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Romans 8:16


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

As this new day dawns and the needs of Your people are many, I just pray that You would pour out Your Spirit in abundance over all our lives. I feel a little nervousness inside and need the security of knowing that You go before me as this day begins to unfold. I don't know what it holds, but You do. May Your grace, Your protection, Your strength and Your power flow freely over each and every one of us.

 

So many times I say to You, "I feel afraid", and in response You flood my heart with Your peace. There are no words to describe the depth of gratitude I feel for that...all I know is that I don't know where I'd be if You weren't so generous with Your perfect peace. So thank You Father for that...it is such a priceless gift You give that bridges the gap between our humanness and Your perfect will.

 

In fact, as I looked into Your Word in the Psalms, I came across the 91st one. The first two verses especially, represent my prayer for today:

 

Psalm 91

1HE WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].

2I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!

 

3For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.

 

4[Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.

 

5You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day,

 

6Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.

 

7A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.

 

8Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked.

 

9Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,

 

10There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.

 

11For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].

 

12They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

 

13You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.

 

14Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness--trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].

 

15He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.

 

16With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.

 

I do love You and You know even better than I do, how much I need You.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

 

16. The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God:

 

 

 

Watchman Nee comments on a few words in the 16th verse:

 

"with": "It is not only that the Spirit witnesses and our spirit witnesses also. Rather, it is that the Spirit witnesses withour Spirit. This indicates that our spirit must take the initiative to witness first; then the Spirit will witness with our spirit."

 

"our": "This reveals that the Spirit of God today, the all-inclusive Spirit of the Triune God, dwells in our regenerated human spirit and works in our spirit. These two spirits are one; they live together, work together, and exist together as one mingled spirit (1 Cor. 6:17)."

 

"we": "This is the witnessing of the Spirit when we cry "Abba, Father" (v. 15). Such a witnessing testifies to us and assures us that we are the children of God, who possess His life, it also limits us and restricts us to a living and walk that are according to this life, in keeping with our being children of God. The Spirit witnesses to our most basic and elementary relationship with God, namely, that we are His children; it does not witness that we are His sons or His heirs. Therefore, this witnessing of the Spirit begins from the time of our spiritual birth, our regeneration."

 

The rvbv writes, "The manner of communication between the Holy Spirit and our spirit is a profound mystery. Indeed all man's vaunted knowledge is challenged by Jehovah's word to Job: "Who hath given understanding to the mind?" We do not speak now with the mere purpose of ridiculing man's vaunted knowledge, but simply to state facts. Human philosophy and science know absolutely nothing about the quality or nature of spirit.

 

God, in this passage in Romans, does not address Himself at all to human intellect, but to the consciousness of His saints. (Much unnecessary and unfruitful questioning as to what is the witness of the Spirit has arisen.

 

It is plain both in this passage (verses 15, 16) and from the great verse in Galatians 4:6: "Because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba, Father," that the "witness of the Spirit" is the producing of the consciousness of being born of God, of belonging to His family, in Christ. And for us today who are in Christ, there should be the consciousness, not merely of babes, but of adult-sons. "God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father." It is a sense of the very relation to the Father which Christ Himself has as Son! Mark, in this we do not "know" the Son, for He is the second person of the Deity; but we do know the Father, and the Son "willeth to reveal Him" by sending the blessed Spirit for that purpose (See Matt. 11:27.)

 

How beautifully sweet is the recognition of its parents by a babe, a child! unconscious, instinctive, yet how real!

 

Now the witness of the Spirit is to the fact of our relationship. How foolish it would be, and how sad, if a child should fall into the delusion that it must have certain "feelings" if it is to believe itself a child of its parents. The unconscious certainty of the relationship is the beauty of it. There are, indeed, certain tests Divinely given us, by which to assure ourselves. Most of these, perhaps, are in the great Epistle of Fellowship, First John; - "fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ": "I have written unto you, little children, because ye know the father (2-13). Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if He shall be manifested, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him even as He is (3:2). Hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He gave us" (3:24).)

 

The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit. There is no certainty comparable with this!

