“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
This introduces a new topic, illustrating the benefits of the Gospel–that is. that it produces a spirit of adoption.

         “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God”
         Literally:  “For as many as are led by {the} Spirit of God”–Whosoever; all who are thus led.

            AS MANY:  (Grk.–hosoi)–Read this in a restrictive sense, meaning,“only those” instead of in the sense of, “all those.”  The ones who are lead are the Christians, not just everybody.

            ARE LED:  (Grk.–agontai)–Literally meaning, “to lead; to allow one’s self to be led.”  

         This, “leading” of the Spirit does not necessarily refer to His guidance for everyday decisions in determining the will of God; rather, it refers to being “controlled by” or “determined by” or “governed by” the Spirit.
         God does not drive His sheep; insted, He leads them (see John 10:27). 17). The Holy Spirit is represented as influencing, suggesting, and controlling. One evidence of true salvation is a willingness to yield to His influence, and to submit to Him. All Christians are to submit to His influence, but all sinners reject and oppose it. 

“they are the sons of God”
Literally:  “These are sons of God.”–Are adopted into His family, and are His children.  The are  His  friends, disciples, and imitators.  They are parts of the great family of the redeemed, of whom God is the Father and Protector.

            SONS:  (Grk.–huioi)–Used in Gal. 4:5 of a mature child of God in a legal standing, in   contrast to a minor child (Grk.teknon).  This theme of being “sons”  (huioi)  and “children” (tekna) of God is prominent in verse 21.  “To redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of some” (Gal. 4:5).

We can see here that every step of Roman adoption was on the mind of Paul, as well as on the minds of his Roman readers, and he transfers that to picture our adoption in the family of God.  The old life has no more rights over us.  God now has absolute right of us.  The old past life is cancelled and its debts have been wiped out; that is, nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14)..  We have begun a new life with God and have become heirs of all His riches; that is, we have become joint-heirs with Christ, God’s own Son.  The Holy Spirit bears witness to us that we are truly sons of God.  Here is a test of our true faithfulness::
1.      Are we conscious that an influence from above has been drawing us away from the corrupting passions and vanities of this world ? This is the work of the Holy Spirit.
2.      Are we conscious of a desire to yield to that influence, and to be conducted in the path of purity and life? This is an evidence that we are the sons of God.
3.      Are we offering no resistance; that is, do we follow cheerfully, and obey this pure influence, leading us to mortify pride, subdue passion,  destroy  lust, humble ambition, and annihilate the love of wealth and of the world.


“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.”

Believers have not received a “spirit of slavery that leads to fear again,” but a “but a Spirit of adoption.”

         “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage”
         Literally:  “For you did not receive {the} Spirit of slavery.”–We do not have a servile, or  slavish  spirit, governed by fear.  

         RECEIVED:  (Grk.–elabete)–This is speaking of our conversion, when we received the Holy Spirit.  Paul tells us both what we did not receive and what we did receive.
1.      What we did not receive–Spirit of bondage (slavery).
         Those who do not have the Holy Spirit are already slaves of sin.
         a.      They are not able to keep God’s Law.
         b.      They are already condemned (John 3:18)
         c.      They are already under the wrath of God (John 3:
2.      What we did receive–Spirit of adoption.

            All that were under the Law were under bondage to its rites and ceremonies; and because of that corrupt nature with which every human being is polluted, they were often sinning; consequently they had forfeited their lives, and were continually, through fear of death subject to bondage [slavery] (Heb. 2:15). However, in contrast to this, believers in Christ Jesus were brought out from under that Law; and from under its condemnation; and, consequently, were freed from its bondage.

            The Gentiles were also in a state of bondage as well as the Jews; they had also a multitude of burdensome rites and ceremonies, and a multitude of deities to worship; nor could they believe themselves secure of protection while one of their almost endless host of gods, celestial, terrestrial, or infernal, was left enslaved to sin..

“spirit of bondage”
Literally:  “spirit of slavery”– The spirit that binds you; or the spirit of a slave, that produces only fear. The slave is under constant fear and alarm. But the spirit of Christianity is that of freedom and of confidence; the spirit of children, and not of slaves.

                        BONDAGE:  (Grk.-douleiasi)–Literally:  “slavery.” 

         “again to fear.”–You would again be afraid, or be subjected to servile fear. This implies that in their former state, under the law, they were in a state of servitude, and that the tendency of it was merely to produce alarm. 

          AGAIN:  (Grk.–palin)–Since sin leads to death , those who are unsaved and “pretend” to be Christians, or are merely “professing” to be Christians, have much to fear.  But those who have truly received the Spirit of adoption (been born-again) never need to fear that they will again return to their first condition of fear.

