufferings of this age to the glory that will eventually be bestowed on the believers (verse 18). Although the sufferings can be great, the glory far outweighs them.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (KJV)
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV)
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Paul would continue his thoughts in the next section. Stay tuned!