Romans 8:14-17 - So clear, yet so misunderstood
Updated: May 7, 2022
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All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ-- if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
This is the optional New Testament reading choice, if Acts 2 is read as the First Lesson on Pentecost Sunday, Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow the Acts reading, where it is written that Peter told the crowd of pilgrims, “This is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: `In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy”. That will be followed by a singing of Psalm 104, where David wrote: “You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth. May the glory of Yahweh endure forever; may Yahweh rejoice in all his works.” All will accompany the Gospel reading from John, where at the final Seder meal for Jesus he told his disciples, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”’
These verses are included within the whole selected for public reading on Trinity Sunday, in Year B. I wrote about Romans 8:12-17 and published that commentary in 2021. That posting is named “Being a child of God demands self-sacrifice” and can be accessed by clicking on the link. Today, I will address just these verses set aside for reading on Pentecost Sunday, Year C.
Because the NRSV translation above is a paraphrase that takes a preconceived idea and supports that agenda, making it difficult for a casual reader to discern the truth by oneself, I will do literal translations of these four verses. You will notice how verse fourteen follows a period mark that ended verse thirteen, making verse fourteen become a new statement of thought. However, the first word of verse fourteen is not capitalized. This shows that the rules of syntax (from which preconceived paraphrases come) are to be discarded, so a divine syntax shows importance to be found in every capitalized word (in the Greek text).
Verse fourteen states in the Greek:
“hosoi gar Pneumati Theou agontai , houtoi huioi eisin ⇔ Theou .”
Please take note of the presence of a left-right arrow (⇔), which is a mathematical symbol that states, “if true to the left, then true to the right.” Thus, this symbol of truth being written in words says, “eisin" is equal to "Theou,” when all tests of truth are made. This becomes an unstated statement, which the NRSV cannot tell (or prefers not to).
The translation of verse fourteen is this:
“how many indeed to Spirit of God (they) are guided , these sons (they) exist ⇔ of God
This rather simple statement says the test of truth is relative to “how man indeed” are those souls that “exist truly of God”. This does not include everyone, simply because all souls are the “breath” (a lower-case “pneumati”) “of God,” placed within their bodies of flesh at birth. Those are then “sons” (lower-case) and daughters of man, born of human parents. This makes the test of the truth of the left-right arrow be a soul (lower-case “breath”) having been raised by the “Spirit” (capitalized, thus having a divinely elevated meaning, relative to Yahweh). The soul must “indeed” go “to Spirit” and have receive the “Spirit of God,” so that inner presence (not something told them by some external source) makes each “be guided, led, carried, or brought” by that “Spirit of God.” Not everyone is so “guided,” therefore the first word poses this to be the variable, as “how many” is “indeed” to be determined by a test of truth.
The Greek word written by Paul that has been poorly translated as “children” is “huioi,” which is the plural form of “huois,” meaning “a son.” It is possible to expand the scope of this word’s usage to “a descendant,” which is relative to a bloodline of human beings; but “children” is nothing more than some male-dominated theological philosophers getting together and coming up with the agenda that says, “Hey guys. You know most men have stopped following Christian religions because we are so obviously fakes; but we still have the women in the fold, thanks to letting women become priests. So, what say we change all the text that we do not understand about the masculine spiritual plane to “sons and daughters,” "brothers and sisters," and generically “children”? Sound good to you guys?”
The reason Paul wrote “sons of God” is because the “how many indeed” that survive the test of truth are those who are ALL Jesus resurrections in new bodies of flesh (be them male or female). So, since ALL are tested to be true as Jesus reborn, then ALL are “sons of God,” ALL are Jesuses reborn (a male Spiritual entity). But, then, it takes a soul who passes the test of truth to know that and teach that to other souls.
Now, there is reason for the NRSV to be influenced to see “huioi … Theou” and pull “children” out. This is because verse sixteen says, “tekna Theou,” which does translate as “children of God.” Still, “tekna” does not “children” make out of “huioi.” The word “tekna” will be written in verse seventeen, but not directly connected to “Theou.” All of that is putting the cart before the horse; and, it does not speak as passing a test of truth, when one makes up bad translations for divine text.
Verse fifteen is then written as this:
“Ou gar elabete pneuma douleias palin eis phobon , alla elabete pneuma huiothesias ,
en hō krazomen , Abba ! ho Patēr ! “
In that, the words “elabete pneuma” are repeated, where “pneuma” is written in the lower-case, so it is not a reference to the capitalized “Pnumati”. Those two words say, “you have received a spirit,” where the lower-case can be understood as a soul, which is the “breath” or “spirit” of life, in an otherwise scoop of dead matter (clay, dust, cells, etcetera). By realizing that, the whole of verse fifteen translates literally to state:
“Not indeed you have received a spirit of slavery once more into something to fear , but
you have received a spirit of adoption [of sons into a divine family] , within which we
scream out , this Abba ! this Father !”
