You have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ… (Rom. 8:15-17).
Here the apostle Paul puts us into the middle of a court hearing in which he asks two important questions: Who are the heirs of God’s inheritance, and how can they prove they are heirs?
Before we dismiss the inquiries as irrelevant to us, Paul explains that we are the heirs in question, and that our status is established by the testimony of two witnesses – the standard for a Jewish court.
We are heirs of the promises of God based on 1) the testimony of our spirit (as we love the Father) and 2) the testimony of the Holy Spirit (as he confirms the Father’s love for us in Scripture and in our hearts).
Without the Holy Spirit’s work in us, we could not love God as our Abba (Daddy). Our hearts would be hostile to him, and we would be convinced of his hostility toward us. So, our love of the Father along with the Spirit’s testimony of his love for us combine to witness that we are God’s children.
So, if we ever doubt God’s love for us, we need honestly to answer one simple question: “Do you love God?” If you really love him, that is the testimony of the Holy Spirit that you are God’s child and a co-heir of heaven with Jesus.
Lord, thank you that I can love you as my Abba, and for assuring me that such love can only be generated by the Holy Spirit. By this love in my heart, I know you are assuring me that I am your child. Thank you for such grace.