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James S. Stewart in A Man in Christ:

The keynote of the life of adoption [by God] is freedom. On the other side of the line lies bondage, the unconfessed but sore and melancholy servitude of the man who has no strong controlling purpose, whose path is lit by no guiding light more reliable than his own reason and desires, whose inner life is one of inglorious moral defeat. But adoption into the family carries with it “the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

Personality, once disintegrated, is now unified; repression gives way to release; the tone of the moral life becomes victorious. It is life “in the Spirit,” Paul says. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” And it is a life of wonderful assurance. It does not spend its days anxiously debating the question, “Am I saved or am I not?” Its cry is—”Heirs of God, and join-heirs with Christ.”

This confidence, of course, is based on nothing in the man himself. It has its source in God . . . who never goes back on His call. If God has accepted a man into His family, who is to shut him out? As Paul himself puts it bluntly, “When God acquits, who shall condemn?” Come the whole universe against him, the man who knows his sonship of God can remain untroubled and unshaken. One word of the living God means more than a thousand loud hectoring voices of this earth. “Faithful is He that calls you” — that is the adopted soul’s high confidence; and it stands against the world (A Man in Christ: The Vital Elements of St. Paul’s Religion, 254-255).


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