When we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are immediately adopted into God’s Family. J. I. Packer has a wonderful chapter in his book Knowing God which is called “Sons of God,” where he writes on the subject of our adoption as children of the Father.
You sum up the whole of New Testament teaching in a single phrase if you speak of it as a revelation of the Fatherhood of the holy Creator. In the same way, you sum up the whole of New Testament religion if you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s holy Father. If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father.
If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new, and better than the Old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God. “Father” is the Christian name for God.
When we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live on the inside of us. He indwells us, He empowers us, He fills us, and He transforms us more and more into the image of Christ. But by the Holy Spirit, we also have a responsibility to put to death the deeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13). This is called the mortification of sin. How exactly does mortification take place? How do we put the deeds of the flesh to death?
Life is full of important questions that need to be answered such as: “Who will I marry?” “What will I do for a living?” “Where shall I go to college?” “Should I even go to college?”
Questions like these are important, but what is the most important question of all? If you don’t get the right answer on the most important question, then the answers to many of life’s other questions are difficult to find.
The most important question of all is, “Do you belong to Jesus Christ?” because if you belong to Christ, then you are indwelt by the Spirit of God and you are led by Him.
Romans 8:5-8 explains why the Lord Jesus sent His Holy Spirit as He promised. This is it in a nutshell: The Holy Spirit is the way that Jesus lives His life in us and through us for His Glory. That’s why Jesus sent His Spirit.
This passage of Scripture also answers the question, “What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?” To walk in the Spirit is to live moment by moment in dependency upon Him, sensitive to His voice, and in obedience to Him.
To live any other way is to live in rebellion against God and to cut one’s self off from the blessings of God.
The Christian’s Independence Day
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free
from the law of sin and of death.