Faithlife Sermons

The Children of God

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Romans 8:14–18 NKJV
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Our passage this morning gives us a a wonderful, unimaginable promise. He who owns all things, the heavens and the earth and all that is in them has made us His heirs. But there is a disturbing qualifier “if indeed we suffer with Him”
Characteristics of God’s children or 5 witnesses of the Holy Spirit. These witnesses are to give us assurance that we are God’s children. This is the main idea of this chapter it begins with there is now therefore no condemnation and it concludes with nothing is able to separate us from the love of God. Romans ch 8 informs us that we either have the Spirit of Christ and are children of God for all eternity or we do not have the Spirit of Christ and we are none of His. Only two options. If you are His then you are forever His a child of God and joint heir with Christ and nothing in heaven or earth can come between you and your Heavenly Father.
In Romans 8 we are...
in Christ Jesus,
born and alive in the Spirit,
spiritually minded,
united with and in-dwelt by the Spirit of God
we are children of God and he is our Father,
making us joint heirs with Christ
the Spirit of God intercedes for us with groaning which cannot be uttered,
We are called according to His purpose that is
God foreknew us
predestined us
called us
justified us
and will absolutely glorify us
God is for us
Christ intercedes for us
And nothing can separate us from the love of God
So there is no doubt from Romans 8 whatsoever that if God has begun this work in you He will complete it.
Numbers 23:19 NKJV
19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
So if Romans 8 is all about assurance then it is clearly only assurance for the children. So how do we know that we are children of God? It’s not by a date that you wrote down in your Bible the day you said a prayer.
Romans 8:16 NKJV
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
And in our passage today I would like to review four witnesses of the Spirit that the Children of God are children indeed. So this is how the Holy Spirit assures believers. As we go through these ask yourself if these witnesses are in you. If you do not have any of these witnesses then you need to examine your heart, repent, and believe Christ while you still can because the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
the first witness of the children is....

1. They are Led by the Spirit

Romans 8:14 NKJV
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
In what way are the children led? The word for gives us a hint.
Romans 8:13 NKJV
13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Those who are led by the Spirit to put to death the deeds of the body are the children of God.
you will have this witness of the Spirit if you are a child of God that you will have the prompting and the strengthening to put to death the sin of the flesh. This is how the Spirit of God leads us. So that does not mean that you will have successfully put to death all sin in you flesh. It does mean that you will be convicted of sin. The Spirit of God will lead you into battle against the sin in your life. If you have no conviction of sin, if you find that you are comfortable with your sin and see no need to be rid of it then you don’t have this witness.
This is one of the witnesses that we are children of God.
the second witness of the Spirit to the children of God is....

2. They Have Freedom Not Fear

Romans 8:15 NKJV
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Galatians 4:1–7 NKJV
1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Paul here contrast our state under the law vs the our state in Christ or our post conversion vs our pre conversion. Pre conversion i was under the law which was bondage and fear. I was bound to the law and if i break the law I fear the judgement and condemnation of God. Post conversion I am not a slave but a son a child of God. I am freed from the bondage of the law and the bondage of sin. And i have received the Spirit of adoption.
Now we may think that our position as adopted children is a weak one but we need to understand that adoption in the 1 century Roman world was a very strong position. An adopted son was a son that was chosen and often was loved and honoured more that the the biological children. They were often adopted for the purpose of receiving an inheritance.
So we have not received the sprit of fear but we received the adoption that we might boldly come before the throne of Grace… this is a characteristic of the children of God.

3. They Cry to God as Their Father

Romans 8:15 NKJV
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
This is the evidence of the Spirit of adoption that we pray and cry out to God as our Father. The Aramaic Abba is used here as well as the Greek pater or father. Christ taught the disciples to pray our Father who is in heaven. But Abba comes from the prayer that Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane This Abba is the familiar word for a father, like daddy. For Jesus to use this word for God was unique. The Jews would never have dared address God in such a familiar way. But Christ as our example taught us that our relationship with God is like a child coming to his or her Daddy. It is the Spirit of Christ or the Holy Spirit which bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God when we come to our heavenly Father and cry out (literally like a scream or cry of a child) Abba.
The fourth witness to the children of God is...

4. They Suffer With Christ And Will be Glorified With Him

Romans 8:17 NKJV
17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
This is inconceivable that we could be heirs of God. Imagine being an heir to the Queen of England. Or any number of wealthy powerful people. You inherit their estate. What is theirs becomes yours. Even that is hard to imagine but we are heirs of God. Who created all things. They were created by Him and for Him the whole of heaven and earth all is His and as his Children we are heirs. He says all that is His is ours. But the greatest gift is not all that He has created but God Himself. Earthly inheritance is given when someone dies But Christ is life. And eternal life is to know the Father and the Son. It says that we will be glorified together with Him and be joint heirs with Him.
The whole world is rushing to get as much as they can and do as much as they can before they die. Many people have a bucket list. As children of God we don’t need a bucket list. If our Father gives us something then praise Him, Glorify Him. If we begin to love the gifts of God rather than God it is idolatry. We don’t need to spend our lives cramming as much in as we can before we die. We have everlasting life and the inheritance of God. don’t worry about how you can spend your retirement. We can spend this life serving God our retirement plan is heaven.
There is this other part of the verse that we like to say under our breath hoping that is won’t be true
“and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
in the context I believe it refers to the suffering that Paul immediately mentions
Romans 8:23 NKJV
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
Since the fall the world has been under the curse of sin and all of creation is groaning and suffering and we are groaning and suffering. But the witness of the Spirit to the children of God is that we don’t suffer alone but we suffer with Christ. If we get sick we suffer with Christ If we lose a loved one in death we suffer with Christ if we lose our job we suffer with Christ and if we suffer with Christ then we are children of God and we will be glorified together with Him.
So How does the Spirit of God bear witness that we are indeed children of God. He leads us to holiness in putting sin to death in our flesh, He give us freedom not fear and the Spirit of adoption which urges us to cry out to the Father like a child, and in everything we suffer until the day we are glorified together He leads us to suffer with Christ knowing that the suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be reviled in us. In these witnesses we know that we are children of God
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