Romans 8:14-16 says the following:
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. Romans 8:14-16
This is one of the richest and most encouraging passages in all of Scripture.
OK, so what is a child of God? We hear that expression a lot. People often say that everyone is a child of God. However, that is not what Paul is talking about in these verses.
Paul is referring to people who has been saved by God. These people have accepted Jesus’ payment for their sins and are completely forgiven. When they did that – they became acceptable to God – and He changed their status. Ephesians 1:4-5 tells us about these changes.
4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
Verse 4 says God chose us — in Christ. That means He has always planned to have Jesus pay for our sins, and He did that so He could choose us. Verse 5 says that when God chooses us, He adopts us into His own family – and that’s when we become children of God.
However, this brings up a question. Why do some Christians still doubt their salvation? They think they are saved, but they are not sure.
Well, I think the main reason is these Christians don’t consistently practice important and necessary Christian disciplines. So, what do I mean by that? Well, many Christians do not consistently study the Bible — they often neglect prayer — they do not consistently attend church — and they often neglect fellowship with other believers. These are necessary Christian disciplines that must be continually practiced.
And even worse than that — many Christians get distracted by the world and begin to accept the world’s values.
All these things take focus off their relationship with God, and that always leads to doubt.
This is particularly true during times of pain, sorrow, failure, disappointment and other similar distractions. And — of course Satan is always ready to take advantage of such circumstances and plant uncertainty. He wants Christians to be ineffective, and he accomplishes that by causing them to doubt their salvation. However, the Holy Spirit is available to counteract that.
Verse 15 says we are not slaves to fear. That’s another comforting verse.
1 John 4:16-18 says,
16 God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
So, a question that often comes up is how can we use this verse when we are afraid? How can the Holy Spirit expel all our fear?
Well, I think the first step is believing that the Holy Spirit has the power to do that — and that requires faith. The second step requires acting on that belief.
A good way to do that is ask God to implement 1 John 4:16-18. I have included a sample conversation with God which demonstrates how to do that.
Lord, I am afraid of: (tell God what you are afraid of). You say in 1 John 4:18 that perfect love will drive out all fear. I believe You are perfect love and You can do that. So, I ask You to do it in this situation. Please remove all my fears and replace them with Your perfect love. Thank You for Your promises. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for driving out my fear. Thank You for giving me Your mindset. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen
That’s a prayer God will answer, because He says He will.
Well, that’s it for now. See you next week…