Posted On August 3, 2021

Romans 8:16-17, “16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”

We become God’s sons and daughters in Christ via adoption, and this truth helps us maintain a proper understanding of humanity and the depth of God’s grace. Most people, at least in Western society, would a‹rm that we are all children of God. If this were true, however, there would be no reason why anyone would need to be saved. After all, what would be the point of Jesus’ ministry if we are all a part of God’s family and the recipients of His love? But the assumption that we are all children of the Lord fails to reflect biblical teaching, for the Bible does not teach that all people are God’s children. In fact, in our fallen condition apart from Christ, we are all children of the devil (John 8:39-47; Rom. 5:12-21). Due to our depravity, the only way we can become children is through adoption. Since the fall, we are not by nature a part of God’s family. Atonement must be offered and our disposition—inclined as it is toward sin because we sinned in Adam—must be changed. The extent of depravity is seen in that we are not inherently the children that the Lord made us to be (initially, Adam was God’s “son”; Luke 3:38). The depth of God’s grace is evident in that our Father nevertheless adopts believers as His children in Christ (John 1:12-13).

Our adoption is not merely a legal declaration; it also establishes the deepest of relationships. We are privileged to call God “Abba” (Rom. 8:15). The word Abba, taken from the Aramaic language that Jesus and other residents of first-century Palestine spoke, was the most intimate term people could use in addressing their fathers. That we can use it for God indicates that the Lord enters into the closest familial relationship possible with His people.

God the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we belong to Him as His children (v. 16). There is an internal testimony within the hearts of believers that assures them of God’s fatherhood and preservation of them as His beloved sons and daughters. Note that the Spirit does not give testimony apart from His Word. Paul has to tell us that we are children of God, just as the Lord has always given an objective Word to His people through the prophets. The Spirit takes this external Word and confirms it internally. He provides subjective assurance that God’s objective Word applies to us when we believe.

Because we are children, we are also heirs (v. 17). Paul alludes here to the grand promises to Abraham of land and blessing (Gen. 12:1-3). In Christ, we have an inheritance awaiting us. The world is ours by legal right, and one day we will possess it in its fullness.˜

Coram Deo

More than once we have referred to the reality of the “already/not yet” situation in which Christians find themselves. Already we are children of God and heirs, but our possession of the full inheritance is not yet. Our present possession of the Spirit, however, is the guarantee that the inheritance is coming (Eph. 1:13-14). Today, take some time to reflect on the tremendous privilege of being a child of the Lord, and thank Him for the inheritance that is surely ours in Christ.

The Spirit’s Internal Witness, Copyright (2021), Ligonier Ministries.

Related Posts

Riches for the World

Riches for the World

Romans 11:11-12, “11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means...

Why God Forgets Our Sins

Why God Forgets Our Sins

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “Does God forget our sins?” What you’ll hear in this episode The Lord Forgives and Forgets Our Sin. The Christian and Assurance. Forgiveness and Assurance. The Apostles Creed and Forgiveness. Micah and...

Road Signs

Road Signs

Daniel 9:13-14, “Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth.  The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for...

Who is Israel?

Who is Israel?

Romans 11:7-10, “What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8 as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” 9 And David...

Dave Jenkins- Contending for the Faith Without Being Contentious

Dave Jenkins- Contending for the Faith Without Being Contentious

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave considers the importance of growing in and pursuing gentleness with fellow Christians, why effective Christian engagement has five biblical correction, and instruction, and why Christians must be committed to sound doctrine...

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. THE SPIRIT’S INTERNAL WITNESS - Gospel News Network - […] Continue Reading / Servants of Grace >>> […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tweet4
Reddit
Share
Email
Buffer