Grace Protestant Reformed Church

The Assuring Witness of the Spirit: Sonship

Date: AM
Text: Romans 8:15,16
Psalters: 237, 94, 367, 282
  1. The cry.
    1. Our text declares the fact that the children of God cry, “Abba, Father.” (first in Chaldean, and then in Greek.)
      1. It is not a command, but a statement of fact: we do cry, “Abba, Father.”
      2. It is the strong and clear expression that the relationship God established so some become His children.
    2. This cry arises by virtue of God’s gracious adoption of us and by reason of our being born of God.
      1. The appellative indicates the knowledge that God, as Father, loves us and has forgiven us.
      2. This is not a song (what it will be in heaven), but a cry while still in the midst of sin and trouble.
      3. This is a spontaneous cry of faith, of love, of hope and longing; with deep emotion, expressing fervency and earnestness.
  2. How does one get this assurance? It is the work of the Spirit.
    1. We “receive” the Spirit.
    2. This is not the Spirit of bondage to fear, so we are afraid or terrified of God.
    3. The Spirit of adoption witnesses with the spirit of those given to Christ that they are the children of God.
      1. Adoption is that work of God on those who are fallen in Adam whereby He makes them to be His children.
      2. The Spirit prompts, urges, leads, and causes us to love Him and His precepts, to love the brethren, to long for His fellowship, to seek to be pleasing to Him.
  3. The Spirit assures us by “witnessing with our spirit.”
    1. The Spirit always works with the Word (Jesus), convincing us it is God’s Word and enabling us to believe it.
    2. And the Spirit usually works this assurance in the way of fellowship in the church and in the way of sanctification.
    3. This Spirit teaches us and leads us to cry “Abba, Father.” Assurance of our being God’s children is the response to the testimony of the Spirit of adoption!