So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. (NLT)
Who are you? One answer would be to say I am iron: enough for a medium-sized nail. I am sugar: enough for seven cups of tea. I have enough phosphorus in me to tip a thousand or so matches. I am sulphur: enough to rid a whole dog of fleas. I have fat in my body to make seven bars of soap (or more or less!). And above all I am a whole lot of water.
But that is not who you really are. If you have embraced Jesus as the one who puts you right with God, then you have been adopted into God’s family. While every human being is made and loved by God, not all can truly be called his children. You have to enter his family to have that privilege, and Jesus is the one who gets you in. And the Holy Spirit is the one who reminds you of your special status.
As in any family, a child can act in such a way as to spoil the family relationship. But that bad conduct does not mean they cease to belong to the family. It is just that the belonging is not what it should be. What it should be like is conveyed by that word “Abba”, a term of closeness and care. Not at all some formal relationship.
Some who belong to Jesus may still identify themselves as miserable sinners saved by the skin of their teeth. Far better to identify ourselves as children of a loving Father, children who do sin, but who yet belong to the Father. We may well conclude that “Father” is the Christian name for God.
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