Saturday after Ash Wednesday
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but 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, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. — Romans 8:15–17
Scripture teaches that we are by nature born dead in our sins and trespasses. Not only dead but enemies of God. It is only the work of Christ that changes that. Here St Paul teaches us why we can with all boldness and confidence call upon God our Father as His dear children. We have been adopted. We are children of God. The Spirit Himself bears witness to this in us.
When we pray “our Father” we are saying that we are His children. We are confessing that Christ Jesus has shed His own blood to atone for our sins and that the Holy Spirit has given new life where there was only death. The Spirit makes us heirs by giving us faith in Christ’s Word and work. This is the work done in the water of Holy Baptism. Baptism is our testimony of the Spirit that we are indeed children and fellow heirs with Christ. Praying the Lord’s Prayer then is an exercise of the baptized life of the Christian.
The last part of this verse sheds some light on what our baptized lives will encounter in this temporal existence. In this world we will have suffering. Just like Christ. Baptism puts us into Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Where He has gone we will go too. This means that as He was no stranger to suffering, especially in the passion accounts, we too will have to suffer in this life. But the promise is that we are fellow heirs. Our suffering now serves to point us to glory that is coming. This is true for the baptized and the believing both now and forever.
Dear Father, grant me confidence in my prayers as the Spirit has made me trust in Your Son Jesus. Amen.