Summary: You've got to say no to self and yes to Jesus to enter into all that He has for you.
In the news in September, there was a story that came out about a young man named Davion Only. Davion was a 15-year-old boy who had grown up in the foster care system all his life; he had pretty much come to that place of resolve, "I'm ready to be adopted no matter what, and I've got to do something about it."
He communicated that to his case worker, who explained to him, "Davion, the older you get, the less chance there is of you being adopted. We need to work on some things in your life, and I'm not sure how we're gonna get the word out."
Between Davion and his case worker, they came up with a great idea: They would go to a church and ask if he could go to the microphone at the end of the service and tell them what he wanted. So, at this church in Florida, Davion got up at the end of the service, and here's what he said.
He said, "My name is Davion Only, and I have been in foster care since I was born. I know God hasn't given up on me, so I'm not giving up either. I want to be adopted." He goes on to say, "I don't care if you're old or young, you're just a dad or just a mom, you're black, you're white, you're purple, I don't care. I want to be adopted. I just want people to love me for who I am, to grab me and keep me in their house, and to love me no matter what."
This 5- or 7-minute little communication that he did caused everybody to be in tears. Eventually a reporter would pick up the story and put in the newspaper, and then people started interviewing Davion. Since that time, about six weeks' time, there have been over 10,000 inquiries from around America and the world of people who want to adopt Davion.
He put his heart out there, put his life out there, said "I have a need," and 10,000 people responded. Because you see, we're made for adoption. Whether it is to reach out and care for another as a rescuer or to be rescued, God has set us up for that scenario. And it moves people's hearts over and over again.
As we continue our series in the book of Romans, I want to read Romans, chapter 8, verses 1-11. If you didn't get a chance to read your Bible this morning, congratulations -- you're here at church, and we're gonna go through all 11 verses. In it, you see that rhythm of belonging and our response to God -- that God has everything for us, but there is a response, a way that we lock into that. So let's read that together. Romans chapter 8:
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did. Sending his Son in the likeness of flesh, he condemned sin in the flesh so the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile towards God, for it does not subject itself to the law of God; it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his spirit who dwells in you."
So let's break it down. Let's take those first four verses, Romans 8: 1-4, and basically here's what it says: Jesus became sin on our behalf so that we might be set free from sin. He became an offering for sin once and for all, taking condemnation upon himself so that we would not have to live in condemnation. The doorway has already been made for us to be adopted, for us to be wanted, for us to be cared for. As one writer put it, "Those outstretched arms on the cross were his, and not ours. But that sin on him was ours, and not his."