12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Romans 8:12-17 New Living Translation (NLT)
Today is the first Sunday after Pentecost. That means it is also Trinity Sunday. On this day we explore the wonderful mystery that is the Trinity – that God is Three and yet One. Our finite minds have trouble grasping this concept. We try to come up with earthly metaphors and all of them fail at some point to adequately grasp how the Trinity works. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, we get a glimpse of how it works. Paul has just written that as believers we are not controlled by our sinful nature, but by the Spirit of God – the same Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead – and this Spirit lives or dwells – is incarnate – in us. Because God raised us from the dead – just as he did Jesus – we too have life.
So Paul tells us we have no obligation to do what our sinful nature – an old word for that is carnal nature. A couple of weeks ago, I used the word hedonism during my message and it is a philosophy that the human body is simply here for pleasure. It we live by the dictates of our sinful nature, we won’t have that life, but we will die a spiritual death. The Holy Spirit leads us to be children of God. I love how Paul puts all of this together and it is such an encouragement. We have been adopted into the family of God. We are his children and we can literally call God our Daddy! He is our Father – and his Spirit – the Holy Spirit joins with our spirit to let us know that. Because of that – because of the way the Trinity works – we can share in God’s glory. How cool is that? I may not know how it all works, but I take this assurance.
11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.
12 That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.
13 Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:11-13 New Living Translation (NLT)