The Masterpiece

Date Posted: March 12th, 2012

If by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  Romans 8:13-14

Notice the “because…” This is telling us that verse 14 gives further explanation to verse 13.  If I say “Come to the church at 6pm tonight, because we’re dedicating the new building,” the second statement is explaining the first.

The reason you must “put to death the misdeeds of the body” is that “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”  The distinctive mark of the sons of God is that by applying the power of the Spirit, they wage war against the sins that lurk in their flesh.

Sons of God
Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  Romans 8:14

The word “son” is used in the Bible to define family and to describe character.  The distinction is important, because when the Bible tells us “Jesus is the Son of God,” that does not mean “God was alone in eternity and one day He decided to clone Himself.”  There was never a time when God was not Father, Son and Holy Spirit: “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). 

God Himself took human flesh, in Jesus Christ, who is THE Son of God par excellence.  He is the image of the invisible God, the exact representation of His being.  Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Paul takes up the same language and talks about us being “sons of God.”   He’s saying “God wants His character and likeness to be reflected in your life.”  How is that going to happen? 

Is this a matter of saying a prayer?  No.  It happens as you are led by the Spirit… 

Led by the Spirit

Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  Romans 8:14

Where will the spirit lead you?  The spirit will lead you into battle against the sins that have dug themselves into your life.  He will lead you to fight them and because of His overwhelming power, you have the ability to put them to death.

Paul is talking about a marvelous possibility for your life: Those who are led by the Spirit of God (into an intentional onslaught against the sins that hide within us) will be marked by an increasing likeness to God Himself; they will be “sons of God.”  God created Adam in His own image and likeness, but that likeness was defaced, it was distorted when sin entered the world.

A long process of restoration

Imagine a priceless work of art hanging in a gallery, and one night an intruder defaces the painting, scrawling graffiti over it, obscuring the beauty and leaving something that is ugly. 

When the artist sees what has happened to his greatest work it breaks his heart.  The painting has been defaced and it needs to be restored.  The restoration process will take months, even years.  It will be costly, but the artist chooses to make that investment, because this is his masterpiece.

Men and women are the masterpiece of God’s creation.  We were made in the image and likeness of God.  But the masterpiece has been defaced.  God is saying “I will restore the glory of the image I have created.”  As he cleans you up, as he removes the stain that has hidden God’s likeness from view in your life, the glory of the image of God will be increasingly seen in you.

Imagine watching the painting being restored.  Gradually you can see the original lines appearing, slowly the shades of original color begin to appear, and you say “I’m seeing the masterpiece!”  That is the work of the Holy Spirit.  That is where He is leading us, and “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

This LifeKey is based on the message “Heirs,” by Pastor Colin S. Smith, from the series, “Unlocking the Bible in Romans & Corinthians,” preached on September 9, 2001.

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