When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing 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.
– Romans 8:15-17
The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives bears witness or testifies to the fact that we are children of God. Through Christ, God has adopted us as is children and this is confirmed through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Spirit bears witness with our spirit concerning this new identity in Christ. In other words, the Holy Spirit penetrates the very core of our being, our spirit, and our new identity is birthed from the inside out. As Paul says, “the one who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him” (1 Corinthians 6:17). The Holy Spirit bears witness to the fact that we are not simply spiritually improved or upgraded in Christ, but we are part of God’s new creation; in Christ we have been given a new identity (child of God), a new community (the church), and a new commandment (love one another), and a new commission (go and make disciples of all nations).
As children of God, we are also heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. In other word, all that been given to Christ has been given to us. However, Paul makes it abundantly clear that our inheritance is two-fold – if we suffer with him in order that we might also be glorified with him. To be a part of God’s new creation that is even now breaking into the world, we must be willing to share in his sufferings in order to know him in the power of his resurrection (Philippians 3:10).
We have been given the amazing privilege of knowing God intimately, to cry “Abba! Father!” just as Jesus called to his heavenly Father. With this great privilege comes an awesome responsibility to be ambassadors for Christ, to be willing to represent in our lives both the power of his resurrection as well as the humiliation of his sufferings. This is what it means to be a child of God.