The Spirit of Sonship
Last week we saw that we have not been left on our own, as orphans in an orphan-hearted world, but that Jesus came to make a way for us to know the Father and that we are truly sons and daughters. This is a great comfort to us. We are not alone; in fact, we have a Helper who is with us every moment of every day. That Helper (also called a Comforter) is the Holy Spirit.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17 NIV)
This is one of the first times in the New Testament that we read of the way the Holy Spirit comes and helps us. It's before any of Paul's teaching on the importance of the Gifts of the Spirit in Corinthians and Romans. Jesus doesn't talk about the gifts of the Spirit but, rather he dwells on the person of the Spirit who is our Comforter, Helper, Guide and the One who enables us to know that we are one with the Father. The gifts follow but the important thing that Jesus is communicating is that the Holy Spirit is like a bridge between us and the heart of the Father. In fact, I see him as an elastic bridge; not only does he bridge the gap but he then draws us right into the heart of the Father.
The Holy Spirit, living in us, is the reality of the continuity of God's presence with us. He reminds us of everything that Jesus has taught, he continues to bring it alive for us and he is the enabling power to help us walk as Jesus walked. Ezekiel saw this when he prophesied that God's own Spirit would live in us and cause (or motivate) us to walk in his ways (Ezekiel 36:27).
Living in the Spirit is the hallmark of our sonship. It is our inner confirmation that we are sons of God and therefore we're enabled to cry "Abba, Father!" "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Romans 8:16). And so, my encouragement today is to go on being filled with the Spirit.
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