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The Spirit of a Son
By Dr. Mary Craig
In the New Covenant we see the glory of the ministration of the Spirit. In the New Covenant the Spirit of Godís Son is given into the heart of the believer. All is by the Spirit, who works in the believer the spirit of a son. Thus Paul writes in Romans 8.12-17:
Therefore, brethren, we are debtorsónot to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirsóheirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
As the children of God we can neglect and grieve the Holy Spirit or we can trust and yield to Him. We are to honor Him by expecting and accepting all that He desires to do in us. He is the great promise of the New Covenant, Godís gift proceeding from the Father and the Son. He is the teacher dwelling in the believerís heart. He is the Spirit of faith, enabling belief. He is the Spirit of grace and supplications, supplying the power for obedience and fellowship with God. He is the one who transforms the heart of rebellion into the spirit of a son.
The transition takes place by a death. In Christ we die to sin, to the Law, to the "self." The soul that sins must surely die. All self-effort, self-righteousness, self-aggrandizement, etc. must die.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 13.20, 21)
As God raised Jesus so also God redeems believers and frees them from the power of sin to make them partakers of Christís resurrection life. God works all. Sin demanded Blood, the Blood of Jesus, surety of the New Covenant. Jesus mediated this covenant to obtain for the believer peace with God, purity from sin, and power over every enemy of God. In the New Covenant the outpouring of the Blood prepares the way for the outpouring of the Spirit, who ministers the Blood in power. The Blood was shed for our redemption and sprinkled to cleanse the heart from an evil conscience. (Hebrews 9.14, 10.22; Rev. 1.5; Ezekiel 37.23, 26)
The spirit of a son comes to the believer as Jesus mediates the New Covenant (Hebrews 8.6, 9.15, 12.24), is surety for it (Hebrews 7.22), is its messenger (Malachi 3.1), and is Himself called a Covenant (Isaiah 42.6, 49.8). Jesus came to establish and proclaim, to guarantee and safeguard the terms of the New Covenant. Christ is all. With a sense of sin comes a longing for liberty in the believer. Then, in the struggle to surrender, all hope of pleasing God dies as the Holy Spirit reveals the iniquity of the human heart. Only as the faith of Jesus interceding as our High Priest comes before the Father, as Jesus stands in advocacy in our behalf, do we find Jesus proving His dominion, moving in divine power, undertaking all that God requires and all that we need. The Holy Spirit works in the heart, Spirit to spirit, deepening the consciousness of Christís righteousness as our only plea. To Jesus goes all the glory and praise as even our faith proves finite and limited before an infinitely holy God whose love is unlimited.
Jesus transmits from God to us the gifts and powers of the heavenly sphere. Trusting Jesus becomes the believerís way of life as he or she embraces the following assurances:
What Christ has undertaken, He will perform. God is faithful, and He also will bring it to pass. God gives the grace that we might obey through faith working by love. The spirit of a son is one which desires to live in full and unbroken obedience and communion with the Father in Christ. As the Old Covenant taught the absolute necessity of obedience for a life of blessing and Godís favor, so it also taught the failure of man to obey and keep it. Jesus as mediator of the New Covenant secures the necessary obedience sufficiently by giving a heart that delights in obedience and which has the power for it.
The spirit of a son delights to obey and keep the commandments of God. The spirit of a son understands that in everything the surety of the New Covenant gives power to maintain the obedience, that such obedience is possible. The spirit of a son says with Jesus, "I have come to do Your will, O God." The spirit of a son hears God saying, "I will be Your God, and you will be My son." The spirit of a son understands success to be obedience to the command of God, not out of slavish fear or slavish bondage, but out of loving relationship, out of kinship. This obedience is by faith which works by love. In its very nature, it is blessedness and joy. It is a delight, a "may," not a "must." This obedience comes by grace. (1 Peter 1.2) The spirit of a son trusts in the grace of God.
"His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (1 Corinthians 15.10) We can be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2.1). As grace pardons, so also grace powers.
The spirit of a son stewards the Word of God, the grace of God, the blessings of God, the love of God. With the right of free and full access to God, and with the duty and privilege of intercession, sonship involves dispensing the blessings of Godís grace and peace, being zealous for God, honoring God, standing on the Lordís side. The spirit of a son claims and receives the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the inbreathing from Christ of His own Spirit and life.
The spirit of a son glorifies and honors Christ as it is indwelt and filled by the Holy Spirit. The spirit of a son lives in personal fellowship with the Father, honors Him, and honors the Holy Spirit who works all within. The spirit of a son desires holiness because the Spirit of holiness has been given to bring holiness. (John 17.17, 19; Romans 1.7; 1 Corinthians 1.2; 1 Thessalonians 3.13) The spirit of a son desires to have, maintain, and express the thoughts and intents of a holy heart.
Will you embrace this New Covenant wholeheartedly and enter into the spirit of a son of God? You can, as you humbly ask God to give you by His Holy Spirit grace to obey through faith working by love. Ask God to give you the vision of the heavenly life of wholehearted love and obedience in Christ. Ask God to reveal all that the Father desires you to be and all that He has provided for your being. And then offer yourself to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, without reservation, to be loved, to be sanctified, to be made whole, to be made holy unto the Lord. Believe for a vision of the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Cease striving in your own strength, serving in bondage. Surrender to Christ anew, confessing and giving up all that is of self and sin, of iniquity and soulish. Accept and be willing to experience what grace will do by the Holy Spirit, whatever the cost to the old. Let the Holy Spirit love you.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His peopleÖthat we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to our father Abraham: to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life." (Luke 1.68-75)
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