Summary: Adoption and regeneration - and the advantages we receive as sons of God [GUIDANCE, ACCEPTANCE, ASSURANCE, INHERITANCE...all are ours!] Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint.

Welcome to the Family

Romans 8:14, 15

There is a Commandment about honoring our mothers and fathers, so why isn’t there one about brothers and sisters? We had children and found out that there is: “Thou shalt not kill.”

We love our family, and have a great time together. We love our church family as well. We’re brothers and sisters, and we share the same father!

Adoption is big in our church, and it’s amazing how God uses it to bless both the little ones and the parents too! Just think where some of these kids would be if they weren’t lovingly brought into a new home. Many of you don’t know that I too was adopted by my dad. I can’t imagine how my life would be different if I were not adopted. [tell full touching story]

“Adoption”: It is often misunderstood in scripture.

The doctrine of adoption has a twin truth…they go together: the twin truth of adoption is regeneration (the experience of the new birth).

You know about the new birth: Jesus said in Jn. 3 “you must be born again”.

When a person gets saved, they are born again / experience the new birth / regeneration / become God’s child LITERALLY! (Not a metaphor / not figurative) We are in all actuality, literally, children of God…He’s our Father…this is a family, the family of God. Welcome to the family!

Jn. 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.

I Jn. 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be…

Right now, in the present!

That is the truth of regeneration—the new birth…and its twin truth is the doctrine of “adoption.”

Ephesians 1:5

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will...

Regeneration means that you are literally a child of God.

Welcome to the family!

Adoption means that you are legally a child of God.

Welcome to the family!

In Bible times, the word adoption was used differently than we use it today.

When we talk about adoption today, we’re talking about taking a child that is not our own flesh and blood, and legally making them our own…that’s not the Biblical meaning of adoption.

Understand that the Romans and the Greeks had a ceremony they went thru w/ their own flesh and blood children, and that ceremony was called adoption, which literally means “the placing of a son.”

As long as a child was under the legal age of inheritance, they were not really considered to be a full-fledged member of the family. They did not enjoy all the rights and privileges of family membership.

When they became an adult, the legal age of inheritance, they went thru a ceremony called the “toga virilis”. They would take the toga off of the back of the adult, place it on the back of the child, and pronounce them to be a full-fledged member of the family, w/ all the rights and privileges. Welcome to the family!

It becomes very clear in Gal. 4…

1 Now I say, That the heir (someday he’ll inherit it all), as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant (until the toga virilis, he’s no different than a servant), though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. (then the toga virilis) 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

After the ceremony took place, he became an official member of the family. Welcome to the family!

Here’s the significance:

Regeneration (born again)—you became a child of God literally

Adoption—you became a child of God legally

…these both happen at the same time!

There’s no process to go thru, no ceremony to dread for years…but immediately instated w/ all rights and privileges. Not just a child being fed, but an heir receiving daddy’s riches from the very start! Welcome to the family!

When you got saved, in the mind of God, this toga virilis had already taken place…it’s as though God immediately put your name on His checking acct. the moment you were saved, and gave you the authority to start signing checks!

No wonder Rom. 8:17 says what it does…

Romans 8:17

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;

This means that you can begin drawing on the spiritual wealth of your Heavenly Father from the very moment you get saved! You’re a child of the King!! Welcome to the family!

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