Sunday, 14 July 2013
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, Romans 8:16
That the Spirit bears witness of our state is a fairly common theme in the New Testament. One of several explicitly declared examples which confirms this is 1 Corinthians 2:12 – “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”
As noted in 8:15, there is no universal “fatherhood” of God to humanity. Though this is a commonly held tenet by people around the world and a commonly taught doctrine by liberal Christian theologians, it is simply not a biblical tenet. Even the concept of the “brotherhood of man” is far too often used to convey meaning which isn’t biblically supportable. Without Christ, there is not the truly spiritual family relationship which the Bible reveals.
However, in Christ, we are sealed with the Spirit and established together with other believers in a unique way. There is a new bond uniting us which, although may not be evident as Christians often rile against each other and tear each other down, exists on a spiritual level nonetheless. This is manifest based on Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:22 –
“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
This same Spirit, the Holy Spirit, who adopts us, establishes us, anoints us, and seals us (among so many other things), also “bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” This cannot be human derived knowledge, because if that were true, then what to say of the many who claim to be God’s children apart from Christ? No, instead it is a knowledge imparted to us by God, through the Holy Spirit which assures us.
We can definitely say that we were born. Knowing that we are human and that humans are born of mothers who came from other humans, we can know with absolute certainty that we were born; it is a self-evident fact. So sure also should be the knowledge of our new birth in Christ. This doesn’t mean that the knowledge remains. Not many people think on the fact that they are humans, and unfortunately many quite often act more like animals than they do as humans. Despite this, they are no less human.
Likewise, there are Christians who act in a manner far less worthy than the glorious name they bear. Equally sad is that some have even forgotten that they bear the name (2 Peter 1:9), but the Spirit doesn’t forget and it testifies and bears witness to the truth of the conversion. A child of God will remain a child of God, though he may suffer the consequences of a life not lived for his glorious Father.
Life application: The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. Are you living up to that high and exalted honor? In 2 Peter 1 verses 5-8, we are given valuable instruction to keep us from being barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Take a moment to read those verses and then determine to apply them to your life.
My precious Lord, I am a jar of clay with many cracks and flaws, but the contents You have filled me with far surpasses the humbled body I am in. Help me to become a vessel which is honorable, glorifying to You, and worthy of the glorious Holy Spirit which testifies to my position in Christ. Bind up my cracks, fill in my flaws, and purify me with the washing of water by the word. Amen.