But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba , Father.”
There is a repeated pattern in this verse. The first time we learn that God sent his Son (into the world - John 3:16-17) to redeem us that we might receive adoption to sonship. That last phrase refers to the Roman custom of adopting a male, who would then become an heir of his new father. The Word of God speaking to that ancient culture said, “Since you’ve been taught that the son receives all the rights and privileges, your status in Christ is “sonship.” Whether you’re male or female, you have son status, which means you get everything!
The pattern which first shows us our sonship status, next shows us sonship experience. Again, God sends an agent with a goal to accomplish a great purpose. First he sent his Son into the world. This time he sends the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. The Son came to redeem and give us legal status as God’s children. The Spirit comes to make sonship a real occurrence.
When you don’t “feel” saved, you can still stand on the promises of your status as a child of God. You can stand on the Word which says God sent his Son to redeem and give sonship. You can claim that legal right regardless of your feelings or situation. Because of what God has done, you are now his child.
But if you’ll get to that second part and realize the Spirit of his Son has moved into your heart, you may find that you now experience His presence! This goes beyond the hard facts of salvation, into the experience of salvation, the joy of the Lord, the presence of God, and the awareness that God is Father and you are his child, crying “Abba, Father!”
Remember that God sent his Spirit, “Because you are his sons.” So, in order to experience God’s Spirit and your sonship, you have to go back to the Gospel and recall what God did for you. You no longer have to feel unworthy to be His child, because he has made you worthy. God sent his Son to give you sonship status. And then God sent his Spirit to give you sonship experience!
Pastor John Whittington
Lighthouse Christian Center