The first word in this verse is capitalized (following the period mark that ended verse fourteen), but the capitalization of “Not” is divinely elevated to be a statement of what “Not” a spiritual presence is (one making one truthfully “exist” as a “son of God”). Here, the “Not” leads to “a spirit received” again being placed in possession (from the Genitive case stating first “of slavery” and second “of adoption”). The “Not” is then a divinely elevated statement that says “sons of God” (when truth be told) are “Not” possessed by lesser “spirits,” such as we read last Sunday about the “spirit Python,” and we read today in David’s Psalm 104 of the “spirit of the Leviathan.” A demonic “spirit” would most certainly “enslave” a soul to sinful acts; but the girl told of in Acts was a “slave” to a lesser “spirit” than Yahweh’s “Spirit.” Those lesser (lower-case) ‘spirits” cause the souls they possess great “fears.”
Now, the possessive case of the Greek word “huiothesias” (from “huiothesia”) says one is “of adoption” spiritually. The root word is defined as “adoption,” implying “adoption as a son into the divine family.” (Strong’s Usage) HELPS Word-studies adds, “properly, sonship (legally made a son); adoption.” When the word “sons” is then seen as gender specific for this “adoption,” the reason is girls would not be “adopted.” They would be married, as a state of possession that is ownership. Girls would become the wives of the men possessing them; but boys would be adopted, becoming “sons” of the men possessing them. While that is a physical world definition, when Paul was writing about “spirits,” his second segment in verse fifteen is then pointing out a soul (“a spirit of adoption”) would be possessed as “a son,” which is then a statement of the resurrection within that soul by the Son of Yahweh – Adam-Jesus. When that “adoption into the family” is made, then the “sons existing truthfully of God” are reborn as the Son of Yahweh, who we Christians call Jesus.
Now, this “spirit of adoption” is one’s soul. A soul is “a spirit.” The soul in a body of flesh is feminine, thus not adoptable. A soul in a body of flesh becomes a girl (feminine essence, brought on by the body of flesh, where the earth is feminine essence), which must marry Yahweh. That divine union brings forth His “Spirit” (capitalized “Pneumati”) and that “Spirit” then possesses the soul and the flesh, cleaning them so all sins are removed. Once the cleansing has taken place, then the soul becomes opened to receive the soul of the Son of Yahweh. Since souls are masculine essence (everlasting), the presence of Jesus’ soul in a married soul makes that soul be “adopted as a son,” to match the spiritual gender of Jesus. This means one’s soul is first a wife (a girlie girl), before it becomes a “son of God” (a manly man). All gender in the spiritual realm is masculine, therefore it penetrates into the femininity of the material realm, which received in order to reproduce life.
It is then this sudden change within one’s soul, where one personally knows Yahweh as Jesus reborn; and, that immediately leads the soul of Jesus to “cry out, Abba!” This identification as Jesus reborn, where one’s soul is one with the Son of Yahweh, makes one’s soul also “scream out,” from first awareness of this divine relationship – a brother of Jesus (regardless of what physical sex organ the body of flesh possesses) and a “son of Yahweh.” One’s own soul cries out with Jesus, saying, “Father!”
In verse sixteen, Paul then tied these two concepts together. His Greek states this:
“auto to Pneuma symmartyreitō pneumati hēmōn hoti semen tekna Theou .”
In this, the Greek words “auto” and “hēmōn” are similar, in the fact that each becomes a statement of a soul or souls, such that “self” or “oneself” (in the singular) and “a multitude of “I”s or “us” is relative to the life “breath” that comes from a “spirit” animating dead matter. Thus, it is important to see the live souls involved as the true focus of this verse. It can literally be translated in that regard to say this:
“one’s soul this Spirit [divinely capitalized, as of Yahweh] (itself) testifies together with this
spirit (lower-case, ordinary soul) of our souls [ourselves] because we exist children of
In this, the capitalized “Spirit” can only be known by a lower-case “spirit” (a “soul”), in order for it to “testify” or be a “witness” of that presence “together with” it, so two are one. The Greek word “summartureó” means “to testify or bear witness with,” implying “I bear witness together with.” (Strong’s) This must be seen as personal experience, so it is in no way hearsay evidence presented. This relates back to the left-right arrow, where the test of truth is personal experience, where knowledge makes one verifiable as a “witness.” It is not being told to believe something, when the only personal experience one has is with the one telling one to believe. To be able to “bear witness with” the “Spirit,” one must be a soul married to Yahweh, having received His “Spirit” in divine Baptism, so one has FAITH enough to “testify together with” that “Spirit.” This is what it means to be an Apostle (a word meaning “messenger,” where the message brought forth is the truth of Yahweh, from the Son).
This is then the proof that two joined as one are the “children of God,” “because we exist” two as one. Following the oneness of one’s soul with Yahweh’s “Spirit,” one’s soul then gives birth to the Son (the purpose of marriage is to make a child). Because this is a Spiritual marriage, the child born is the soul of Jesus resurrected in one’s soul. This rebirth in one’s soul is what makes one be a “son of God.” So, many souls all reborn as the same Jesus makes them all able to “testify together with our souls, because we exists as the children of God” … all named Jesus. All are the “sons of God.”
