ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have
received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba, Father.”
In this verse of scripture a contrast is being made between the spirit that dominated God’s people under the Law of Moses and the spirit that dominates His people in New Testament Churches. We do not have the spirit of fear which caused them to cry out “Lord, God,” but we have the spirit of adoption which causes us to cry “our Father.”
The key word for consideration here is “adoption.” In the modern day usage of the term it is used to convey the idea of receiving one outside the family bloodline and genetic pool, and making that person to become one of the family through legal action. This is not what is meant by the Bible term, although there are those who try desperately to make it so.
In the Bible there are degrees of son-ship designated by specific terms. “Teknon” is a Greek term translated in the Bible as a born child. “Pais” or “Padion” is the Greek work translated a small son, one under tutorship. “Huios” is the Greek term for a fully mature son who is able to act appropriately in the stead of, and in the name of, his father. It is this latter term, “Huios” that is consistently used of seasoned disciples in the New Testament Church. This is what every child of God in this age can and should become. This is what is meant in Romans 8:15 by the term “adoption.” In the original language this is a composite of two other terms. It is “huiothesia” a combination of “huios” mature son, and “thesia” to set or place; hence, the forceful meaning of the word is “to set in the position of mature sons.”
So, Paul encouraged the Romans and all of us with this enlightenment. We do not have the same position with God in the New Testament Church as the Israelites had under the Law. They had a continuous spirit of fear, but we have a continuous spirit and understanding of being mature sons who lovingly regard God as “our Father,” and do his bidding willingly and with gladness of heart.
Oh, what a joy it is to live in this position. God has given His Son for us. His Son has given His life for us. The Holy Spirit has empowered us and lives with us to continuously teach and guide us into the ways of all truth. We serve Him not out of a fear of being stoned if we do not, but because we love Him and are truly thankful for what He has done for us.
It is appropriate then that we should make the most of our prized position as mature sons. The more we know the more we can believe. The more we believe, the greater our faith. The greater our faith, the greater our hope. And in the end, the greater will be our blessed opportunity to rule and to reign with Him in the age that is about to happen. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be call the sons of God.
Tag Archives: God
ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have
received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba, Father.”
It’s my business
to do God’s business
and it’s God’s business
to take care of my business.
was the first person to be murdered. A debate precipitated his
murder, and a proper act of worship precipitated the debate.
Important details surrounding this incident are not spelled out in so
many words, but they are present in the construction of the ancient
“In the process of time” is a phrase that may envelope years or decades, but it probably indicates these men were heads of households, since in early history patriarchial priesthood was the consistent practice. Cain and Abel brought an offering unto the Lord. Abel brought of the firstlings of the flock, but Cain brought of the fruit of the field. God had respect unto Abel and unto his offering, but He did not have respect unto Cain and his offering. Cain was terribly angry, and as he and Abel walked in the field they talked. “Talked” in the Hebrew is in the intensive stem of the verb meaning they talked intensively and heatedly. It could be called a debate. Of course, Cain was wrong. When one is wrong there are only two options: repent and get right or become angry. Cain chose the latter, and in his anger he sought to silence the voice of truth by killing his brother.
But what did Abel do that was so right? He was a sinner as are all men, and as his brother Cain was. However Hebrews 11:4 tells us “By faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. . .” There is the answer. It is still the answer that makes a difference in men today. Now faith is the belief in a promise. This tells us that both Cain and Abel had correct instructions about how to worship and sacrifice unto the Lord. Abel believed and carried out those instructions. Cain did not, but chose to substitute his own way of worship rather than follow the instructions of God.
It must be noted that after six long millenniums and voluminous instructions and experiences, men still choose the way of Cain which is labeled in the Bible as “Iniquity.” Its judgment is certain, as illustrated by Cain.
It is infinitely more important to follow God in all things rather than substitute the faulty reasoning of sinful men. Abel got a quick ticket home in the ordeal, but by it he also continues to speak to the condemnation of iniquity in men. On the other hand, it is Cain who really lost his life, and the things that count for all eternity.
