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Romans 8:14

ESV For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
NIV For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
NASB For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons and daughters of God.
CSB For all those led by God's Spirit are God's sons.
NLT For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
KJV For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

What does Romans 8:14 mean?

Christians have God's Spirit, and those who have God's Spirit are Christians. Period. That's the point Paul is emphasizing in this verse, but he adds a new layer that he will begin to build on in the following verses. In the previous verse, he wrote that the ones who will live are those who put to death the sinful deeds of the body by the Spirit's power. He was not saying that we are saved by our works or our ability to stop sinning. That would contradict the entire message of Romans up to this point.

This verse clarifies that statement. The Spirit leads Christians—every Christian—in a specific direction away from their sinful choices. We are saved by God's grace alone through our faith alone. Then, the Spirit, also by God's grace, begins to set a new direction for our lives and to give us the power to go that way.

Why does God do this? Paul answers here: We are God's children. All who become God's children through faith in Christ are led by God's Spirit. All who are led by God's Spirit are His children. Put negatively, we are not in God's family if His Spirit does not lead us.

What is the implication of this? Looking forward, Christians should expect to be directed and empowered by their loving Father away from their sin and toward Him. Looking back, we should trust that He has been leading and empowering us on the path that we have walked as His children.

What an amazing and encouraging way to view our lives in Christ!
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