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The Daily Word of Righteousness
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Paul is thinking back to the Law of Moses, terming it "the spirit of bondage." If one is to understand the Epistles of Paul he must keep in mind that Paul always is viewing his doctrine against the backdrop of the Law of Moses. Evangelical doctrine has an erroneous base because it interprets Paul as contrasting Divine grace and righteous behavior whereas in actuality he is contrasting Divine grace and the Law of Moses. This single error has given rise to an incorrect understanding of the new covenant.
One big advantage of the new covenant is that we do not have to approach God fearfully because of the guilt of our sins. We have no condemnation because the blood of the righteous Jesus has atoned for our sin. What a relief this must have been to Paul!
But what is this about "adoption"? I thought we actually had been born of God.
We indeed have been born of God. Our new inward nature has been born of God.
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13)
Christ has been born in us, and this is not a figure of speech.
Our body, however, has not been born of God but of woman. Our body must be adopted. Part of us has been born of God and part must be adopted.
It is true we have a new body in Heaven, a robe of righteousness being cleansed and fashioned according to our behavior on earth. Our present body is being sown into death so that our new body may have its rise before the throne of God.
Nevertheless our present body will be adopted, if we are faithful. It will be raised from the dead and then clothed with the new body. If our present body were not to be raised from the dead, then there would be no resurrection.
Man is spirit, soul, and body. Every aspect of man is redeemed in the program of salvation. Every aspect shall be glorified.
Our spirit becomes one with the Holy Spirit of God.
Our natural inward nature is crucified by being delivered to death continually. In its place is a new creation being formed from the Divine Nature of Christ.
Our sinful flesh keeps attempting to express its own desires. It is up to us to make the flesh obey the commandments of the Apostles. We do this with God's help and must pray continually for wisdom and strength.
While all of this struggle is taking place we have the comfort of knowing that God is our Father by birth and by adoption. We can call Him "Daddy" and He loves it!
We Christians have the witness in ourselves that we are God's children. It seems from Paul's statements that he did not have that sense of being God's child while he was under the Law of Moses.
It probably is true that our ability to go past the Mercy Seat to the very Throne of God and call God "Daddy" are awesome privileges we little appreciate because we never have served God under the Law; we never have stood trembling in fear as the High Priest dared go past the veil on the Day of Atonement.
We are God's children and genuine brothers of Christ, although in early stages of infancy.
One time I asked some young children what they thought we would be like a million years from now.
A little girl answered in one word.