Summary: My personal journey in realizing my part in God’s family

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Spiritual Adoption

Romans 8:12-17

I want to tell you a story today about a little fellow named Jason. The circumstances that Jason was born into not entirely clear. What we do know is that his birth parents, for what ever reason, decided not to care for him or could not care for him. Instead they decided to place him up for adoption. Jason remained in the care of the hospital and social services for 10 days. At which time a couple came from a distant community to adopt Jason. Jason became part of their family and was given a new name. Two years later the couple adopted a baby girl and she too became part of this new family unit. Jason grew up in this new family unit. He grew into an incredibly smart and good looking individual. I am guessing you know who I am talking about now. The new name given to him was Timothy Benjamin Enns. This person in me, Pastor Tim!

Today I want to look at adoption on a whole bigger scale. I am talking about our spiritual adoption into the family of God. Pastor Mel looked at it during his message series on the book of Ephesians.

Over the years I have been working through who I am in Christ and what is my view of God. I have drawn comparisons between my childhood adoption and my spiritual adoption. I want to share today some of my thoughts and comparisons with you.

I have often said that the two greatest events that have shaped my life is first and foremost of all my adoption into God’s family and secondly my earthly adoption.

Let’s read Romans 8:12-17

12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. (The King James and NASB both use the word adoption here instead of sonship) And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

William Barclay said in this passage Paul is using a metaphor to describe the new relationship that Christians have to God. Paul speaks of the Christian being adopted into the family of God.

We need to understand how serious a Roman adoption was to really understand the meaning and significance of this passage.

There were four main significances of Roman adoption

First, the adopted person lost all their rights in their old family. On the other hand they gained those same rights in their new family. They received a new name and a new family.

When I was adopted I received the name Timothy Benjamin Enns. Timothy was my given name, Benjamin indicated that I was the first born son of my dad and Enns was the name given to me to signify my belonging to a new bigger family unit. A new unit with a dad and mom and many uncles, aunts, cousins and many other relatives.

When we are adopted into the family of God at the time of our conversion we received a new family and technically a new name. We received the name child of God and the family we became apart of is made up of all those that have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

Verse 14 states: “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

God becomes our heavenly father. So often it is hard to grasp that picture of God as our Father. Naturally many of us have a tendency to compare or understand God father relationship with us in relationship to our own relationship with our own fathers. Often this can help us picture God as father.

However, the problem is that none of our fathers could ever come close to measuring up to God. No matter how good a natural father is they still have short comings.

So what does scripture say our heavenly father is like

Psalm 68:5 states: that God is a father to the fatherless

Isaiah 64:8 says: that God is the potter and that we are the work of His hand (God created us and he continues to mould us)

Matthew 6:9 , the Lord ’s Prayer – Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name (Our heavenly father is holy, He is perfect)

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