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195. Spirit of Sonship.

(or of adoption). And by him we cry "Abba" ( Aramaic word for Father). The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.' (Romans 8:15-16) We are not born as God's children but are born again as his children; not by our will but by the choice of him who 'predestined us to be adopted as his children through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will.' (Ephesians 1:5) 'To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent ( Greek "of bloods") nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God' (John 1:12-13) for "flesh gives birth to flesh but Spirit gives birth to spirit." ( John 3:6) God has never been addressed as "Father" in the Old testament though Angels and Adam have been addressed as "sons of God" (Genesis 6:2, Luke 3:37) because they were all created by God. But it was Jesus who first addressed God as "Father" because he is the only begotten of God. Speaking of his Son, God said, "You are my Son, today I have become your Father ( or have begotten you). Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance and other ends of the earth your possession.' ( Psalm 2:7-8) Both the Father and Son existed together as Jehovah. But now one has become the Father and other has become the Son. We existed as his creation but now God has become our Father and we have become his sons and daughters. In a sense, we too have been begotten by God because Scripture says, 'he has given us new birth ... into an inheritance ( 1 Peter 1:3-4) and we now address God as "Abba" because of the Spirit of Sonship in us. Having been adopted as his children, we have become legal heirs of God's estate. 'Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co- heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.' ( Romans 8:17) Just as children mind their Father's business, so did Jesus go about his Father's business of saving souls. It becomes evident that we have become his sons and daughters when we get actively involved in the Father's business of saving souls. If not, we should doubt whether we are really born again! To know in our spirits that God of all creation has become our Father and that we have become his sons and daughters, is very comforting and assuring! It will makes us bold and courageous as Jesus was. When he predicted that his disciples would leave him, he didn't sound scared but confident! "You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me." (John 16:32) "The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." Even as he spoke, many out their faith in him.' (John 8:29-30) That is the kind of confidence the Spirit of Sonship imparts to us as he 'testifies with our spirit that we are God's children'. Amen.

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