About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

The Spirit of Christ and Adoption

Romans 8:15
 Charles e Whisnant, Preacher-Teacher, Expositor, Adopted by God
March 25, 2012    Series #45.111
Ver. 15. — For ye have not received, the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry  Abba Father.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abby! Father!”

For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! (Amplified Bible - Lockman
Exodus 20:19    Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”
Numbers 17:12:   So the children of Israel spoke to Moses, saying, “Surely we die, we perish, we all perish!
I Corinthians 2:12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
Hebrews 2:14-15  14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15   and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Hebrews 12:18-24:
For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.”And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
References in Exodus 19:12-13 You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 Not a hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot with an arrow; whether man or beast, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain.”
Deuteronomy 9:19   For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the Lord was angry with you, to destroy you. But the Lord listened to me at that time also.

It is of the greatest importance to believers to be assured that they are indeed the sons of God. Without a measure of this assurance they cannot serve Him with love in brightness of spirit. Paul therefore make expands a little deeper (Remember Winston Hall’s comment about you being able to go deeper into the Word and go deeper in living the Chrisitan life?)_  here on his preceding declaration, that as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. In verification of this, he reminds those whom he addresses that they had not received the spirit of bondage or slavery again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption, leading them to call on God as their Father.
The word spirit occurs twice in this verse. In this chapter, as has already been remarked, it is used in various senses. 

Sometimes it is taken in Scripture in a bad sense, as when it is said,
Isaiah 19:14:, ‘The Lord hath, mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof;’
Isaiah 29:10, ‘For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep..’
In the verse before us it is taken both in a bad sense, signifying a sinful affection of the mind, namely, the spirit of bondage, and in a good sense, signifying by the Spirit of adoption the Holy Spirit.
In the parallel passage, Galatians 4:6,.’ The spirit of bondage. — All who are‘And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father not dead to the law, and know of no way to escape Divine wrath but by obeying it, must be under the spirit of bondage; serving in the oldness of the letter, and not in newness of spirit.  

For so far from fulfilling the demands of the law, they fail in satisfying themselves. A spirit of bondage, then, must fit in to all who are not acquainted with God’s method of salvation.
The spirit of bondage is the effect of the law, which, manifesting his sinfulness to man, and the fearful wrath of God, makes him tremble under the apprehension of its curse..
Paul, comparing the two covenants, namely the Law from Mount Sinai, and the Gospel from Mount Zion, says that the one from Mount Sinai related  to bondage, which is Hagar, but Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of all believers; because, like Isaac, they are the children of the promise. Now this promise is the promise of grace. 

For as man has sinned, the law, which demands perfect obedience, and pronounces a curse against him who continues not in all things which it commands, must condemn and reduce him to the condition of a SLAVE, who, after he transgresses, expects nothing but punishment.. 

On this account, when God transmitted His law in the middle of thundering and lightning, the mountain trembled, and the people feared and stood afar off. This showed that man could only tremble under the law, as he could not be justified by it; but that he must have recourse to another covenant, namely, the covenant of grace, in which God manifests His mercy and His love, in which He presents to sinners the remission of their sins, and the righteousness of His well beloved Son; for in this covenant He justifies the ungodly,
Romans 4:5, and imputes to them righteousness without works. He adopts as His own children those who were formerly children of wrath, and gives the Spirit of adoption to them who had before a spirit of bondage and slavery to fear. Again to fear. —
Paul uses the word again to indicate a double opposition, — the one of the state of a man before and after his regeneration, the other of the New Testament and the Old. 

Before regeneration, a man, wise that he is a sinner, must be apprehensive of punishment, not having embraced the only remedy provided for the remission of his sins by Jesus Christ. Not that it should be hypothetical that this is the case with all unregenerate men, or at all times, but only when their consciences are awakened, summoning them before the judgment-seat of God..

For the greater part of them live in irreverent refuge, with hardened consciences, and without any apprehension of their ruined state. God, however, often impresses that fear on those whom He purposes to lead to the knowledge of His salvation. But when they are born of the Spirit, this slavery of fear gives place to the filial which proceeds from love, as the proper effect of the Spirit of adoption.
‘Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love case our fear because fear has torment. He that fear is not made perfect in love.

