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Series: Sonship; The Holy Spirit
Sun am 29 September 2013 – Pastor Kobus Swart
Rom. 14:17; Rom. 8:14-23; Acts 16:6-10; (Acts. 14:22); Eph. 1:3-6; Gal. 4:1-5;
(Matt. 3:17); (Matt. 4:1); (Ps. 23:5)
Let us look at (and submit to) a very important function of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of adoption.
So often we experience inner adjustments and an enlarging for more of God. This stretching is not without pain and sometimes leaves us with questions. This is where we should not blame the devil. If we do not experience the continuous enlarging and stretching on the inside, there is the risk of stagnation. The Holy Spirit is bringing us to the place where every decision we make is led by the Spirit of God. The sons of God are those who are led by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14). The voice is no longer behind you, it is in you.
Notice how even the apostle Paul was tested in his obedience: They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having beenforbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them (Acts 16:6-10). They were led and governed by the indwelling Spirit of God.
Maturity does not come by the laying on of hands! Through much tribulation will we enter the kingdom of God! (Acts. 14:22).
We were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world! In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved (Eph. 1:3-6). There is such a thing as an adoption process in the redeemed community. Was adoption only necessary because of the fall of man? I am not so sure that adoption was simply a reaction to the fall, because we were adopted before the foundation of the world – yes, before the fall! This leads to a second question, when God sent His Son to die and reconcile humanity to Himself, was that only because of the fall? Was the fall the main reason for the incarnation? Or was the adoption in God’s heart irrespective of the fall of man?
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. When you are born again you immediately become His child – an heir with Christ, but there is a process before we get to adoption (Rom. 8:14-17).
In the Western world, adoption means you adopt a child that is not biologically your own. In the old Eastern Jewish culture a biological infant was put into custody of a tutor for maturing and discipline until the time he/she became of age. It was the responsibility of the tutor to bring the child to maturity. In principle, the child was an heir but he was no different from a servant. During this long period of training and preparation into sonship, it was the tutor’s task to bring the child into the ways of the father of the family. Usually that son was given back to his father at the age of 30. Adoption is not so much an issue of relationship as it is an issue of position.
What does this mean in our own walk with God? Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons (Gal. 4:1-5). Look at Jesus the pattern Son. Joseph was not His real father. His real father was God by His Spirit. If Jesus the Son of God needed to be fathered by somebody on earth before His heavenly Father recognized Him and said, “This is My beloved Son” (Matt. 3:17), how much more do we? Jesus learned obedience from the things He suffered! (Heb 5:8).
The moment the Father publicly declared Jesus to be His Son, satan realized his “kingdom” was threatened! Then the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness and satan was waiting to tempt Him there (Matt. 4:1-3). Jesus came out of the wilderness in the power of the Spirit having defeated the enemy. We need sons like that! Mature sons! The reason why so many Christians do not grow up is because they drink from so many fountains.
Realise that the Holy Spirit is in you; you have the first-fruits of the Spirit! All you need now is to submit to the dealings of the Spirit of God. Noah’s Ark was lifted by the storm; it did not overwhelm them. Tribulations and trials should not overwhelm you, they should lift you up. God will not take away the storms; He may increase them so you can reach higher. God will prepare a table for us even in the presence of our enemies (Ps. 23:5).
I want to be a man of peace in the storms because I am a man under the government of God.