 

"With our spirit" - We are not told that the Spirit bear witness to our spirit, as if the knowledge that we are God's children were some unheard of, undreamed matter to our own spirits. But He beareth witness with our spirit, showing that the child of God, having had communicated to him God's own nature (II Pet. 1:4), Christ's own life (I Cor. 6:17), is fundamentally, necessarily conscious of the glorious fact of filial relationship to God. Along with this consciousness, the Spirit indwelling witnesses, enabling us, moving us, to cry, "Abba, Father." There is life before this, just as the newborn babe has life and breath before it forms a syllable. It is significant that the Spirit indwelling is the power whereby we cry, Abba, Father, - by His enlightenment, His encouragement, His energy.

 

The operations of a man's mind either in philosophy or in science constitute an eternal quest for certainty. The conclusions of philosophy are based upon theories and hypotheses, and are always being challenged and perpetually overthrown by succeeding new schemes of philosophy. And even the dearest discoveries of science await new explanations - of the very constitution of the universe they are invented in.

 

But with the child of God - the born-again family, there is no such uncertainty! A child of God knows. And the blessed Holy Spirit, by whose inscrutable power he was born again, keeps forever witnessing with his consciousness, - and that through no processes of his mind, but directly, that he is a born-one of God.

 

This is most natural and could not be otherwise. Children in an earthly family grow up together as a family, their parents addressing them as children, their brothers and sisters knowing them to be such. It is the most beautiful thing in the natural world.!

 

How much more certain, yea, how much more wonderful and beautiful, is the constantly witnessed relationship of His children to God: the Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are born-ones of God. (This word tekna means "born-ones," offspring. The several other Greek words for child are used accurately in Scripture: brephos, - and unborn child, or a new-born child (Luke 1:44 and 2:12, 16); nepios, babes or small children - children not come of age (Matt. 21:16; I Cor. 3:1; 13:11; Gal. 4:1, 3; Eph. 4:14), as over against adults or those come of age; pais, paidion and paidarion, children, generally; and with regard to their need of training and teaching. (The verbal form paideo means to train children; or to cause any one to learn; thus arises its use in Hebrews 12:6.) Finally, huios, which is the word of sonship, of adult understanding: Paul contrasts this word, with nepios in both Galatians 4:6, and I Corinthians 13:11, as adulthood over against childhood, or infancy.

 

These distinctions are not absolute, but practically so.)

 

Believers will find themselves calling God 'Father', in their prayers and communion. This witness will spring up of itself in the heart that has truly rested in Christ and His shed blood.

 

Conversely, if we find ourselves always in our prayers saying Lord, Lord, and never Father, we should be concerned, and should go back to the beginnings of things, - that is, to the record concerning our guilt, in Romans three, and our helplessness, and to the fact that God has set forth Christ as a propitiation; and resting there, in His shed blood, we should boldly call God Father, and cultivate that habit.

 

Nor, in our judgment, should Christians permit themselves habits of address in prayer not authorized and exemplified in Scripture. Our Lord Jesus prayed saying, "Father," "My Father," "O righteous Father." He did not say, "Almighty God," nor did He use the name "Jehovah," as Israel did in the Psalms and elsewhere. He said, "Father." And He said to us, "When ye pray, say, Father." (Note Luke 11:2 in the Revised Version.) "We have our access," says Paul, "in one Spirit unto the Father." "To us there is one God, the Father" (I Cor. 8:6). Today, also, some devoted Christians address God as "Father-God." But why not say, "Father," as our Lord directed and the Spirit witnesses? To say "Father-God," makes the first word an adjective!

 

Some may say, "It is foolish and unnecessary to make such discriminations." But if God "sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father," we speak to the Father as did our beloved Savior Himself. This is infinite grace, and should be appreciated and cultivated by us. Moreover, if you were going into the presence of the King of England, you would take thought for a proper form of address. How infinitely rather when you address God!"

 

Heavenly Father,

 

I find myself wanting to go back up to look at my opening prayer to see the ways that I address You lolol...

 

It was touching to type out what Newell wrote in the rvbv about caling You Father. As I typed it out, the thought that kept crossing my mind is that when we call You 'Father', it denotes a sense of intimacy...of someone that we hold close to our hearts. May Your Spirit birth the comprehension of "Father" into any heart that reads this, and hasn't experienced this with You. It is such a tender position to realize...that You are our Heavenly Father and we are Your children. This is a concept that we understand here on earth, having been born from a father and mother. There are some though Father, who have been very hurt by the men who fathered them, so for those people, I just ask that You would heal their hurts and let them become free in knowing and experiencing You as their Heavenly Father.

 

I love You, I need You and thank You for today's study.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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