This then led Paul to write verse seventeen, where the Greek he wrote is this:
“ei de tekna , kai klēronomoi , klēronomoi men Theou , synklēronomoi de Christou ,
eiper sympaschomen , hina kai syndoxasthōmen .”
This literally translates to state:
“for as much as now children , heirs , heirs truly of God , co-inheritors now of Christ , if
so we suffer together with , so that kai we may be joined approvingly .”
Having ended verse sixteen telling that the union of the “Spirit” with the “spirit” (that is one’s soul) is what establishes the relationship that allows a soul to call Yahweh “Father.” As such, being “children of God” means one inherits eternal life. This can only come through this divine union and oneness. This becomes the truth of the left-right arrow being confirmed, when Paul wrote “heirs truly of God.” Only when one’s soul is possessed by Yahweh (the Genitive case “Theou”) can one inherit salvation.
When Paul wrote of being “co-inheritors now of Christ,” the Genitive case applied to “Christou” says one is possessed by Yahweh, which is evidenced by His “Spirit,” which is only given to His wife-souls. The word “Christ” is NOT the last name of Jesus. The word “Christ” is NOT singular because Yahweh is limited to one “Christ” (by some idiot human being that thinks that nonsense). David was a “Christ,” although the Hebrew word written in First Samuel says he was a “Messiah” (English translation of the Hebrew “mashiach,” with capitalization implied in English). The whole world could be “Christs,” if Yahweh so chose, Him having found all souls willing to marry Him and submit fully to His Will. What Paul is saying here is all who are truly resurrections of the Jesus soul in theirs, becoming “children of God” as Jesus reborn in all, those individually are granted salvation (the name “Jesus” means “Yahweh Saves”). Thus, as “co-inheritors of salvation, through Jesus,” each will have been “Anointed” (the meaning of "Christ") by Yahweh, as His Son reborn.
In the Greek word “eiper,” which means “if perhaps,” implying “if indeed, if so,” while properly meaning “if it be so," "if really," "if indeed," "if after all (since)” [Strong’s and HELPS Word-studies], the truth is confirmed when “we suffer together with” Jesus. Just as Jesus died on the cross to release his soul to resurrect in the souls of others [the Easter theme of being raised from the dead], so too does a soul have to equally “suffer death” and get “buried” in the past. There is no one who knows the truth written by Paul that says, “Jesus died on the cross so your sins can be redeemed.” Jesus died, so too do every other soul in flesh have to die of self-ego, so the death allows the soul of Jesus to resurrect within it. Dying of self-ego is necessary to submit one’s soul to Yahweh and be washed clean of all past sins by His “Spirit.” When Jesus comes into a cleansed soul, it will be as the new Lord over that dead soul and flesh, leading it to righteousness, so there will be no returning to sinful ways.
In the Gospels telling of Jesus suddenly appearing in the upper room, in their midst when the door was locked, that tells of the soul of Jesus suddenly appearing within each soul present in that room. Because Jesus had just died on a cross and had wounds that proved who he was, his soul amid each of the other souls caused them to likewise suffer as he had, so their bodies of flesh projected the same wounds Jesus' body had. When they saw the nail holes in his hands, they saw them in their own hands. Likewise, the pierced side wound was present in each body of flesh in whom the soul of Jesus suddenly appeared. We are told by an angel, "Do not look for Jesus in an empty tomb, as he is risen." Similarly, Jesus told the Sadducees that Yahweh "is a God of the living, not of the dead." So, to suffer with Jesus is to known his wounds in one's own flesh.
When Paul then wrote “so that,” that says one willingly submits oneself to the suffering of death … as one used to be … so the soul of Jesus can then be “joined approvingly” for eternity. The Greek word “syndoxasthōmen” matches the conditional of “for as much as” or “if,” by saying “one may join in approving” or "be glorified together.” In the use of the word “glorify,” this means to take on the “love” of Yahweh that was built into the Son. This says only a soul filled with the “glory” of Jesus will be judged by Yahweh as worthy of His heavenly realm. Thus, Yahweh approves a soul and the soul approves the presence of Jesus’ soul; and all live together happily forever and ever.
As an alternate reading selection, which will also be read in another season (so, not a one shot deal), the Easter purpose for this selection is to show Paul writing clearly what is required for salvation. One’s soul must be raised from the dead and possessed by Yahweh and His Son Jesus. There is no getting into heaven alone, through will-power. While the NRSV has translated these four verses so generically that no one will be led to self-sacrifice because of what they say was written, it is up to each individual soul to care about salvation, enough to take more than the three minutes the modern attention span is for religious studies and see for yourself what these verses say TO YOU! You are the one who will pay the price for doing nothing, based on others telling you, “It’s okay. I do nothing too. Jesus died for my sins. I believe that.” What’s another eighty year’s worth of repeating life in a new body of flesh to find out the truth?