Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Dr. Russell Moore on the Doctrine of the Witness of the Indwelling Spirit from "Adopted for Life"

[In the following passage from Chapter 2 of Adopted for Life, Dr. Russell Moore gives a brief outline of a Biblical Theology concerning the testimony of the Spirit: in David, in Israel, and in Christ. Dr. Moore then speaks of the Spirit in the lives of believers; he clears up some common misconceptions about the testimony of the indwelling Spirit, and he shows how the Spirit functions in adoption.]

So how do you know you're a part of this household? [i.e., "God's household"] The Spirit of God is there.

The Spirit, after all, is the One in the Old Testament who marks out who the king is: the anointed one, called by God, His son. That's how you know that David is king and Saul isn't anymore. It's not by the royal entourage or the title or the office; Saul has all these things for a long time after he's rejected as king. It's the presence of the Spirit on David: a Spirit who empowers him to behead giants and sing songs of praise.

The Spirit also marks out who Israel is: the children of promise, raising them from the dead and announcing them as the heirs of God (Eze 37:13-14).

When the flesh can't reproduce a deliverer for the human race, the Spirit overshadows a virgin's uterus and conceives a new humanity (Luke 1:35). The Spirit descends on Jesus at His baptism as God's voice proclaims His acceptance of His beloved Son (Matt 3:17). When Jesus is raised from the dead by the power of the Spirit, God declares Him to be the Son of God in power (Rom 1:4).

If you're united to Christ, then that same Spirit rests on you (1 Pet 4:14). You share in His anointing (1 John 2:20,26-27). To have the Spirit doesn't necessarily mean that you feel especially spiritual. It just means that you agree with God that Jesus is Lord and that that's good news (1 Cor 12:3). And it mean that you agree with Jesus that our Father is in Heaven and that we can trust Him (Matt 6:9). The Spirit Himself, Paul tells the Romans, bears witness with our spirit that we are children with God (Rom 8:16). This isn't some giddy, emotional experience: a comforting whisper in our consciences that we are of Christ. The Spirit simply points us to Jesus and identifies us with Him.

Because we share the Spirit with Jesus, we cry out with Him to the same Father (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6). And since what unites us to Jesus is His Spirit, not our flesh, we share a common family with all those who have the Spirit resting on them. Since there's one Spirit, there's also one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all (Eph 4:5-6). That's adoption: we're part of a brand-new family, a new tribe, with a new story, a new identity.

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