Is it possible to have a free and confident relationship with God?

We are fortunate as Christians knowing about “the law of the Spirit,” Romans 8:2, because the Spirit is the only solution to our “sinful nature,” verse 3. As Paul writes in verse 9, we “are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit,” and that’s good because our sinful nature always made us “hostile to God,” verse 7. We could never grasp that “we are God’s children” (16), so we never felt free and confident in our relationship with God, like Jesus did.

But when “the Spirit of God lives in you,” we have the Spirit creating the same life and nature of the resurrected Christ in us (11), and that gives us a mind full of “life and peace” as we come to realize we are “sons of God” just like Jesus is right now (14). We are God’s very own children, so why on earth did we resist him so much, and think he was against us?

The Spirit frees us of all those stupid thoughts we had about God. As the Spirit installs Christ’s nature and relationship with God in us we find ourselves thinking about God as our “Abba, Father” (15), not as some awful ogre like the gods of Greek mythology. And because we have the Spirit of Christ in us we can walk in that father/son relationship with God every day.

We have a problem, though, don’t we? Our sinful nature “with its passions and desires,” Galatians 5:24, is trying to wreck our free and confident relationship with God. But, Paul writes in verse 16, if we “live by the Spirit” we “will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” If we’re “led by the Spirit” (18) we are “not under law,” meaning we’re no longer ruled by or controlled by the law of our sinful nature. Instead we are filled by the Spirit with “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” just as Christ was (and is), giving us the same free and confident relationship with God that he has.

“Since we live by the Spirit” then, Paul writes in verse 25, “let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Since the Spirit is constantly filling us with all the qualities of Christ’s nature that gave him a lovely relationship with God, walk in that every day, realizing that’s what the Spirit is doing for us. Walk in step with the Spirit who wants us “to be free,” verse 15, free in the knowledge that he is gradually getting rid of the ugly qualities of our sinful nature and replacing them with Christ’s nature so we can walk with God every day in the same relationship Jesus had.

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