June 26 Epistle Reading

Romans 8:14-21

[14] For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the
sons of God.[15] For ye have not received the spirit of
bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption,
whereby we cry, Abba, Father.[16] The Spirit itself beareth
witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:[17]
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;
if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified
together.[18] For I reckon that the sufferings of this
present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be
revealed in us.[19] For the earnest expectation of the
creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.[20]
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by
reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,[21]
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of
corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.


In Sermon 95 by Leo the Great, he touches on this idea of "the spirit of adoption":


Inp92 "When our Lord Jesus Christ, beloved, was preaching the gospel
of the Kingdom, and was healing various sicknesses
through the whole of Galilee, the fame
of His mighty works had spread into all Syria: large
crowds too from all parts of Judæa were flocking to
the heavenly Physician. Matthew 4:23-24 For as human ignorance is slow
in believing what it does not see, and in hoping
for what it does not know, those who
were to be instructed in the divine lore , needed to
be aroused by bodily benefits and visible miracles: so that
they might have no doubt as to the wholesomeness of His teaching when they
actually experienced His benignant power.

"And therefore that the Lord
might use outward healings as an introduction to inward remedies, and
after healing bodies might work cures in the soul, He separated
Himself from the surrounding crowd, ascended into
the retirement of a neighbouring mountain, and called His apostles to Him
there, that from the height of that mystic seat He
might instruct them in the loftier doctrines, signifying
from the very nature of the place and act
that He it was who had once honoured Moses by speaking
to him: then indeed with a more terrifying justice, but now
with a holier mercifulness, that what had been
promised might be fulfilled when the Prophet Jeremiah
says: behold the days come when I will complete a new covenant
for the house of Israel and for the house of Judah.
After those days, says the Lord, I will put My laws in their minds
, and in their heart will I write
them. 

"He therefore who had spoken to Moses, spoke also
to the apostles,
and the swift hand of the Word wrote and deposited
the secrets of the new covenant in the disciples hearts:
there were no thick clouds surrounding Him as of old, nor were the
people frightened off from approaching the mountain by frightful sounds
and lightning , but quietly and
freely His discourse reached the ears of those who stood by: that the
harshness of the law might give way before the
gentleness of grace,
and the spirit of adoption
might dispel the terrors of bondage."

Cyril of Jerusalem in his Catechetical Lectures, V.5 On the Sacred Liturgy and Communion says:

"Then the Priest says,'Let us give thanks unto the Lord.' For verily we are bound to give thanks,
that He called us, unworthy as we were, to so great grace; that He
reconciled us when we were His foes; that He vouchsafed to us the Spirit
of adoption. Then ye say, 'It is meet and right,' for in giving thanks we do a meet thing and a right; but He did not
right, but more than right, in doing us good, and
counting us meet for such great benefits."


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