The other opponent which Paul marks in saying AGAIN is between those believers in the Old and the New Testament.

While the believers in the Old Testament had the Spirit of adoption, for they were sanctified by the Spirit of God, and had in a sense fellowship with Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, being justified by faith, as Hebrews 11 says, they called God their Father. Isaiah 63:16
But those believers in the Old, being still in its infancy, did not enjoy the Spirit of adoption in the fullness as we in the New do, Nor did they have  a clear revelation of grace as we do in the New.  Believers only saw Christ at a distance under shadows, and figures, while the law and its curses were strongly showed.  In other words Adam, Noah, Moses, David, Solomon and Isaiah were believers, but did not sense the grace we know today, even when they were saved by grace.

Galatians 4:1-6 says we have freedom and in a measure they in the Old were held under bondage.
Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born[a] of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 

Those believers at Rome, Jews or Gentiles, had not received the spirit of bondage again to fear.  They were not present when the Law was given to Moses.  Exodus 19. But they were at the foot of the Cross of Calvary at Mount Zion.  The purpose of Christ coming was as in Luke 1:74 To grant us that we,
Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,

Might serve Him without fear,
“Jesus Christ’s came that through death He might destroy death, and him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and to deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject ot bondage” Hebrews 2:14
2 Timothy 1:7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

This teaches us that those who are believers, the fear should be removed from our minds.  The fear of distrust, is removed, and the we have now the right kind of fear, that of reverential fear of God that is the impression by our sense of God’s majesty.
Then the churches in Acts 9:31 throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

There is a constructive fear which should always be maintained in the hearts of Christians born again, child of God, for the assurance of our salvation, which as believers should cherish. This is not a disrespectful assurance which would prompt him to disregard the authority of God, but would rather lead us to a diligent carefulness to conform to God’s Word and make use of the means for edification of His appointment.
When Paul said in Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Shows that God produces in believers, those who God has adopted into His family, have both the will and desire to perform His will and desire 

We as believers are children of God, but in our weakness to evil, and the many spiritual enemies around us daily, the purpose of godly fear is to make us careful that we do not fall, and that we do always believe the love of our Heavenly Father and that we keep before us the infallible promises of our Father and the intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ, in this we should hold fast the assurance of our salvation.

As Peter said in 1 Peter 1:2  elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.”

Peter said in 1 Peter 1:8  whom having not seen, ye love. In Him, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and 4:13 but rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  Why?  1:19  but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,

Can I just say, just how horrible and dangerous is the nature of sin that works in and on our mind, spirit and members of our body.  When we are born again, God plants in us a godly fear and this fear is our preservation in the world of danger.  

In us is this natural fear, thank goodness. I fear a lot of things. On coming traffic. A State Highway Police Car coming down Route 23 in Portsmouth Ohio.  Getting lost in West Portsmouth. A fear of not having my sermon manuscript. 

In the spiritual realm God has given me a freedom of fear. I have been given the fullest confidence in God, there is a love, there is a joyful hope of eternal glory,
But I must say there is in us that every small amount of the remains of that old nature that at times will deter us from doing our duty to God, and in that moment there usually arises this fear that we have dishonor our Heavenly Father. That is good.


The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of adoption.  The Holy Spirit as the cause by which God makes us His children.

Whereas the spirit of bondage cause fear, the Spirit of adoption produces in our hearts a sense of reconciliation with God,  a love of God is put in us, a regard for His holiness, a hatred for sin, and a peace in our conscience that we are loved by Jesus Christ.
This Spirit of adoption will give us a desire to glorify God here on earth, and to enjoy the glory of heaven. Can you imagine the New Jerusalem.

Wasn’t that a great message by Winston Hall in our Revival on Heaven?

Paul tells us we had the spirit of slaves, now we have the Spirit of sons. 
“Adoption is not a work of grace in us, but an act of God’s grace without us.”
This word “adoption” is the taking those who were by natural children of wrath from the family of Satan, to which they originally belonged, and bringing them into the family of God.  A  Doxology anyone?