January 21

The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to communicate God’s presence to us. First, He assures us of our salvation. “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:14-16). Second, He guides us into all truth. “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you” (Jn. 16:13,14).

Why is it so important to know who we are? Because no person can consistently behave in a way that is inconsistent with what they believe about themselves. If you don’t see yourself the way God sees you, to that degree you suffer with a poor self-image, and it will affect how you live. Notice how the apostle John emphasizes this truth. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are . . . Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure” (1 Jn. 3:1-3). We are not trying to become children of God, we are children of God now who are becoming like Christ.

Suppose you were a prostitute and the king one day issued a decree stating that all prostitutes were forgiven. You saw the decree and believed it. Even though that is good news and you believed that you were forgiven, would that change your self-perception? Would it change your behavior? You are now a forgiven prostitute. But there is more good news. What if the decree also declared that the king was making you His bride. You are now the queen. Would that change what you believe about yourself? Would it change your behavior? Dear Christian, you are the bride of Christ. You really are a child of God, so let’s all live like it and become mature in our faith.

Dr. Neil

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