The Assurance of Our Adoption: Part 2

The Assurance of Our Adoption Part 2

Text: Rom. 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

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  • Have you ever had the experience of someone asking you something and suddenly forgetting what they just said?
    • Sometimes I wonder how long we remember a sermon, or for that matter a text of scripture we have just read.
    • According to Jesus, to really know a truth, you have to hold on to it (act on it), then you will discover the freedom it brings. Jn. 8:31-32.
    • I believe that memorizing & meditating on Scripture are essential.
  • Paul wants us to have an assurance of who we are in Christ through the Spirit so that we become disciples whose lives witness (1) to the reality & glory of God and (2) to the truth of what Jesus taught & did to bring the reality of the Kingdom of God into our real lives.


Explore the Text


Do You Believe What the Spirit God’s & Word & say about Your Identity in Christ?

  • Our Stunning New Identity: We are God’s Children
    • To be called a son & to become a son of my Father are not the same.
    • Jesus told a story about this in Lk. 15
    • 15:1 is a key to understanding. See Jesus’ warning to his disciples about the righteousness of the Pharisees in Mt. 5-7
  • Two “Sons” Who Have a Problem.
    • The Worldly Mind of the Flesh: The younger son did not understand the Father’s heart and mind. Even when his rebellious pride is broken, he is just beginning.
      • The conviction of the heart (and the witness of the Spirit): he was lost in his rebellion against his Father’s loving will and deserved only to be a servant.
      • The Proclamation of the Father (and the witness of the Spirit) that you are not a servant in the house but my son who was lost but is found; who was dead but is now alive.
    • The Religious Mind of the Flesh: The older son does not understand the Father’s heart and mind, and so he stands outside, angry and shouting, “unfair!”
      • The Attitude: I have been slaving all these years (and more)!
  • Like the sons in Lk. 15, we only discover the depths of our Father’s love when we yield to his heart & mind & rest in his safe-home love.
    • Both sons needed new hearts, a spirit within that was filled with the Father’s love and resonated with love for the Father and a desire that the Father’s will be done.
  • On Believing the Statement, “You are a child of God.”
    • The difference between a belief I profess to hold and a belief that I rely on, that I trust and act on.
      • This new identity is only an idea in our heads until our hearts change and we begin to be formed into the likeness of Jesus.
    • Belief as Profession vs. Belief as Trust-in-Action: A small child at the edge of the pool who is afraid to jump into the water.
      • In the water is his mother. She asks him to jump and assures him that she will catch him. He refuses to jump.
      • She asks the child if he believes in her and trusts her to catch him, he says yes, but he still refuses to jump (professing to believe).
      • When he jumps into her arms and she catches him he is acting on what he says he believes, and his belief in his mother is proved once again to be reliable.
      • The more the child’s belief about his mother is proved to be reliable over time, the more that belief becomes a form of personal knowledge: he has good reasons to know that his mother is a person of her word, someone who will do what she says she will do.
    • When this belief becomes authentic, personal knowledge, it will determine my life more than anything else—it is no longer a statement that I can make, it is a part of my knowledge base about the world, the way it works, and what it is to become a good person.


Learning to Hear the Spirit who Bears Witness to our spirit.

  • Do You pay attention to the Spirit’s testimony when the enemy challenges the Spirit?
    • The Spirit’s witness works with the Word he inspired and with an eye towards our sanctification—the formation of Christ in us.
    • I know Christians who do not believe in the Spirit’s voice.
    • I know people who cannot distinguish between the Spirit’s voice and the voice of their emotions that constantly challenge the truth the Spirit works to make plain to us.
    • The Spirit will assure of us of who we are in Christ, convict us of sin, and empower us to change.
      • When the Spirit convicts us of sin, He (1) helps us see the deep dynamics of sin, (2) drives us back into the arms of our Father, and (3) motivates us to change.
      • When Satan makes us aware of sin, he rationalizes it or, if that fails, tries to drive us away from our Father by using guilt, shame, accusation, and discouragement.
    • If my spirit agrees with the Spirit’s testimony my life will change. then
      • A Vision of Reality: My belief about who I am will become the deep, animating vision of my life.
      • An Intention: I will intend to develop as a mature child of my Father & to have Christ formed in me.
      • An Ongoing Decision and Determination: My authentic intention (not just saying “I will try”), becomes a series of decisions & a search for appropriate means to become a new person in Christ.
      • Using the Reliable Means to the End: I will rely on God’s grace, and I will make every effort to do what Jesus taught his apprentices to do as wisdom and the way to life in the kingdom of God.



  • Look at what Paul writes in Philippians 3. There was a proud Paul who lived a very religious life in the flesh. When Christ became a reality to him, everything turned upside down and he discovered a new way of life that became his determined aspiration, every effort of his daily life was not focused on the reality of the risen Jesus who had called him to be part of this life in the kingdom of God.

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