Summary: This message explores "adoption", and the special relationship we have with our Heavenly Father by being placed into His family as a child of God.
WORDS OF DISTINCTION – “Adoption”
INTRODUCTION: We continue in our SERIES on “Words Of Distinction”. TONIGHT, we will look at the word “Adoption”.
Most of you probably don’t know that I was “adopted”. I was “adopted” at the age of 11, in 1961. HOWEVER, I lived with my birth parents from the time I was born, until the age of 21, when I got married.
CONFUSING? Not really! Turn to Romans 8:14-17.
Back to Romans 8:14-17. To get a proper appreciation of our “adoption” into God’s family, lets get a better understanding of what Paul was talking about when he spoke of “adoption”. Paul is writing to the Christians at Rome. Under Roman Law, certain things took place when someone adopted a child:
1.- The adopted child LOST all his rights in his old family … and GAINED all the rights as a legitimate son in his new family.
2.- The adopted child became an heir to his new father’s estate. If a son was later born to his new parents, he didn’t lose any of his inheritance just because he was adopted.
3.- The old life of the adopted child was wiped out … including his debts. He was regarded as a new person, and his past was PAST.
4.- The adoption was legally binding, and the adopted child was considered a full and complete son of his adopted father … as if he were naturally born.
When you were saved, you were “adopted” into God’s family.
1.- You LOST all your rights in your old family. You WERE a child of the Devil … AND … being a rightful heir of his … you were bound for eternity in the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:10-15.
You GAINED all the rights of being a child of God. Revelation 21:1-2. More on this later.
2.- You became an heir of your Heavenly Father’s estate. Your new Father is rich beyond measure. He is the creator of all things, and He owns all things. He has multiplied blessings to pour out on His children … His heirs.
3.- The sins of your past life were wiped out when you were “adopted” by your Heavenly Father. The slate was wiped clean. You became a “new creature”. You were given a NEW NATURE. You were “born again” as a child of God. 2 Cor. 5:17 – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
4.- Your adoption into God’s family is legally binding. We can’t be “un-adopted” … it won’t be rescinded … our Heavenly Father won’t “disown” us. See Romans 8:35-39.
NOW … let’s examine a little closer our “adoption” into God’s family. Let’s see what it means to us. Paul gives us several CHARACTERISTICS of the “adopted” child.
8:14 – If you are “adopted” into God’s family, you are “led by the Spirit of God”. If you’re still being led around by the Devil … you aren’t a child of God! NOW … that doesn’t mean that you WON’T be TEMPTED by the Devil. BUT … if your life is being lived for the Devil … you can’t be a child of God.
Have you ever known anyone who claims to be a Christian … BUT … lives like the Devil? The Devil has them by the nose-ring, and is leading them around like a dog on a leash.
Jesus said in John 10:27 – “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” If you have been “adopted” into God’s family, you will be led by the Spirit of God. You may not always go where you are led … you may not always do what you are led to do … you may not always be what He leads you to be … BUT … you are “led by the Spirit of God”. OR … you aren’t His “adopted” child.
8:15a – If you are “adopted” into God’s family, you are not living in “fear”. Those OUTSIDE God’s family live in constant fear:
o Where will I be, 5 seconds after I close my eyes in death?
o Is there really an eternal place called “Hell”?
o Will I be judged for my sins … for the life I have lived … for not following God?
o If there really is a God, I’m in BIG TROUBLE!
If you’re an “adopted” child of God, you don’t have these “fears”. These “fears” will keep the lost person in “bondage” … in SLAVERY to their master, Satan. They will never find the PEACE that you have. They will never find the JOY that you have. They will never find the HOPE that you have. INSTEAD … they will be filled with “fear” … BECAUSE … they are subject to their father, the Devil.