Truly, God gives us all the opportunity to believe Him and to follow Him. This is the thing sinful men must do if they are ever to be right in the sight of God. Abel did, and he was so right!
God’s work, done in God’s way, will never ever want for God’s provision or God’s protection. – Adrian Rogers
There is no cheap, easy, or lazy way to serve God.
am very certain there is good reason, perhaps known only to God the
Author, but one wonders just why the word “Enthusiasm” is not in
Think about it! The word consists of three parts: “En” (in); “Thus,” (God), and “Ism” (the noun ending denoting state of being). Hence, “enthusiasm” literally means, “The state of being in God.” But what is commonly associated with the term? It is excitement, energy. Is that not what one finds in a close relationship with God? Surely it is! So much the more, then why the word should be in the Bible, as least to the mind of this writer.
However, there are words in the Bible that are synonyms of “Enthusiasm.” Words as “Fervent,” “Zeal,” “Zealous.” These words come from the ancient Koine Greek term “Zeo” meaning boiling liquids or glowing hot metals.
Illustrated from childhood experience, a small amount of turpentine dabbed on a cat’s behind would cause the animal to erupt into a racing, super speed. It was a show and tell demonstration of enthusiasm. But that is far afield of what the term should mean, and what its synonyms do mean in the Bible.
Enthusiasm in spiritual matters is not self induced excitement or an attempt to create enthusiasm by that means. Such is easily seen and diagnosed. The problem is that it is false, and in reverse of the true process.
Enthusiasm in proper spiritual matters may indeed spill over into physical expressions. True happiness also shows, and it is detected as being genuine.
So, how may one come to possess the high degree of excitement and joy that is associated with the term “enthusiasm?” How about simply engaging in the activity that the term specifically denotes? “The state of being in God.” There is no other way to know this blessed state than a specific, complete surrender to God as personal Creator, Redeemer, Savior, Lord. As the writer of Hebrews so pointedly noted, “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
When sobriety claims the mind and heart; when knowledge of one’s natural state permeates the mind; when realizing the presence of the new birth, and opening the divine presents of faith, hope, love; when basking in the myriad promises so applicable both here and hereafter of peace beyond understanding, then a resounding “Praise the Lord” and “Amen!” will not be sufficient expressions of the soul. Moreover, those will be fulfilling expressions of enthusiasm that are genuine and acceptable to the saints, and to the One Who gave it!
it or not, you can’t box with God! In the first place, your arm is
too short! Beyond that, the differences are infinite. His thoughts
transcend ours as much as the heavens are high above the earth. His
presence is everywhere. He is infinitely bigger that you or I.
The student of the Bible can but stand in awe of His might, and His works. Truly, He often uses men to accomplish astounding feats of faith, but it is always, and obviously, in His power. Few, very few, are privileged to be trail blazers as was Moses of old. Living vicariously in the Bible, it is somewhat easier to identify with Joshua as a successor to someone who has gone before. One can only imagine what burden was in the heart and mind of that great man as he contemplated the looming battle of Jericho. He had led the army of Israel in battles during the 40 years of wilderness wondering, but he always had Moses to look to, and lean on. Now, the ball (sword) was squarely in his court. Jericho lay before Israel as the first battle of conquest of the Promised Land. This was big, really big, and it would be no surprise to learn that he could have been feeling mighty small for task.
Admirably, he sought solitude for contemplation and prayer as the enormity of his responsibility pressed heavily upon him. It was in that environment that something quite unexpected happened. There appeared before him a person with a drawn sword. In what must have been a defensive stance, Joshua questioned the character before him as to whether he was for Israel or an enemy from Jericho. The answer he received did not cause him to ready a sword, rather it brought gladness and huge relief. The stranger said, “Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.” Joshua 5:14-15.
