Romans 8:14-15 (NIV) says that “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.'” What does it mean to be “led by the Spirit of God?” Sometimes I have gotten this picture in my mind of the Spirit or Jesus way ahead of me leading the way saying, “Look this is the way it should be done,” and I am struggling alone over rocky ground to keep up and follow him. Or that he has given me a map or a set of instructions that I’m trying to figure out.
But the word “led” in this verse is the Greek word “agó” (ἄγω) which means to be taken along with, accompanied, attended personally, conducted, or led by laying hold of. So, he is not far ahead of me, nor have I been left alone to figure it out by myself, but he is right there with me all the way, holding my hand and accompanying me, even attending to me personally.
The Greek word “agó” also includes the meaning of being brought to, or, led away to a court of justice – to the judge, and it is used many times this way in the New Testament (Mark 13:11, John 8:3, 18:28, Acts 5:21, 25:6 are examples). The Spirit is leading us to God, The Judge, and sometimes I could be afraid to go with him because of fear of being judged, of not measuring up, of being rejected. But, Jesus is there at the right hand of the Judge, our Intercessor. And, even more, Jesus promised that He would give us a Friend, Counselor, Helper, or Advocate in the Holy Spirit. The Greek word is parakletos, which means summoned, called to one’s side or aid. The parakletos is “one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate†.” All I need do is turn from sin, from my own way, and He pleads my case – “Jesus shed His blood for this one on the cross!”
And even more wonderfully, what does it say? That if we take His hand and follow after and are led by the Spirit of God, we are sons of God, we are His beloved children. “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.'”
And then later, “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:31-34 NIV)
When it says “God is for us” it means in the Greek that he is over the top for us – on our behalf, for our sake, over and above, more than, more, beyond, exceeding, abundantly – it’s almost like the language, Greek or English, can’t quite contain or express the fullness of the meaning completely.
Don’t be afraid, take his hand and let him lead you. He is for you. He is over the top FOR you!! As the old Lamb songs goes, “The Judge is in love with you.”
† Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
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