Wednesday, October 6, 2010

EMMDEV 2010-10-06 [Romans Ch.8] Not slave, but beloved child

15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Romans8:15-16

The result of sin entering the world was that Adam and Eve hid away from God when He came walking in the Garden. Why? They had come to believe that He was a cruel taskmaster and they were the victim slaves.

A similar attitude is manifested by the servant in the parable of the talents who describes the master in the following terms:"I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow"

Part of our sin-sickness is that our image of God is damaged. We react suspiciously to God, believing that He is out to "get" us. And so when it comes to thinking about God, our default behaviour is resentful fear.

One of the awesome things that the Holy Spirit does is that He transforms our "God and self perspective." Deep within us the Holy Spirit begins to whisper "Oh He is goood! Oh He loves you! You're not a slave, you are His child."

The Aramaic word "Abba" is an affectionate word, better translated "Daddy!" than "Father." It implies intimacy, trust and longing. When the Holy Spirit begins to work in our hearts, the need to hide from the presence of God is replaced by a longing for Him. St Augustine put it like this: "We are restless until we find our rest in Thee."

This is one of the wonderful gifts we receive when we are born again: Deep deep inside, whether we are in the beauty of creation, in the throes of inspiring worship, in the quiet space of prayer and reflection or even in struggle and heartache there is a persistent certainty we are God's kids and His love will carry us through.

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Theo Groeneveld theo@emmanuel.org.za
You can see past EmmDevs at http://emmdev.blogspot.com/

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