Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 2 Study # 11
October 9, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<348> Thesis: Though other "issues" exist, the bottom line of the Christian's confidence is the ministry of the Spirit. Introduction: As we have been plugging along, attempting to understand Paul's concept of life by the Spirit of God, we have seen that he deliberately ties the quality of our experience in this present time to the quality of our "hope". What I mean by "hope" is that settled expectation of the future that is rooted in "faith" because God has actually said something that addresses that future and His children both know what He has said and believe that it is true. In our study last week we focused our attention upon what it means to be "adopted" and to possess the "Spirit of Adoption". We saw that "adoption" is not a good translation choice for American English because it carries a fundamental assumption of non-descendency and has nothing in it to carry Paul's idea. Paul's idea is explained clearly in Galatians 4 and contains the fact that the "adopted" person is both a true child and is recognized by the father as having attained the kind of maturity that is required to be a good steward of the inheritance that is the child's by genealogical descent, but cannot be given to him/her while the childishness continues to be that characteristic. "Adoption" by Paul's meaning is the event when the father declares his own child to have grown up and to have achieved a sufficient maturity to administer the possessions the father has spent his entire life accumulating. This is at the roots of "life by the Spirit" because that "life" is a life of faith and hope. We have a sealed destiny to be "adopted" and we are going to be made administrators of the Father's possessions. Now, this evening we are going to look at yet another of the "issues" that lie at the root of this so-called "life by the Spirit". This issue has primarily to do with the strengthening of the reality of the "faith" that lies at the root of our "hope" regarding our "adoption". If we are to be "adopted", but we have no confidence that we are, all of our life up to our adoption will be critically suppressed and the quality of our "adoption" will be adversely affected. Likewise, if we are confident that we are to be "adopted", but we do not understand how our adoption is tied to the degree to which we enter into the experience of the Father's provisions, we are highly likely to be stunted by our ignorance and this will have a direct bearing upon our final future. At the root of both of these issues (ignorance and insecurity) is one further issue: our "assurance" that we are, in fact, the children of the Father and the heirs of His provisions. Thus, this evening we are going to look into the Father's provision for our "assurance". Paul calls it "the witness of the Spirit to our spirits".