Becoming a Christian is a great privilege. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (I John 3:1). There are many wonderful blessings promised to the Christian, but perhaps none of them are greater than being permitted to become a member of God’s family. We become His children! Listen as Paul describes this glorious privilege to the saints at Rome: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 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: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8:14-17).
How is one “led by the Spirit?” One is “led by the Spirit” when he/she reads, studies, meditates, and obeys God’s divine word. In I Corinthians 2, Paul explains how we received God’s word. In fact, this chapter gives the best description of inspiration in the Bible. “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (v. 10). He then goes on to explain, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (vs. 11-13).
The Spirit searched the mind of God, revealed those things to the apostles, who wrote them down in “the words which the Holy ghost teacheth.” This describes plenary, verbal inspiration of the Bible. It is inspired in all of its parts, and even the words themselves were given by the Spirit (II Tim. 3:16-17; I Peter 1:20-21).
How does “the Spirit bear witness with our spirit that we are the children of God?” The Spirit of God ”bears witness” through the inspired words of the Scripture; through this means we are taught how to be saved from our sins and how to become a child of God. Our spirit bears witness as to whether we have obeyed the instructions of the Spirit or not. If we have followed His instructions correctly, then we have two witnesses to our becoming a child of God. And the tremendous result is that we become “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.”
Can you think of anything greater? Are you a child of God? Have you obeyed the Spirit’s instructions? If not, why not?
Paul M. Wilmoth