||2013-11-27 10:53:27, 조회 : 1,976, 추천 : 516
| Chapter 7 |
A New Family – Adoption
Now that we are righteous in God’s eyes, one may think that would be the end. However, God takes it a step further and “adopts us”. Because justification gives us a good standing with God, we are now adopted into the family of God. Hallelujah! It states this specifically in John 1:12,
“Yet to all who receive him [Christ], to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-“.
Because we are justified by faith, we also become God’s children by faith. Everything happens at one time. When we believe in Christ, we are justified and adopted all at once. One cannot be without another. Fellows tells us that there are two ways when entering a family: “by birth and by adoption”. When we are born into a family we have the life of our parents. Many of us inherit their characteristics and their physical appearance! So when we are born into God’s family we acquire the likeness of God and His divine life (Refer to 1John 2:29). When a person is adopted into a family “they are adopted by a deliberate choice of the parents and assume a place in a family in which they formerly had no part”. We were once part of Adam’s race, but because of God’s grace, God chose us to be his children thus adopting us. Amazing right?
How adoption was viewed during biblical times are much different than today. For instance, when a couple decides to adopt someone they generally choose a young child or baby. It’s very rare when someone adopts a teenager. My husband was adopted when he was only 5 days old. That’s generally so they have the full experience of having a child and really making the child like their own. However, in the Bible adoption (almost) always involves a young man. This was because it weighed on the matter of inheritance. When a man had no heir, he would adopt a young man to become his heir. Paul speaks about this in Galatians 4:4-7,
“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights [or adoption] of sons…and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir”
Now some of you may have noticed, Paul only referred to “sons”. However, this does not mean women cannot be adopted. It was only because adoption at the era involved a son rather than a daughter. John talks about the adoption process in 1 John 3:1 and also in Ephesians 1:4,5 does the same.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!...”
“…In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ”.
Fellows breaks down a series of positions that God is as a Father, so that we may understand more fully about adoption.
1) He was the Father of Israel: In Hosea 11:1 the prophet Hosea says “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son”.
2) He is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ: Jesus is considered God’s “one and only Son” or “only begotten Son”.
3) He is the Father of all people by creation: Paul says in Athens “For in him we live and move and have our being”. Also in Acts 17:28 it states “We are his offspring”
4) He is the Father of all who believe in Jesus Christ: We can look once again at Galatians 3:26 “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”.
The permanence of adoption
Now that we are children of God, we will always be His children. There may be times where we disappoint or upset Him, but we will never be thrown out of His family. Being in God’s family should give us security, He won’t leave us. Fellows also tells us that we can be assured that are children of God. That’s because the devil tries to make us doubt God’s love. Whenever we sin we will think that we are not worthy to be God’s children. However, we must remember that God will never stop loving us. He has everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).
Because we are His children we become the heir. So what do we inherit? When we think of inheritance, we think of money or property. However, we inherit something that will never fade away. We gain:
1) Eternal life: (Matthew 19:29)
2) The earth: possibly the new earth (Matthew 5:5)
3) Salvation: (Hebrews 1:14)
4) God’s kingdom (James 2:5)
This may seem all too much to understand because we cannot imagine such a thing. Paul quoted Isaiah when saying “No eye has seen, not ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”.
The practical effects of adoption
Fellows asks us “What does adoption do for us here and now?”
1) It gives us access to God: Just as we have access to our parents whenever, we also have free access to our Father. We don’t need to book an appointment in order to come to Him. We have the privilege of prayer to talk to Him whenever we want to. We should take advantage of this wonderful gift.
2) Adoption means that we are cared for by God: Our heavenly Father never hesitates to provide for us. In Philippians 4:19 it states “…My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus”.
3) Adoption means that we are directed by God: This means that our Father will shows us the path we should walk in. Just like our own fathers guide us and try to lead us to a prolific life, God does the same. When we ask for guidance we should ask “Lord show me the kind of life you want me to live” instead of “Lord show me your plan for my life”. God plans our live in the way of the Scriptures. God directs us by His Word (the Bible).
The responsibilities of sonship
With every privilege position comes with responsibilities. Because we are His children we do carry specific responsibilities.
1) We must be like our Father: As children of God, we must be like our Almighty Father. For instance one of the things we must practice is to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45). Loving our enemies will show that we are indeed children of God. It isn’t easy for us to love our enemies, however we have God’s help and character to do so. Another thing that is told to us “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). It may be impossible to be perfect, however our goal should be so that we can be perfect. Paul says this in 1Corinthians 13:11 “…aim for perfection”. To be like our Father, marks our sonship.
2) We should love our brothers and sisters in Christ: We must love our brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus says this to his disciples “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34,35). It is hard to love one another, but we must realize that we all have faults. Just like you may feel like its hard to love someone, someone may feel that way about you. But as brothers and sisters in Christ, we must love one another.
To be justified and being adopted by our Heavenly Father is truly a wonderful position to be in. We should be ecstatic and thrilled that God calls us His children.
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