||2016-03-02 11:09:07, 조회 : 1,082, 추천 : 173
Adopted by God
Adopted and Born Again?
Knowing God is fundamental to our Christian faith. The Scriptures show us that we've become God's children in two ways, adoption and regeneration. As we've learned, adoption is the placing of sons and daughters into God's family. Whereas, regeneration is God giving a new life to sinners so that they can become His children. In this chapter, we will explore: the need for regeneration, The Trinity and regeneration, the fruit of regeneration, adoption and regeneration.
Why do we need regeneration? In Ephesians 2:1-3 plainly tells us,
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature, objects of wrath"
These verses gives us a true picture of those that are outside of Christ. Essentially, they are spiritually dead and live according to the world rather than God. They walk in the ways of Satan and fulfill all their desires, therefore there are "objects of God's wrath." These verses tell us that we were "dead" in our "transgressions and sins." Apostle Paul is telling us that unsaved people cannot have the life of God. Thus, those who do not have eternal life, do not know God. In John 17:3 tells us "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." The last verse also tells us that "We were by nature objects of wrath." When Apostle Paul calls us "children of wrath" he is saying that we deserve the wrath of God because of our sins.
Why does God depict such a bleak picture for the unsaved? Peterson tells us "we only appreciate our salvation in light of the miserable state from which we were delivered." In comparison to our sin, God's love, mercy and glory is so rich and notable. God, who can also be known as our Physician, gave us a cure for our disease. When we were spiritually dead he "made us alive with Christ."
We must further our understanding of regeneration, by understanding the roles of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. A lot of Christians often think that the Holy Spirit as the sole contributor of being born again. However, Apostle Peter shows us that all three Godheads are involved in our regeneration in 1 Peter 1:3-5,
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."
Here, we can see how each member of the Trinity plays a part in regeneration. The father has willfully "given us new birth." Jesus Christ is our source of regeneration because through his resurrection we are born again. God plans our regeneration and Jesus Christ supplies the power for our new life, what does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit makes these individuals alive spiritually. Jesus Christ compares the Holy Spirit to the wind. He states "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit" (John 3:8). Jesus says this so that we can think of the Holy Spirit as the "Wind of God."
There are three similarities between the wind and the Holy Spirit. Firstly, the verse says "Your hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going." This shows us that the wind is unpredictable and so is the Holy Spirit. No one can predict when the Spirit will work in the hearts to convince people of sin and bring them into faith. Peterson states that the Spirit's work is "incomprehensible" as we can only see the results but cannot predict where or when it may blow. Secondly, the wind and the Spirit are sovereign. It tells us that "The wind blows wherever it pleases." The wind chooses to blow whatever direction it may, likewise, the Spirit also chooses to work on those that he wants. Thirdly, the wind and the Spirit can only be recognized by its effect. While we cannot see the wind blow, we can see it's effect when we see clothes swaying on a line. It states "So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." We cannot see the Spirit either, but we can see it with the results left in people. He causes people to be born again and that is why Apostle Paul speaks of "rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5).
When we are born again, our lives show our spiritual condition. In 1 John 3:10, John explicitly says "This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother." So what are the fruits that show those who are born of God?
1) The Fruit of Confession of Sin: While it seems as if John is telling us to be perfect children of God, in all actuality he acknowledges that even as Christians we do sin, however we must receive every day the forgiveness and cleansing that 1 John 1:9 promises to God's children. In verse 9 it states "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
2) The Fruit of Faith in the Son of God: Being born again, 1 John urges us to believe in the Incarnation of the Son of God. Peterson tells us that incarnation if so important that John uses it to "distinguish false spirits from the Holy Spirit." John says,
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God. Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist" (1 John 4:1-3).
Children of God should also believe in Jesus' sonship and that Jesus is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament.
3) The Fruit of Love For the Father and His Children: The children of God should have an abundance of love. The source of this love, is God Himself, in which 1 John 4:8-10 tells us
"God is love. That is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. That is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and send his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
4) The Fruit of a Godly Life: Due to God's grace, as children of God, we also live godly lives. The godliness is not what gets us into His family, regeneration foes that. However, once someone is in God's family, we must resemble our Father and His Son Jesus Christ. The Trinity produces the godliness in God children. As we are "the children of God" the Father (1John 3:10) and "the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work" (8) and "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed [Holy Spirit] remains in him (9).
Adoption and Regeneration are two ways in which we enter God's family. In regeneration, God gives new life to His children who were spiritually dead. In adoption, He places his sons and daughters into his own family. Once again, adoption is a legal action and it gives us a new status into his family. Regeneration is a "renewal" of our natures that is occurring within us. The reason why the Scriptures give us both adoption and regeneration in order to explain our salvation, is because of the deep depravity it was in. We were spiritually dead and slaves of sin, desperately needing God. Adoption and regeneration puts our condition into perspective and shows us God's grace.
1) Why do we need regeneration?
2) How does the Trinity play a role in our regeneration?
3) How is the wind compared to the Holy Spirit ?
4) What are the fruits of the regenerated?