Adopted as sons of God by Jesus Christ – conclusion

Tommy Thornhill

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” Rom.8:15.  

When Paul said his countrymen had been “adopted” in Rom.9:4 he was reminding them centuries ago God had chosen (adopted) Israel to be His special nation, His holy nation Ex.19:5-6. As His adopted nation they were to be His children, His intended inheritance Deut.9;26, 29. instead they kept rebelling against Him off until finally He finally cast them off as His favored nation. In fact, no nation would ever again be His favored nation.

Understanding this should help us appreciate the importance of being adopted as part of God’s scheme of redemption. Our salvation depended on Him being will to adopt us as His children. He sent Jesus to redeem us so He might adopt us as His children, not as a nation, but as individuals. We read “that we might receive the adoption as sons, and because we are sons. God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying out, ‘Abba, Father’” Gal.4:5-6; Rom.8:15“Abba” an Aramaic word of endearment, “pater” (father) Greek word, combined for emphasis. The combination makes it a very expressive term indicating a close, personal relationship to God. Only a child of God, one who has been adopted into His family as a member of his family, can address God as “Abba, Father” without fear of being rejected when we petition Him in prayer.  

All the saved today are God’s children, having been adopted into His family because Christ paid the price of our redemption. He redeemed us with His precious blood “as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (pure, untainted by sin t.t.) 1.Pet.1:18-19. Having paid the price for our redemption we now belong to God. We are His children by adoption. ”For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” 1.Cor.6:20.

Here is another way of looking at the adoption concept as Paul used it.  Even though we

were sinners (children of the devil) in time past, when we come to a knowledge of Christ through receiving the word of God by hearing and welcoming it as the gospel of truth from God and not the words of men 1.Thes.2:14 we believe (trust) its teaching that by faith Jesus can be our Savior Rom.10:17. So, with an obedient faith we are “baptized into Christ and put on Christ” Gal.3:26-27. After believing and being baptized we come in contact with the blood of Christ by which we are saved and our sins are washed away Rom.6:3-5; Mk.16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Col.2:11-13. Since our sins are washed away, God no longer views us as sinners and no longer imputes sin to our account. He declares us not guilty and imputes or accounts (credits us) as righteous Rom.4:3-8. Since God no longer views us as sinners, even though we were previously sons of the devil, He is now ready and willing to adopt us into His family, granting us all the rights and privileges that belong to those in His family. We “receive the adoption as sons, and because we are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying out, ‘Abba, Father.’ Therefore you are no long a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” Gal.4:5-7. Being an heir means we have access to “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” Eph.1:3.

Being adopted by God frees us from the power of sin and its penalty. Paul had pointed out in Rom.6:16-18.that we once were servants of sin, but in obeying the form of doctrine (baptism into the death and blood of Christ) Rom.6:3-7 we become the servants of Christ. By redeeming us and freeing us from the power of sin Christ now owns us and is our new master. In conjunction with Christ’s redemption God adopts us and makes us heirs of His inheritance Eph.1:11; 1.Pet.1:3-5. Paul tells us that in being adopted by God and becoming His children we “did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” Rom.8:15, 17.

As pointed out in the last issue It was God’s plan from eternity to adopt those redeemed by the blood of Christ  Eph.1:5. While we presently enjoy this spiritual adoption as sons of God it is not yet finalized.  Our present adoption is only the first-fruits of the Spirit, the guarantee of the final, complete redemption of the body when Christ returns. Eph.1:14. Paul recognizes this in Rom.8:23 when he writes “And not only they, (the whole creation awaiting Christ’s coming v.22but we also who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” When Christ returns “He will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able to subdue all things to Himself” Phil.3:21At this time our adoption will be publically manifested for all eternity that we are God’s children, His eternal heritage. .  

All the saved, redeemed by the blood of Christ, have passed from a state of alienation from God and are now by adoption members of His family. Like the prodigal son of Lk.15 we have returned to God and He as a loving, gracious heavenly Father, bestows on us “all spiritual blessings in Christ,” Now, we eagerly wait for the return of His Son and our adoption will be finalized for all eternity.  

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