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Published by glennpease
By Oliver Willis Yan Osdel, D. D.,

"As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." —
Romans 8: 14.
By Oliver Willis Yan Osdel, D. D.,

"As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." —
Romans 8: 14.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 08, 2013
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A SONS IDENTITY PROVEDBy Oliver Willis Yan Osdel, D. D.,"As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." — Romans 8: 14.IN this Scripture the apostle is discussing the proposition that"There is now no condemnation to them who are in ChristJesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.^^ He as-serts that there are two laws — "the law of the Spirit of life inChrist Jesus" and "the law of sin and death.'' The life fromChrist gives liberty and spirituality, while the sin, which springsfrom the carnal mind in opposition to God, brings bondage anddeath. The one whose mortal body has been quickened by the in-dwelling Spirit has not only been liberated from the power andcondemnation of sin, but must be regarded as righteous as the in-dwelling life and force by which he is animated. The one wholives to mortify the deeds of the body, by the power of the pre-vailing and controlling Spirit, must be recognized as spirituallyalive and fleshly dead. A life begotten, animated, and actuatedby a person must be estimated as a son of that person; hence, "Asmany as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."The logic is perfect and the argument convincing, but there isa serious question confronting every one who tries to determinehis relationship to God either by the proposition or the conclusion,viz.: "How shall I know I am led by the Spirit of God?" God'svoice has not been heard. His form has not been seen; no signshave been shown to the inquirer for guidance, and shut up withmisgivings about his own convictions, and left to act, withoutknowing in advance what results are to follow, he cannot easilysilence the voice which constantly appeals for something tangible.590 THE AMERICAN BAPTIST PULPIT.^Tf I cannot know I am led by the Spirit of God, how shall I know
I am a son of God?^^ This question has filled many a life withdisquietude. It may be impossible to answer this most perplexingquestion to the full satisfaction of all, but there is some light tobe found, and for tMs let us seek.I. WE MAY LEARN" FROM CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCEIf we confine ourselves to those who have had their early in-struction under Christian enlightenment, we shall be safe in say-ing that a Christian experience does not antedate that knowledgeof the truth which was brought to us by the Word of God in theScriptures. This being true, those following the Scriptures in aChristian experience are following the Spirit of God. We cannotsay the Spirit confines his leading to the revelation in his Wordunder all circumstances, but we can say that the first tangible evi-dence of his leading is a definite acceptance of Christ, and is foundthere. Whatever experience we may have, for which we trust con-sciousness and feeling, the final evidence that one is a Christiancomes from the Word of God. The Bible tells us all we know of the Spirit, Christ and the plan of salvation.How do we know that Christ died for our sins and will forgiveus if we trust him? The Scriptures tell us all we know. Howdo we know that the Holy Spirit will accomplish the work of re-generation in us if we commit our souls unreservedly to Christ?The Scriptures tell us that he will. We learn also from the samesource that the Holy Spirit will take the things of Christ andshow them unto us. To abandon ourselves to rely upon the un-equivocal statements of Scripture concerning the Spirit's leadingis no more perilous in this matter than in the matter of regenera-tion itself. We heard the truths respecting salvation and otherthings many times, and were only partly impressed by them, butthere came a time when our minds were illumined, and we sawour own dark sin, with at least some of its hideous deformity andcriminality, as it was before God, and then we saw Christ in allhis tenderness and compassion as our Saviour, and we cast our-selves upon his free mercy. At that point the Holy Spirit began
A SOX^S IDENTITY PROVED. 591his work of creation in us, not of new faculties^ but of a new re-pentance, which is to continue in ns until mortality and sin aredead; a new understanding of God, his Word, and ourselves; anew love, touching ever}d;hing in time and eternity; new volitionsand purposes; a new confession of Christ; a new service; a newhope, and all these and more, centering in a new heart gave us anew peace, and we were thus enabled to speak of these things asour Christian experience. !N"ow, if we go back along the way wehave come, and look for the indications we find that the thingswhich belong to our new experience are all described in the Scrip-tures, and were made possible to us because we believed what waswritten and took the Holy Spirit at his word. That change whichhas taken place in us, of which we are conscious, is in exact har-mony with the revelation made by the Spirit, and thus we are per-suaded; we are placed in a new kingdom which cannot be moved.The Holy Spirit brought us the knowledge of the way, illuminedus to walk in it, and then we, having tested all by obe3dng theWord, and having experienced the reality for ourselves, are in aposition where no mere change of feeling can move the Eock uponwhich we rest. In the possession of this blessed hope, "which isas an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast," we may say, inthe truest and largest sense : "The Spirit beareth witness with ourspirits that we are the children of God."Let us not lose sight of the fact then that when we know weare following an intelligent understanding of the Scriptures weare following the Spirit of God. We should notice that it must bean intelligent understanding, because many persons take singleverses, or sections of Scripture, apart from the connections inwhich the inspired authors placed them, or they take a piece of what one author says, on one occasion, and put it with what someother author says on some other occasion, or they turn the state-ment of facts concerning conditions when the author wrote intoprophetic announcements for the future, or they make prophecyalready fulfilled apply to the coming events of the kingdom andthe world, or they make what was said to the Jews of long agoapply to Christians, and thus, by these unreasonable and dishonest

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