1Co 4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.

1Co 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

1Co 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

1Co 4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

I understand your question, and I think it is a natural one in view, as you say, that we were not ones who looked forward to the time with anticipation when we would receive the adoption of sons. However I do not see that as a stumbling block, or impediment of any kind, which would make it so that we might not have the proper level of enthusiasm and zeal for our adoption when we are taught about it. Or that either you or I might encounter any special difficulty in trying to provide for the kind of enthusiasm when teaching it to saints who have no natural background for it. Instead my understanding is that the effectual working of the teaching of what sonship is, and what it means for us, is sufficient in and of itself to cause us to “cry, Abba, Father” regardless of any previous knowledge of it, or any anticipation for it, or not. And we know that this is the case, or as Galatians 4:1ff makes clear, even the ones who were formerly “servants” and not “children” are now to have the same “crying, Abba, Father” seeing that they are no longer “servants” but “sons,” just as is to be the case with those who are no longer “children” but “sons.”

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

So then when the knowledge of the grandeur of sonship is taught to a Christian, and he therefore understands it and loves both it and God as His Father; then whether he formerly was a Jew, who had some natural anticipation for sonship, or whether he formerly was a Gentile, who might not even have had any real appreciation for the concept at all; it doesn’t make any difference when it comes to the issue of having zeal and enthusiasm for being “led by the Spirit.” It is the effectual working of God’s word to us about the truth of our sonship status, and the greatness of what is and means, that produces “crying, Abba, Father.” For this reason Romans 8:15 explicitly says what it does when it says, “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.” Hence it is the understanding and appreciation for what we have not received, along with the understanding and appreciation of the glory of what we have received, that causes us to “cry, Abba, Father.”

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Rom 8:15 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.

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

So then when it comes to us providing for “crying, Abba, Father,” we simply teach the doctrine of the glory of sonship. It’s the doctrine’s job to effectually work within and produce the zeal, excitement, and enthusiasm. And if the doctrine is understood and appreciated, it will do its job, whether one was formerlya “child” or a “servant.” Now this begs the question. What if after teaching it there is no zeal, etc.? What then? Simply and briefly put, we then do what a father does when his son responds with a less than enthusiastic response. We beseech and entreat as a father to a son. Moreover as we do this we must particularly employ our further godly edifying as a bishop that we receive from I Timothy to Philemon. And so from what we are taught and know regarding resistance to the effectual working of God’s word in saints, we deal with the saint (or saints) about whatever issue it is that we have discerned to be causing them to be less than enthusiastic.

Pro 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

Pro 2:4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

Pro 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

Pro 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

I think the most important thing right now is to make sure that neither you, or any of the saints with you, think of “crying, Abba, Father” as some highly emotionally charged charismatic type experience. Or something that you are supposed ‘feel’ in order for it to be real, etc. And therefore if you do not ‘feel’ something extraordinary along these lines, then you must not really be “crying, Abba, Father.” Since the emotions of the soul are designed to be responders to the thinking of the spirit, they can certainly come into play. However the essential issue is the thinking of the spirit, regardless of the level of the emotional response of the soul. And if the thinking of the spirit of a saint does truly understand and appreciate what sonship is, and what it means; and if it loves sonship and God as its Father, and therefore wants its sonship education and edification; then it is “crying, Abba, Father.” For the issue in “crying” is that of both happiness over no longer being in the bondage and limitations of childhood, and the genuine desire to possess, and operate upon, the Father’s education and all the marvelous glories that it involves.

Pro 2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

So if this is true of you, and of your folks, then you “cry, Abba, Father.” If such desire isn’t there, then there is a ‘problem.’ But if it’s there, then the initial proper sonship response exists. Furthermore, you can expect the initial proper response to grow, both in yourself and in your saints, as you increase in your understanding and appreciation for all the glories that our sonship status and edification entails. This is exactly what is supposed to happen, with the greatest level of zeal, enthusiasm, and ambition being what is possessed by “sons” whose edification is on par with the Philippians and the Thessalonians. So the issue at the outset is not Philippian/Thessalonian type zeal, so to speak. Rather it is just what Romans 8:15 says. And again if this is what you and yours possess, then this is exactly what you should possess at the present time. So I don’t know if there is any “real problem” to diagnose right now. If there is, then I think it will manifest itself once you have taught the issue of our sonship status and privilege with the better and more complete knowledge of it that you now have; and when you then assess things at that point.

Php 1:5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Php 1:7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

Php 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

Php 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

Functioning as a father, you both are, and will be, constantly looking for what I call ‘markers’ that indicate the kind of positive and proper response that a son should have to the individual ‘forms of doctrine’ that he is learning. When the ‘marker’ is evident, then the father knows that he is able to take his son on into the next issue. When it is not evident, then he knows that he must deal with the reason why, which may involve one or more of the temptations of opposition that have affected his son. Each level to sonship education and edification has numerous ‘markers’ to it. However when it comes to the beginning of a son’s education, the initial ‘marker’ is the sincere and genuine desire for the education, which expresses itself by the son “crying, Abba, Father.” And this the father looks for after he has set his son down and taught him what his sonship status and privileges are all about. So then as long as you know what “crying, Abba, Father” means at the outset, and you aren’t looking upon it as something that it isn’t; and until you teach your folks what you understand and appreciate about sonship, and provide for them as a father would for his son after having adopted him; then I wouldn’t be concerned about a ‘problem’ until you are in the position to know that you actually have one.

1Th 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

1Th 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

1Th 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

1Th 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

1Th 1:7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

1Th 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

Yet, as I mentioned in an earlier note, beseeching, exhorting, and entreating is a real component of a father’s dealings with a son. And each of those terms, (and others like them), is descriptive of something a father does to urge his son to respond properly and positively to what he has been taught about being a son, etc. Hence they make it plain that such things are necessary for a father to do in order to produce the appropriate response, as well as being necessary things for him to do when it comes to helping his son to know how to employ and benefit from the effectual working of what it is that he is being taught. So again I would want to make sure first off that your folks have the full measure of the increased understanding and appreciation that you have for the issues of sonship. And then with that in place, take it from there when it comes to beseeching and entreating them unto the kind of response that should characterize them as sons.

1Th 2:10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

1Th 2:11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

1Th 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Keith Blades

Enjoy The Bible Ministries

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