| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 37 - Page 62 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
"Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the
spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with
our spirit, that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs" (Rom. 8: 15-17).
It is not so much the Holy Spirit addressing Himself here to the human spirit in
confirmation, but rather the joint witness of the Holy Spirit and the spirit of the believer
to the same blessed fact.
Closely associated with the law of adoption was that of the Roman will. The
Prętorian will was put into writing, and fastened with the seals of seven witnesses (cf.
Rev. 5: and 6:). There is probably a reference to this type of will in Eph. 1: 13, 14:
"In Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession,
unto the praise of His glory."
W. E. Ball translates the latter part of the passage: "Until the ransoming
accomplished by the act of taking possession (of the inheritance)."
"When a slave was appointed heir, although expressly emancipated by the will which
gave him the inheritance, his freedom commenced not upon the making of the will, nor
even immediately upon the death of the testator, but from the moment when he took
certain legal steps, which were described as `entering upon the inheritance'. This is `the
ransoming accomplished by the act of taking possession'. In the last words of the
passage `to the praise of His glory' there is an allusion to a well-known Roman custom.
The emancipated slaves who attended the funeral of their emancipator were the praise of
his glory. Testamentary emancipation was so fashionable a form of posthumous
ostentation, the desire to be followed to the grave by a crowd of freedmen wearing the
`cap of liberty' was so strong, that very shortly before the time when St. Paul wrote, the
legislature had expressly limited the number of slaves that an owner might manumit by
will" (W. E. Ball).
This Roman custom helps us to see the link that there is between Rom. 8: and
Eph. 1: 13, 14, as well as with the book of Ruth.
"The purchased possession." Had the Apostle simply intended that the seal and the
earnest guaranteed the entry into the promised inheritance at last, it would have been easy
to have said so, this somewhat strange expression challenges us, and demands fuller
Peripoiesis, the word translated "purchased possession" in the A.V., and "God's own
possession" in the R.V., occurs five times, thus:
The redemption of the purchased possession (Eph. 1: 14).
To obtain salvation (I Thess. 5: 9).
To the obtaining of the glory (II Thess. 2: 14).
To the saving of the soul (Heb. 10: 39).
A peculiar people (I Pet. 2: 9).
to which we should add the two occurrences of the verb (Acts 20: 28; I Tim. 3: 13),
both of which are translated "purchase". We have already found that light was to be