         Every sinner is subject to such fear. He has everything to be worried about.  God is angry with him; his conscience troubles him; and he has everything to apprehend in death and in eternity.  But this is not the way it is with the Christian (comp. II Tim. 1:7)–“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
         This passage totally destroys that heresy that a believer, an adopted son of God, can lose his salvation; that is, that he can be unadopted by God; that he can again be placed into his former state of being as sinner without God; i.e., back into his former state of fear.  Such teaching as this would blaspheme (Grk.–blasphēmeō)–(literally: “to speak evil of”) all three Persons of the Godhead. 
1.      It blasphemes God the Father; that is, making Him out to be a liar; when He has said, “I am the LORD, your God, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). 
2.      It blasphemes Christ (God the Son) by making Him out to be lying when He promised us “eternal life” (John 3:16).  No conditions to this promise–only our belief and trust in Him; However, the worst part of this is:
3.      It blasphemes the Holy Spirit (a sin for which Jesus said there is NO forgiveness (Matt. 12:31); for it is the Holy Spirit Who inspired this passage to be written into the holy Scriptures (II Timothy 3:16).

God is not an “Indian giver;” He does not give fallible sinners His salvation (and Him knowing full well that that sinner will fail) and then take away that salvation because that sinner did fail.  Such an action on God’s part would totally destroy GRACE, for grace is totally unconditional to be received and just as unconditional to KEEP!  God does now withdraw GRACE because of demerit (sinful actions) on our part; neither can GRACE be lessened because of demerit on our part. 

“but ye have received the Spirit of adoption”
Literally: “But you received  a Spirit of adoption.”–That feeling of affection, love, belonging, and confidence which pertains to children; not the servile, trembling spirit of slaves, but the affectionate regard of sons.

         ADOPTION:  (Grk.–huiothesia)–Adoption is the taking and treating a stranger as  one's own child. It is applied to Christians because God treats them as His children; He receives them into this relation, though they were by nature strangers and enemies.  It is for this that Christians are so often called the sons of God.

         Paul was writing to the Romans, among whom the adoption of children was common. They would understand this to mean that those converted, or born again, are adopted as children of God; upon those thus adopted He gives His Spirit, and this Spirit in their hearts produces a loving trust that enables them to address God as Father.
           Such adoptions were common place among the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, and Roman, and especially among the Romans.  Persons of property, who had no children of their own, adopted those of another family.  The child thus adopted ceased to belong to his original family, and was in every respect bound to the person who had adopted him, as if he were his own child.  Upon the
death of his adopting father he possessed his estates.  If a person after he had adopted a child happened to have children of his own, then the estate was equally divided between the adopted and real children.  The Romans had regular forms of law, by which all these matters were settled.

 “whereby we cry,”
Literally: “By which we cry.”  As children who need protection and help. This displays the habitual spirit of a child of
God; a disposition:

1.      To express towards Him the feelings due to a father;
2.      To call upon Him-– to address Him in the language of affection and endearingconfidence;
3.      To seek His protection and aid.

            BY WHICH:  (Grk.–en ho)–Literally:  “by means of” the Spirit we cry out.

“Abba, Father”“Abba” is an untranslated Aramaic word and simply means father.  Why Paul repeats the word in a different language is not known. This word could be translated as    “my Daddy  The Syriac text reads it, “By which we call the Father our Father.”    

“The Spirit Itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”

“The Spirit itself   
Better:  “The Spirit Himself.”  The KJV here uses the neuter pronoun, “itself,” but this is a grave error.  The masculine pronoun “Himself” would have been more appropriate for the Godhead is ALWAYS spoken of as being in the masculine gender, even though there is a blasphemous heresy and pagan cultic treaching that speaks of “Mother-Father God.”

          SPIRIT ITSELF: (Grk.–auto to pneuma)–The grammatical gender of pneuma (Spirit) is neuter as here, but the Greek used also the natural gender as we do exclusively as in John 16:13–“He” (Grk.–ekeinos) (masculine He), to pneuma (neuter). It is a grave mistake to use the neuter “it” or “itself” when referring to the Holy Spirit.

“beareth witness with our spirit”
“Witnesses with our spirit.”–Testifies (gives evidence of); by working in us the dispositions, and leading us to form the habits and cherish the hopes of the children of God; and by His influence, enabling us to discern in ourselves these scriptural evidences of being born of God.

To our minds. This pertains to the adoption; and it means, that the Holy Spirit furnishes evidence to our minds that we are adopted into the family of God It is by producing in us the appropriate effects of His influence. 

           WITH OUR SPIRIT:  (Grk.–tōi pneumati hêmôn)–This rendering assumes the concurrent testimony of the human spirit with that of the Holy Spirit.  Other expositors prefer to render this phrase as, to our spirit,” urging that the human spirit can give no testimony until acted upon by the Spirit of God.

