“…ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15)
The spirit of sonship gives us boldness to enter into the holy presence of God. A servant will not enter his master’s room without permission, and even when he does so, it is with a certain amount of fear, but a son comes boldly to his father, and if he is a small boy, he might even put his hand into his father’s pocket. That is his privilege as a son. In the same way we can say that God is our Father, and so we can go to Him boldly, at any time, for any need. We can go to Him for any trial, for strength when we are weak, for love and sympathy when we are depressed, and for the right answer to all our problems. The carnal believers, on the contrary, look to man for help. They will say, “I need money. Let me go to my uncle and ask him for Rs. 100”. Then they will approach their uncle with tear or flattery and ask for what they want. But a spiritual man knows from his heart that his heavenly Father can and will help him when no one else is able to do so. He trusts implicitly in God’s promises and knows that He will not turn him away, nor refuse to help him. This knowledge gives him boldness in prayer under all circumstances. As sons of God we are co-workers and co-partners with Him. Only as we grow spiritually do we enjoy this boldness in a great measure.
The spirit of power (2 Tim 1:7) enables us to bear our burdens with joy and patience. We all, without any exception, have some burden or the other. It may be in connection with the family or business or the church. Only His grace can enable us to bear our burdens and come out victorious. We know from personal experience how God give us, again and again, extra grace for every stress and strain. This Spirit-filled man also come forward voluntarily to share the burdens of others whereas a carnal believer will grumble at his difficulties and blame others for them. When a believer has no strength or faith to bear his own burdens how can he help his neighbours and friends to bear theirs? The spiritual man depends upon God and His precious promises and says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13). The ability to bear burdens lovingly is a characteristic of a spiritual believer.
In the early Church false teachers were going about deceiving and misleading Christians with wrong doctrines. Their motive was only to make money (Rom. 16:17,18). Carnal Christians will be easily deceived, but a Spirit-filled man can discern the truth because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). Therefore he is careful and watchful against the subtle devices of the enemy to mislead him and thus he is protected from false prophets. The ability to discern between Spirit-anointed teaching and false teaching is also a proof that a man is spiritual.