The Fathers Love
Today I have witnessed some stuff that I figure I should write down. Today I was listening to the podcast by Moral Revolution. I’ll leave the link here, it’s a great podcast. But one part that especially struck me was when Caitlin was sharing about her past. She was talking about how she kept on going to these random guys and cheating on her boyfriend because she thought that her worth was found in being used by these men. What immediately struck me was how little self worth she had. She thought that it was her duty to fufill these men and these sexual encounters were empowering her because it meant that she wasn’t now restrained by her boyfriend. I think it’s so easy to get pulled away into the world and our value in ourselves gets distorted. This girl had lost her worth.
As a follower of God however our value is restored. And I’ll pull from the book of Romans when I explain this value. Romans 8:14–19 speaks about what it means to be a son of God;
“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 have 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, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Here is something I wrote about this passage while I was going through this book 6 months ago:
“In Roman law if a man were adopted, no matter the age, his relationship to his parents would be cut off, if he had any previous debts, they would be canceled and his life would start anew. He would take his new family name and he would be entitled to his family’s inheritance. He would be treated the exact same as any of his father’s naturally born sons. After this new father died, he would continue to be a part of this new family before the family god.
Often the Holy Spirit is named by phrases which explain something of the nature and activity of the Spirit: ‘Spirit of God,’ ‘Holy Spirit,’ ‘the Eternal Spirit’ (often called ‘the unending spirit’ or ‘the spirit that never ceases’), ‘the Spirit of Truth,’ that is, ‘the Spirit who communicates truth’; ‘Spirit of glory,’ that is, ‘the glorious Spirit’ or ‘the wonderful Spirit’; ‘the Spirit of life,’ that is, ‘the Spirit who brings life’ or ‘the Spirit that causes people to live’; ‘the Spirit of sonship,’ that is, ‘the Spirit who makes us sons of God’ or ‘the Spirit that causes us to become God’s sons’.
This would have been incredibly impactful to the readers on a number of levels. First off the word spirit in this passage is used in three different places. It’s the same word in Spirit of God, spirit of slavery and Spirit of adoption. Paul often uses the word spirit to describe different aspects of the Holy Spirit. Here he distinctly lets the reader know that slavery is not an aspect of the Holy Spirit. Romans 6:16–23 speaks on being a slave to God, this is quite different. There Paul speaks on slavery to righteousness being a positive thing that promots humility and subjection to God. Here the Romans would have seen this contrast between slaves and sons as something of an intimacy difference. God does not take them and force them to do endless work and labor, rather he takes them as sons. The Romans knew that adoption implies inheritance. Those who were adopted into a Roman family and were being treated the same as their fathers’ sons would help them realize what it meant to be treated alongside Christ. This promise of inheritance would be something that many Christians in the church would probably not have in their lives. Since the church was probably primarily the poor they would have seen this as likely there only inheritance they would receive.
I think that this promise of inheritence and of sonship is something that so many of us don’t realize. Here is a question I am asking myself right now:
How should knowing that I am a son of God change my life?
How should knowing that I am loved by God and am known so deeply impact how I live day to day.
This week, while I was worshipping I felt like God was telling me,
“Tim, so many of your issues would be solved if you knew of how much I loved you.”
I guess I find myself in the same place as Caitlin from the podcast: With such a small realization of the love of God.
I am not going to finish with and answer, or a story about how I realized what God was talking about. In reality I don’t know the solution. I thought I knew that God loved me, but what I am realizing is that there is so much more that I don’t know. What is the answer? How am I going to end this post? I going to end with a question that I think all of you should ask yourself whether you are a Christian or not:
How would fully knowing that you are deeply loved and known by God impact who you are and what you did right now?
The bible is only transformative if it can apply to your life. And if your reading the bible and are not applying it to your life you are wasting so much potential. This is esspecially hard for me because I do not know that I don’t realize this love, but I am going to pray about it and come up with an application.
Also it was very cool again how I didn’t even know what this post was going to be about and how it applied to me until I got to the part where God spoke to me in worship. I completely forgot about that. God is cool.