Summary: There are some powerful applications to what we receive from God when we’re adopted by Him.
OPEN: I read the true story of a woman who explained that her favorite spot at the local zoo was the “House of Night”, where nocturnal creatures crawled and flew about.
She said “One very bright day, I stepped into the exhibit and was plunged into total darkness. Almost immediately, a small hand grabbed mine.”
“And who do you belong to?” she asked.
A little boy’s voice spoke in the darkness: “I’m yours till the lights come on.” (Connie Lavoie Readers Digest 3/09, p. 165)
APPLY: I’m yours till the lights come on.
I’ll belong to you til then.
(pause) Who do you belong to?
The Bible tells us we have a choice as to who we belong to.
You can either belong to God, or you can belong to … the other guy.
You have a choice.
But the Bible is also clear on a very specific point:
You didn’t choose God first, He chose you.
As 1 John 4:19 tells us “We love him, because he first loved us.”
And this is especially clear when we discuss this issue of adoption in Scripture.
God adopted YOU… you didn’t adopt Him.
When Paul uses the imagery of adoption he’s talking about how the Romans practiced it. In ancient Rome (just like today) the Roman family chose the child they wanted to adopt. As part of the adoption, there was a special ceremony where the adopting father went to one of the Roman judges and presented a legal case to justify his right to adopt the child into his own household.
This ceremony was called the “vindicatio”.
William Barclay says that when this ceremony was complete,
In the eyes of the law he was a new person. So new… that even all debts and obligations connected with his previous family were abolished as if they had never existed.”
In other words, once a person went thru this vindicatio ceremony - every debt he ever had was erased as if it never existed.
Now look at that word – “vindicatio”.
Does it look kind of like an English word you know?
What about “vindicate”, or “vindication”?
One of my dictionaries defines vindicate as “to clear of accusation… to absolve… to justify”
(The Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary)
And isn’t that what God did for us when we became Christians?
* He cleared us of any accusation of our guilt and shame
* And He absolved us/ forgave us all of our iniquities and failures.
* He justified us so that it was “just as if we’d never sinned”
o WE WERE VINDICATED by God who chose us to be adopted as His children.
But now, there was another part of this adoption process. It seems a simple thing, but it was required then, as it’s often required now. In order to adopt this child as his own, the adoptive father had to pay a price.
1 Corinthians 6:20 says God did that for us “you were bought at a price…”
Do you realize that if you adopt a child today, it can cost several 1000 dollars???
But I Peter 1:18-19 says “… it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
Who do you belong to?