I’m continuing my look at Paul’s letter to the Roman church. For the last few posts I’ve been laying a foundation of side issues that needed to be explained in order to go further.
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
This verse is why I felt the need to explain the concept of a progressive parent-child relationship. It tells us that we’re not a slave to fear, which is what we experience living under the law. Instead, when we’re saved, we received the Spirit of adoption.
It’s by that Spirit, that we cry Abba, Father. You have to understand that Abba is what a little child called his Father. It’s the Aramaic equivalent to our word, daddy.
Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
This verse confirms the truth that it’s the Holy Spirit who cries out “Abba, Father” from within us. This tells me that it’s only in the spirit that we cry “Daddy Father”.
The fact is, that we’ve received adoption in Christ – the standing of a son. We have to understand that adoption is merely the paperwork. It’s not the completed work. That’s where Paul is taking us to in this letter.
Just to see where Paul is leading us to…
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
Paul wants us to go from the adoption paperwork to become the revealed sons of God. This means that we’re all adopted sons, but not all of us are revealed sons. We need to go through the Holy Spirit’s training program in order to progress to this point.
The next couple of verses reinforce this truth.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 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.
Because of our salvation, the Holy Spirit and our spirit jointly agree that we are God’s little children. Verse 17 says that if we’re His little children, then we’re also co-heirs with Christ. That also means that we’re co-sufferers with Him so we can share in His glory.
So, we’re adopted as infant sons of God. We start out as “baby Christians”. What does that mean?
I Corinthians 3:1 tells us that infants are still worldly. According to Galatians 4:3, they’re still in slavery to the principles of the world. Ephesians 4:14 says that infants are tossed back and forth by winds of teaching. Hebrews 5:13 explains that these believers are not acquainted with the teaching of righteousness.
What I’ve found is that many Christians in our generation are in this condition. Paul is calling for us to progress in our walk. We need to be moving on to maturity.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many who teach this progressive relationship between us and the Father. We need to be submitting to the Holy Spirit and His training program for us.
We can’t just assume that because we’ve been given the position of righteousness, then we’re automatically walking in righteousness. It’s the same with holiness and other concepts of Scripture.
Make it your goal to move on to maturity, if you’re not already there. In my next post, I’m going to explain what it means to be mature in Christ. That way we can see how far we need to go down this road.
Question: At what level do you see yourself in Christ?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi