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Adopted Heirs

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
March 8, 2021 1:00 am

Adopted Heirs

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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Father God.

It is a delight to be here tonight to worship you to open your word together. We ask now that you would speak or in my words make no difference. We are here to hear your voice and we trust as you promise that you will speak through reading and the preaching of your word to give us ears to hear, fix our eyes, our hearts, our minds, our wills on Jesus Christ and may you alone be glorified in your name we pray. Amen. Tonight we are going to consider the biblical doctrine of adoption, it sometimes and overlooked doctrine and its overlooked or detrimental. I'm sad to say this the first time I've preached on the doctrine of adoption. JI Packer has said of it adoption is the highest privilege of the gospel higher, even than justification. That's quite a statement because we know how important justification is and to understand why Packer might say that it is that important what's considered just for a moment the definition of justification, alongside the definition of adoption and justification. What we mean by that is having right legal standing before God. Justification comes by faith in Jesus Christ and includes two things. One is the forgiveness of all of our sins and to the transferral of Christ's righteousness to us.

Justification is a glorious thing. So how in the world can a great theologian like JI Packer say adoption is even a higher privilege. Let's consider the definition of adoption.

There's many ways we could put it up in a very simply adoption is an act whereby God makes us members of his family. Now this is why Packer says adoption is the highest privilege of the gospel. Consider the trader is forgiven, brought in for supper and given the family name seem to be right with God, the judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the father is greater still Alice to consider something objectively about adoption from these few verses in Galatians 4 and they were to look at some of the subjective realities of it. How how it works out and what it means to us. The object of thing. Alyssa considers this is that the entire Godhead participates in our doctrine in the process of our adoption, father, son, Holy Spirit, all three members of the Trinity are involved in our adoption. If you look at verses 4 to 7 in Galatians 4 we see the word sin used twice in this word sent is important because since is used, referring to the members of the Trinity accomplishing a mission. The sending is meant to actually accomplish something and so we read God the father sent forth the sun. The sun as other Scripture passages tell us joyfully goes on this mission. Why, in order to redeem us so that we can be adopted as sons and here's why this was notable to the Galatian Christian readers in the Roman world adoption was a significant practice in today. We can write a will and we can leave our wealth and property to anyone we want male or female in the Roman world with very few exceptions.

A man had to pass his wealth onto his sons, so if a man had no sons or as would happen sometimes. He felt that his sons were either incapable of managing his wealth or that they were unworthy of it.

He would adopt someone he considered would make a worthy son, and these adoptions were not the infant adoptions that are common today. They were typically older boys or even men.

In some cases, the adoptee might even be older than the man who was adopting him. And when the adoption was legally approved. The adoptee would have all of his debts canceled because typically the one who was adopted was a slave. And so the one adopting the slave would pay for all of his outstanding debts and that slave would receive the family name. He would now be the legal son of his adoptive father, and he was entitled to all the rights and all the benefits of a firstborn son. And this is what's interesting what I think is one of the things that stood out to the Galatians, a father could this own in Roman culture.

His natural born son, so that son was unworthy or done something he could disown his son or all of his sons. However, in adoption was completely irreversible once you were adopted. There was nothing that could revoke that adoption and quick side note here because sometimes I like the fact that the ESV uses just the word sons.

Some translations will use sons and daughters. The Greek is just sons and that's important. Paul is not being sexist in using just the word sons here and I said at that time the family inheritance was only available song, and when the women who heard this and read this letter of Paul's. This would not have been taken as a negative thing in fact, just the opposite. They would've received it with joy and delight and being elevated because what Paul is saying is that God by adopting anyone who believes in Jesus Christ, male or female. As a son. What it means is that all God's children are fully included in God's will and testament and it's a revocable.

Women were elevated by this doctrine of adoption, and to do this in Roman culture was an incredibly costly thing. The man who was adopting a slave had to pay off all the debts of that slave in order to bring this man into his household. Modern adoptions can be quite costly but think about this what it cost God to adopt you and me into his family. If it took nothing less in the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross and when this passage tells us, God sent forth his son and of the woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law so that we might receive adoption to sons, the father sent the son on a mission.

