||2016-03-29 21:55:46, 조회 : 1,281, 추천 : 173
Adopted by God
Assurance of Adoption
The assurance of our adoption is often questioned and somewhat uncertain at times. While we are semi-certain that we are adopted, we are still hesitant to join the "full assurance of faith" that Peterson notes in today's chapter. How can we grow in our assurance of God's grace? Today we will explore answers to this question. We will see how God assures His believers of their adoption by: the promise of adoption, the Spirit of sonship and a family resemblance.
Many Christians worry about their assurance and seek to find assurance through spiritual experiences. However, one of the most important place we can find assurance is in God's word. In Galatians 4:7, Apostle Paul assures and gives comfort when he says "So you are no longer a slave, but a son." He was not hesitant or uncertain about where we stand, instead he says you are no longer a slave to sin but a child of God.
There are two ways in which the scripture displays that promise of adoption. One way, is the "emphasis falls on human responsibility: adoption is by means of faith." Galatians 3:6 shows this as it says "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." It is evident again in John 1:12, when it states "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." Another way the scriptures show the promise of adoption is expressed in terms of God's sovereignty. In Ephesians 1:4-5 says "In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will." God chose us to be adopted, in which now we have sonship through having faith in Jesus Christ.
However, many people will ask "How can we know that we are predestined for salvation?" Apostle Paul knows of this nervousness and addresses it in 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 "For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction." This shows us that those that are indeed chosen, are because they trust in Christ. Additionally, God's sovereign grace reinforces our confidence in our sonship. It is because of God's love, he predestined us to be his children through Christ. This then, should allow our nervousness to ease, as we can rest on God's love, pleasure and will. Both ways of viewing the promise of adoption, still leads to the same result: we are His sons and daughters. The glue, main foundation for our assurance is God's word.
Another way that God assures us of our sonship, is through the Holy Spirit. In Romans 5:5, it tells us "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." The Holy Spirit is what assures of our sonship and reminds us that God loves us. Once again, in Romans 8:15-19 states,
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children."
The "Spirit of sonship" is what sets us free and by him we are able to call God "Abba, Father." Not only does the Spirit enable us to believe in the message of adoption, but it also confirms within our hearts that the message is true. That is why verse 16 says, "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
In addition to assuring us through His word and the Holy Spirit, God also assures us of His promise through family resemblance. God's children are and should be identifiable. Romans 8:14 talks about this indentifying features when saying "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." The Holy Spirit leads us in the direction towards righteousness and kindness. Those that are led by the Holy Spirit are sons of God. While this is not the way to get into God's family, once they are in God's family, it is crucial and a requirement to have God's resemblance. However, being a part of God's family and showing His resemblance will bring "sufferings." In Romans 8:17, it states "Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ" then it goes on to say "...if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." Those that are adopted by God, also share in the sufferings of His Son. Peterson states that "Sharing in Christ's sufferings and glory speaks of union with Christ." Sharing in Christ's sufferings is also a normal thing for a Christian and it comes with being a part of God's children.
Through the scriptures, the Holy Spirit and family resemblance, we can have assurance in God's promise to us: being children of God. This should allow us to ease our minds and hearts and allow us to rejoice in our statuses of being sons and daughters of God.
1) How can we find God's assurance through the scriptures?
2) How does the Holy Spirit play a large role in our assurance?
3) What does it mean to resemble God?
4) Do you have assurance in God's promise? If so, share your story and note how these three ways we've discussed, affected your assurance.