July 19th, 2023

In Romans 8:16 Saint Paul wrote that the Spirit of God testifies to our spirit that we are the children of God. I will admit I have not heard such a testimony with my ears, and you probably have not either. But the words of Paul are very plain and cannot be translated in a different way. So, we look at those words and try to understand how that is possible. Here is my understanding of how the Spirit testifies to us that we are the children of God.

I pray the Lord’s prayer and I am sure you do also. In the Lord’s prayer we pray to the almighty God and say “Our Father.” Now you and I do not walk up to a stranger or to somebody we know to be very wealthy and call that person father. If we did, such a person would more than likely tell us to get lost or else he will call the police. Then how do we get the courage or the privilege to call almighty God by that familiar word?

Return to your baptism. We were baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and God took us into his family, adopted us and made us his children. But our baptism happened once, more than likely a long time ago, and we forget what God did for us in our baptism. Jesus taught us to pray the Lord’s prayer and when we do, we need to stop and think we are praying to our Father. We did not earn the right to be the children of God. This is God’s gift to us. The Holy Spirit reminds us when we fold our hands to pray that God is our Father.

If we listen closely with our heart, we will hear the whisper of the Spirit telling us the privilege of prayer to the Father is given only to children of God. Let our folded hands be the Spirit’s testimony.

Because then He will give us also the assurance that we are heirs, together with Jesus, of eternal life since the children of God are the brothers and sisters of Jesus.

We do not need all kinds of degrees to hear the Spirit testify to us. A simple faith that what God says is true will suffice. And this is the word of God, in our baptism, in the bible, that Jesus has cleansed us from all our sin and has made it possible for the eternal God to cleanse us from our sin and adopt us as His children.

My brother, my sister, child of God that you and I are, pray together as one family to one God and Father.

Elmer Schiefer
Pastor. Family of Christ Lutheran Church

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