Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 2 Study # 3
August 14, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<332> Thesis: We are under obligation. Introduction: In our study last week we looked into the nature of Paul's promise that the Spirit of God will give life to our dead/subject-to-death bodies. He puts his focus upon the Spirit's indwelling presence so that we might understand that he is not primarily promising a future, literal, physical resurrection from the dead. Rather, his promise is that the Spirit of Life is willing to impart Life to us while we exist in dying bodies. Since "death" was tied, in 8:10, to "sin" and "the Spirit" was tied to "righteousness" and since the issue of 8:4 is the fulfillment of the righteousness of the Law, it is not a big "jump" to the conclusion that Paul is telling his readers that the willingness of the Spirit to impart Life to us is a willingness to produce both the motivation for, and the performance of, true righteousness in a cause/effect way. Life automatically arises out of righteousness. Thus, for the Spirit to impart life to us He must produce righteousness in and through us. This raises this question: by what methods does the Spirit produce a legitimate motivation? There are two answers. On one side of the issue, there is a direct working of the Spirit which is, as far as I know, unexplained, though revealed in Scripture. In this chapter of Romans Paul points to this reality: he says, "The Spirit Himself bears witness together with our spirit that we are 'children of God'" (8:16). 1 John 3:24 may well be another reference to this reality, though John, like Paul, does not go into any kind of explanation. On the other side of the issue, there is the teaching ministry of the Spirit which deals with biblical revelation and its impact upon our minds, our hearts, our motivations, our choices, and our actual activities. Since we can assume without further explanation that the first part of our answer is a given, we will focus upon the second part: what the text of biblical revelation has to say about how the Spirit produces legitimate motivation.