I posted previously on how cool it is to think about how Christians are adopted by God into His family. Scripture gives a beautiful picture of God the Father choosing a people to adopt and Christ the Son ransoming them with His perfect life, sacrificial death, and triumphant resurrection. However, I left out the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is a mystery to me, always working in the background and never taking credit. It’s almost as if the Spirit doesn’t want to be noticed, but wants all glory to go Christ and God. Anyway, I want to post tonight about the Spirit’s role in our adoption.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out ‘Abba, Father’. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Romans 8:14-16
So God gives His Spirit only to His children and somehow the Spirit testifies along with our spirit that we are indeed legitimate. I love Charles Spurgeon’s explanation of the role of the Spirit. The following exerpts are taken from his sermon "Sons of God", preached in 1860.
“The chief witness of God the Holy Spirit lies in this—the Holy Spirit has written this book which contains an account of what a Christian should be, and of the feelings which believers in Christ must have.” So the primary testimony of the Spirit is inexorably linked with the Word of God. The Bible shows us what God is like and therefore what His children will be like. Spurgeon goes on to ask, “Does your spirit say to-day ‘I am God's child.’ Do you feel the longings, the loves, the confidences of a child?” (I hate to break in on Spurgeon's beautiful English, but want to share my husband's favorite saying along these lines. "If there ain't no fruit, there must be something wrong with the root." OK, now back to Spurgeon.)
“When at any time then the Holy Spirit comforts you—sheds a sweet calm over your disturbed spirit; when at any period he instructs you, opens to you a mystery you did not understand before; when at some special period he inspires you with an unwonted affection, an unusual faith in Christ; when you experience a hatred of sin, a faith in Jesus, a death to the world, and a life to God, these are the works of the Spirit.”
When most people find out our son is adopted they are surprised. I often hear comments like, "You'd never know he isn't your biological child. He looks and acts just like the rest of you guys." Sure, each of our kids has his own personality, but they all share character traits, too. They all like to swim (this shows they're my kids:), they all love books (we're book people), and they all look forward to having hot cocoa and popcorn on Friday night movie night. Though our 3 year old son didn't come from my body, there is no question that he is our son.
We have in our filing cabinet an adoption certificate with all the official seals and signatures of the court in Kazakhstan certifying that our son is indeed our son. We have also in our possession our son’s U.S. citizenship certificate with all the authority of our country stating that our son is now a U.S. citizen. In the same way that these documents testify that our son is a legitimate member of our family and is a citizen of the United States of America, believers are sealed by the Spirit which testifies that we are indeed children of God and that our citizenship is in heaven.
- I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.