June 12, 2021

The Affirmation of the Spirit

Romans 8:14-17

The Spirit himself testifies with our Spirit that we are God’s children.

—  Romans 8:16

I remember Eileen. With her whole heart she desired to experience the power of the Holy Spirit. But she often wrote negative letters to herself about how ugly, stupid, and sinful she was. Her negative self-image led her to hold back from fully embracing God’s promise of life in the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of God, though, is the great encourager. He is constantly whispering words of affirmation into our consciousness. The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God—and that means we are heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.

Already in the amazing chapter of Romans 8 we have learned that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (8:1). We have been set free from the law of sin and death by the law of the Spirit of life (8:2). The righteous requirement of the law has already been fully met, through Christ, so that we can walk by the Spirit (8:4).

The Spirit instills a new attitude deep in our spirit. We learn, through the life and death and resurrection of Jesus and in the outpouring of new life in the Spirit, that God loves us even more than we can imagine (John 3:16; Romans 5:8-11; Ephesians 3:16-21). And God has poured his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).

Let us always remember that the Spirit of God is our best and closest friend.

Spirit of God, fill us with your affirmation and love, assuring us that we are loved even more than we can imagine. In the power­ful name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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