Summary: Children who have been adopted are placed in a family that is not their own. Christians who have been taken OUT of Adam and placed IN CHRIST become adopted and heirs of Christ.
“ADOPTION in Christ”
(I was originally going to entitle the today’s message “Sonship”, but I wanted to make sure that I immediately didn’t exclude about half of the audience! When God’s Word talks about “Sons of God”, He is not excluding females; Females can become “children of God” too when they are adopted into God’s Family.)
We have been looking at Romans for the last few weeks. We looked at Romans 8:12-14 last we: “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; (We have a debt to God and God has the RIGHT to place OBLIGATIONS upon us!) 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die ; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
For a believer in Christ, the debt for our sins has been paid at the cross, but A BELEIVER HAS A DEBT, an obligation because He has given us a NEW LIFE by the Spirit of Christ. However, We still find ourselves still battle, not with God, but with the sin that is still within us, with temptations without, with worldly influences, challenges of all sorts, but the HOLY Spirit of LIFE, that includes the Gospel of PEACE, Christ’s Righteousness applied to us, the Truth of Christ, the Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word), His Salvation applied to our hearts and Minds, ALL cause us to be equipped to fight against the sin that is within and without (Remember the study of the armor of God for 7 weeks?)
The conflict of the “I’s” within us, (the battle between flesh and God’s Spirit) means that we DO FIGHT and we WILL FIGHT with GRATITUDE to God BECAUSE our sin debt has been “paid in full” by our Lord Jesus. We want to live for God. We live with a debt OF GRATITUDE TO PAY, and With God’s help, I am BEING LED BY HIS SPIRIT to put to death the deeds of the flesh and to Walk and Live BY and IN the Spirit.
It’s a battle, isn’t it? It doesn’t just include a list of what you SHOULDN’T DO as a follower of Christ. I have a long list of attitudes that have to be sanctified, HOLY God-ATTITUDES. I have a list of things that I SHOULD DEFINITELY DO as a person who has been graced with God’s forgiveness and His Spirit of Life. I want my life to be in line with Christ and the Righteousness that He gave me. I want to be Holy because the God who saved me is Holy and He has called me to be part of His Holy Kingdom.
I am God’s work in PROGRESS by HIM, and NOW I want to cooperate WITH Him FULLY. This is a humanly unbelievable thing that has happened to me- A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST.
I am a son of God, a Child of God, and in Romans 8:15, God explains to me how it happened: “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of SONSHIP (ADOPTION, Child-ship). And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
In the past, why were you fearful? At one point in your life and spiritual journey, you had to have a realization of the enormity of your sin and your own inadequacy to do anything about it, and you became fearful of God’s punishment because of your sin. You realized that you were dangling by a thread over the impending punishment of God. You said to yourself: How can I ever save myself? Am I going to be able to meet God’s demands? What about if I have the wrong idea of God? What if I have the wrong revelation? My life isn’t doing it, I’M NOT DOING IT? I need Christ!
You would never come to that point without the Spirit of God helping you to see your own precarious sin-situation and then giving to you God’s alternative: ‘I WILL SAVE YOU.” “But you received the Spirit of SONSHIP (many versions translate it ADOPTION, Child-ship). And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
THERE is history to God’s adopting you. God orchestrated SOMETHING in your life so that you heard about the Gospel. He called you to view Christ’s work at the cross. He then caused you to be regenerated, giving you a spiritual rebirth. He caused you to turn from the fear you had of condemnation to faith alone in Christ, not by your works but by His grace. When you were CONVERTED, He gave you a new legal standing, transferring YOUR DEBT to Christ, (He imputed Christ’s righteousness to your account and declared you NOT GUILTY by reason of Christ.(Justification-He looks at you now as if you never sinned. NOW GOD GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO BE IN HIS FAMILY and you receive the Spirit of ADOPTION.