(Vs. 11) This natural body is a dying body subject to afflictions, diseases, infirmities, and eventually death, because of sin. But if the Spirit of God dwells in us (by grace through faith), death is not the end; for He that raised Christ from the dead shall also, in His appointed time, raise our bodies from the grave (I Cor. 15:12-22, 42-44). This body shall not always be in corruption and ruin, but shall be raised in the image of Christ (I John 3:1-3).
(Vs. 12) "Therefore" looks back to Verses 5, 6, and 9. Since our primary interest is not the flesh, materialism, and things of this world, but the kingdom of God and His righteousnesssince to be fleshly minded is a sign of absence of the Spirit of Christsince our flesh and all pertaining thereunto shall die and we shall be raised in His likeness, we are not obligated to live for the flesh and this world but to live unto Christ Who redeemed us. Men who are freed from condemnation and death are not freed from obedience; but to whom much is forgiven, he will love much. We are motivated to holiness by our love for Christ and His love for us (II Cor. 5:14-15).
(Vs. 13) Such persons who live after the flesh are already dead; eternal death awaits! A person who has received the grace of God in truth cannot live after the flesh, for he does not love sin and the world; he loves Christ and holiness. Because of the Spirit of God Who lives in him, the believer's outward conduct and course of life consists of denying the flesh and walking after the Spirit (Rom. 8:1). Believers live in Christ now and shall live with Christ forever.
(Vs. 14) This is the evidence of a union with Christ. We are regenerated by the Holy Spirit; we are baptized into Christ by the Spirit; we are taught by the Holy Spirit; we pray, worship, praise, sing, and live led by the Spirit of God (John 3:6; I Cor. 12:13; John 16:13-14; I Cor. 14:15; Gal. 5:16-18).
(Vs. 15) "The spirit of bondage and fear" is an attitude or frame of mind. It is the frame of mind of-a slave toward his master or a prisoner toward his captor. "The spirit of adoption" is the frame of mind in which an affectionate, grateful child regards his father. He loves, respects, trusts, and believes his father, which produces a peace of mind and the feeling of belonging. We are now the sons of God (John 1:12; I John 3:1-2). There are several explanations for the use of the word "Abba." Some say it is a Syriac word. The word "father" is a Greek word, so He is Father of Jew and Greek. Some say it is to express the vehemency of the affection. Some say it signifies "my father." Some say it is a word only free men can use (according to Jewish tradition).
(Vs. 16) The Holy Spirit (by His presence and through the Word of God) bears witness that we are the sons of God. We are always ready to doubt this blessing for two reasons. (1) The greatness of the blessing and (2) our sinfulness and unworthiness to receive it. The Holy Spirit bears this witness TO our spirits, not to our natural eyes and ears, but to our hearts (for it is internal), to our souls (where faith receives it), and to our understanding (that we may have assurance, I John 5:20).
(Vs. 17) Children of the same father, whether natural or adopted, are heirs! By nature we are the children of wrath, but by His will and grace we are children of God (James 1:18). Being the sons of God, we are the heirs of His grace, His blessings, His kingdom, and all things (I Cor. 3:21-23). Joint-heirs with Christ means that it is THROUGH Him and WITH Him that we are heirs of God and His glory (Eph. 1:3-7).
"We suffer with Him" conveys two ideas. (1) Christ and His people ARE ONE; and when He suffered, bled, and died, we were in Him. Therefore, when Christ died, we died to the curse, condemnation, and charges of sin and the Law. Therefore, we are raised with Him, are seated in Him, and are partakers with Him in the blessings of that sacrifice. (2) Because of our oneness with Him, there will be suffering for us to bear here for His sake and the sake of His gospel (John 15:18-20). This identification with Christ will result in eternal glory for all of God's sons (Eph. 2:6-7; Phil. 3:20-21).