by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
These readings focus on the Holy Spirit. In the Old Covenant (or Testament), the Spirit "anoints" one person here and one there to perform a special work for God. In the New Covenant, the Spirit is "poured out" like rain on the whole church of Christ.
Romans 8: 12–17
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children (Rom. 8:16).
Only through Jesus Christ may we call God our Father. But isn't every human being a child of God? Yes, everyone was created as a child of God. But sin has done us so much harm that we need to be re-created. In Christ, we are re-created. Everyone who is still in Adam should by faith come to be in Christ.
How do we know if we are God's children? God is our Father through Jesus alone, and the Spirit alone can assure us that we belong to Jesus.
We need this assurance from the Spirit because we receive too many contradictory signals from our own experience. Within ourselves we don't have enough evidence that we are God's children. That's why we need both the Bible and the testimony of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the voice of God in us, just as the Bible is the voice of God to us.
The Bible does not say how the Spirit "testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Some people are quick to hear an inner voice, while others never discern such a mystical whisper.
To me the assurance isn't a voice, really. It's the certainty—kept alive in me by God—that I am God's child. It's the daily courage to say "Abba." God's Spirit teaches me to say that even when I don't feel much like a child of God. How does he do it? By making me trust in Jesus.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version