As it was marvelous to Joshua, so it is to the people of God today. We are not alone! God gives us great and mighty things to accomplish, and we often wonder how we are going to get them done. The survey of strength, resources, and wit are too often turned inward on self. Perhaps it even causes one to wrestle (box) with God. Inability stands out like a sore thumb. In those moments, let it be remembered that only God can do the work of God. People are instruments in His hand, blessed to be used of Him, but it is God who clears the way, and Who empowers His Word. It is God Who works on human hearts, and it is God who gives the increase. If the increase is elusive or seems more insignificant that it should, it just may be that we have not yielded ourselves to the Captain of the Host of the LORD! His way is not our way, but it always accomplishes just what He wants done. He should be explicitly trusted in every endeavor, in confronting any obstacle. He is infinitely bigger than the subjects of His creation.
William A. Dillard
the pages of the Old Testament comes the divine record of the cost of
attempting to serve God man’s way instead of strictly God’s way.
The incident is referenced three different places to underscore its
notice: Leviticus 10:1; Number 3:4 and 26:61. Nadab and Abihu, sons
of Aaron offered strange fire before the Lord which He had not
commanded. Immediately, God caused them both to die instantly. Now,
let us examine this unusual incident a little closer.
Were the priests to use fire in the service of the tabernacle? Yes, they were. They must use fire at the altar of sacrifice. They also used fire at the altar of incense. However, for specific didactic purposes, explicit instructions were given as to how this was to be done. Obedience to the instruction sanctified the Lord in the sight of all Israel, but disregard for the instructions did just the opposite. Nadab and Abihu were one up on God: they had a better idea than what they were told to do. It cost their life.
But wait a minute, modern man says. Fire is fire, so what difference does it make? It seems the Old Testament God is harsh and cruel. Well, that is indeed the mindset of most modern religionists. Perverting Gods instructions to do things man’s way is called “iniquity” in the Bible. God will not have it.
But, it seemed so nice and certainly more palatable to the general populace to make things nicer….put in a little incense….make a little more show. But it is not what God commands, neither is it what God will accept.
Well, that certainly would not happen today, thanks to the grace of God. Yes, the teaching period of the Law is done. The adult period of Grace is ours. But does not one’s actions as an adult have weightier consequences? If one spends any time at all with Jesus’ sermon on the mount, Matt. 5-7, he will know the answer is a definite yes.
It is for this reason that the oft New Testament call to God’s people is to be vigilant, to be sober. The incident of Nadab and Abihu forever testifies that man must not, cannot, serve God man’s way, but strictly God’s way. Too much is made of a supposed liberty to interpret scriptures differently. After all, many claim a right to their opinion. But the truth is that no one has a right to an opinion on God’s Word. It is not of any private interpretation, and means what it says. It may seem nice to exclude the blood of Jesus, or the supposed radical burial in water for baptism by substituting sprinkling and being added to a church roll. But as drunken as the world may be on man made religion and the enticement of materialism, the God we all must face is indeed the very God Who took the life of Nadab and Abihu who dared to defy the explicit instructions of God to do what seemed “nicer” to them. Indeed, modern Christians would do well to consider again Hebrew 10:31 and 12:29.
I don’t really know why the following thoughts came into my head this morning, but I want to share them. We live in a world, in a nation (to a great degree), and in a society of fools. Now, before you call me names and accuse me of judging others, just ready what follows. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). And, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 53:1). Twice in His Word in the Psalms God has said, “If you do not believe in me, Sir, Madam, you are a fool.” You see, in our world today there are those who say that because we believe in, trust in God we are fools. But, long before the world said, “You are fools for believing in God,” God said to the unbelieving world, “You are fools for not believing in Me.” This is not the “am not, are too” arguing of children. This is the Creator of the universe speaking to His creation which has suddenly decided, “I can operate on my own. I do not need God.” So, if you wonder why the world seems out of order and full of chaos today, it is because mankind, for the most part, has decided that he can govern himself better than his Creator can.
Preach the whole Bible.
The Bible is not full of holes.