“that we are the children of God”
Literally:  “That we are children of God.”–That we are adopted into His family. The testimony of our own spirit is borne in that cry of conscious sonship, “Abba, Father.”  

            CHILDREN:  (Grk.–tekna)–Literally, referring to minor children; a child by birth.  Paul had before called believers as “sons of God,” referring to our adoption; here the word changes to “children,” referring to our new birth.  

“Sons” (Grk.–huoi) expresses the dignity to which we are admitted; while “children” (Grk.–tekna)–refers o the new life which we receive. Tekna is more suitable here; because a son by adoption (huios) might not be an heir of the property, whereas a son by birth (tekna) certainly is, and this is what Paul is now coming to.

“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.”

We are seeing Paul doing another of his “play on words” in the Greek; that is, making a play or contrasting the two Greek words, tekna (children) and huioi (son).

“And if children”–If born into God’s family (see John 3:3). 

         “then heirs”
         Literally: “Also heirs.”–That is,
God will treat us as His sons. An heir is one who succeeds to an estate.

The meaning here is, that if we sustain the relation of sons to God that we shall be treated as such, and admitted to share His favors. An adopted son comes in for a part of the inheritance (Num. 27:1-23).  Observe Paul’s chain of argument:
1.      We are the sons of God (v. 14);
2.      This is shown by our having received the Spirit of adoption (v. 15).3.
         Both God's Spirit and our own spirit witness together that we are children of God (v. 16).
3.      But children are heirs; hence we are heirs of God Himself.

Only the legitimate children can inherit the estate. This is not an estate to which they succeed in consequence of the death of a former possessor; rather, it is like the Promised Land, given by God Himself, and divided among the children of His family.

“heirs of God”
Literally:  Truly heirs of God.”– Heirs of our Father's kingdom.  This means that we shall be partakers of that inheritance which God confers on His people.  That inheritance is His  favor here, and eternal life hereafter. 

This is an honor indefinitely higher than to be heir to the most princely earthly inheritance, or than to be the adopted son of the most magnificent             earthly monarch.  Understand that this is neither an earthly inheritance nor a heavenly inheritance we received; but we receive God Himself, Who is to be our portion. It is GOD, Who is infinitely greater and more glorious than heaven itself.  With such powers has God created the soul of man, that nothing less than Himself can be a sufficient and satisfactory portion for the mind of this most astonishing creature.  

 “joint heirs with Christ”
Literally: “joint heirs of Christ”–Christ is by eminence THE Son of God.  As such, He is   Heir to the full honors and glory of heaven.  Christians are united to Him; they are His friends; and they are thus represented as destined to partake with Him of His glory.

They are the sons of God in a different sense from what Christ is; He  by His nature and high relation, they by adoption; but still the idea of sonship exists in both; and hence both will partake in the glories of the eternal inheritance (comp. Phil. 2:1; 4:23; Heb 2:1; 9:1-28).

                JOINT HEIRS:  (Grk.–sugkleronomoi)–Partaking of the same eternal glory with the glorified human nature of Christ.
Here we see Paul doing another one of his “play on words” in the Greek.  .Paul is fond of using compounds of the Greek prefix, “sun,” which literally means, “with, in company with, along with, together with.”  Three times in this verse he uses this prefix combination:
sunklêronomoi– joint heirs”
sundoxasthômen– we suffer together”
 sunpaschômen– we may be glorified together”

The connection between Christ and Christians is often referred to in the N.T  The fact that believers are united here is often alleged as a reason why they will be in glory. “Because I live, ye shall live also” (John 14:19). “For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer, we shall also reign with him,” (II Tim 2:11-12).  “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne,”  (Rev. 3:21).

“if so be we suffer with Him”
Literally:  “if indeed we suffer together.”–For Christ, the Path of Suffering was the Path of Glory;  For His JOINT-HEIRS it must be the same.  As members of the same family we share in the trials of life as well as the benefits.

We shall not be treated as co-heirs with Him, unless we here give evidence that we are united to Him. Observe how Paul advances to the harsh affair of suffering.  He does not mention it till he had raised up their   thoughts to the highest object of joy and pleasure-the happiness and glory of a joint inheritance    

“that we may be also glorified together”– Glorified with Him. This necessity of conformity to Christ in suffering in order to participate in His glory, is taught alike by Christ Himself and by His apostles (John 12:24-26; Matt. 16:24-25; II Tim. 2:12).

Here the Holy Spirit says we will be “glorified together.”  This alone totally destroys that heresy of some sort of “partial rapture.”  Together means, “all together,” not some now and some later on when God considers us fit enough.  He has ALREADY pronounced us fit–that is, JUSTIFIED.  If we are united in the same kind of sufferings, we will also be united in destiny beyond the scenes of all suffering–the Kingdom of Blessedness and love.