Friday, February 4, 2011

As Real as it Gets

You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, "Papa! Father!" Doesn't that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child?gal4:6/peterson-the message

Before a century would pass since the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ the known world would be turned upside down. The leaders of the new church would lead the way as multitudes of followers of Christ, spoke of and lived out, the gospel message. The spreading of the message was not always embraced with eagerness. The religious belief systems in the lands would not crumble easily. The cost to the church was the blood of thousands of faithful followers.

What was it that empowered the followers of Christ? Was it the acceptance of a new religion? Was it the acceptance of a newly martyred leader? Was it even the word of his followers who witnessed miracles and hung on his every word? I believe that Jesus himself was present, alive and indwelling his followers. His presence, poured out on the day of Pentecost, empowered believers to face the terror of torture, the collaseum, and forms of execution that were considered barbaric, even in a barbaric world.

One of the greatest treasures enjoyed by believers in Jesus Christ is the witness given to us by the indwelling Holy Spirit. John Wesley spoke of a warming of his heart as he understood and knew that God, yes, even God, loved him and called him his child. Every believer in Christ can experience this truth of God. The God of all creation, the Preserver and Governor of all things impresses upon the human spirit His acceptance of sinful, yet forgiven, individuals. There can be no doubt of the communication of God to individuals. It is one of the most profound, and undeniable evidences, given by God to man.

The witness (communication) of the Spirit to our spirit is not a singular experience. Followers of Christ can and do testify to this blessing and confirmation taking place many times. It is not the mind of God that any should doubt or wonder if they are loved by God and accepted and adopted into his eternal family. The witness of the Holy Spirit brings confirmation that my confession of Christ is accepted.

What a wonder it is that you and I have the very Impress of God upon our lives. His Spirit witnesses to my spirit that I am loved and adopted. Having direct knowledge of adoption, our Ana, I marvel at this truth. Adoption is the willing choice to love one outside of the family. Then, to bring them into the family with all rights and joys. The joy of being included, included in love, fellowship, communication and eternal care.

The presence of God's Spirit is the presence of the Spirit of Jesus. He told us that he would never leave us nor forsake us. It is Jesus Christ, the second person in the Triune Godhead, who lives within us, who speaks his truth to us, who guides us, will continue to transform us as we listen to his voice. His voice, at times quiet as a whisper, at times confirmed in scripture, at times from a believing friend, always speaking truth. His truth enabled multitudes to stand firm in the face of opposition and death. May it be so with us.

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