The sun accomplishes his mission of redemption, he became one of us and he had all the weight of the law and all the obligation of the law placed on him and he was the only one who ever met. It perfectly. And then when he died on the cross and his blood was shed. He was the only worthy sacrifice and when he did that.

The shedding of his blood that was the price of our redemption. See our adoption is the most costly adoption in the world because it took the perfect life and the ultimate death of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the father in the love sent his son and the son joyfully went on this mission but it doesn't stop there. But as we see in verses six and seven the spirit.

Also, here's the second word sent, and because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his son into our hearts, crying, Abba father, so you are no longer a slave but a son of the faade on the in air through God.

Okay, Jesus is mission was to redeem us. What is the mission of Holy Spirit, then the mission of Holy Spirit is to confirm the fact of our adoption to us. That's why the spirit is sent to confirm to us the reality that we are adopted as sons of the Almighty is a God so wants us to know and experience the reality of being his own children that he sends his own spirit to indwell our hearts. Why would he do this.

I think in part is that it is so easy for us to forget. I can easily forget the status of my adoption as a child of the King and when I do what I do I start living like an orphan again believers everywhere can easily forget the reality of who they are in Jesus Christ but me is John Wesley is an example of this. Some of you are familiar with this.

Wesley was an honor graduate of Oxford ordained clergy in the Church of England Orthodox in his theology, engage in all kinds of good works. He would visit prisoners. He would give food to the needy. He set up orphanages.

He was incredibly generous with his money and he spent years as a missionary in Savannah, Georgia sharing the gospel with Native Americans. There surely John Wesley is somebody filled with the Holy Spirit and listen to what he writes.

He says I went to America to convert others was never converted to God I had the faith of a servant of a slave, not the faith of the son is a Wesley's experience typifies so many people in churches around the world.

He did everything he could in his own power to live an acceptable life before a holy God. When it was much later after he returned from America back to England and the society meeting on Aldersgate Street. He didn't even want to go. One of his friends talked him into attending and as he walked in. Somebody was reading the preface to Martin Luther's commentary to the book of Romans that night and is John Wesley sat there. This is what he writes. That night I felt I did trust in Christ. Christ alone for salvation and assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins even mine and saved me from the law of sin and death received that was the night for John Wesley that he went from being a slave to an adopted son and he had the Spirit's confirmation of that in his heart. God sends his spirit because he wants us to know our status as members of his family, his adopted sons Paul says is even stronger in Romans eight is verses 15 and 16. Free did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons by whom we cry, Abba father.

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

All three persons of the holy Trinity are involved in this mission to redeem us and then to confirm the status of our redemption is adopted children.

Okay, that's some of the object of teaching of Galatians 4.

Let's talk about some of the subjective reality of what that means. The first thing Alyssa considers this in adoption. We are put into a new relationship of love with the father. Verses six and seven because your sons got us in the spirit of the sun and our hearts, crying, Abba father, so you are no longer a slave but a son that were crying. I cannot over emphasize how strong it is, is calling out loudly and is typically associated with calling out a great passion with prayer Jews did not pray this way. They did not call out to God, the father who did it like Sunday school kid going to answer Jesus, Jesus, dear rumor, where Jesus cried out. Yet he taught his disciples to pray our father when Jesus cried out, the father on the cross. Even before that, the garden of Gethsemane right.

Remember, Mark tells us this in Mark 14 is in the garden of Gethsemane and Jesus cries out with a loud voice father. All things are possible for you remove this cup from me. Yet not my will but your will be done. The disciples had never heard someone call out to God this way Abba father. This is the word Jesus uses to teach the adopted sons of God, how to pray. What kind of relationship we have with the father and you know this if you finish the word Abba is the word a very young child would use daddy Poppa, but it doesn't stop there. It was the word of young Jews who spoke Aramaic. Also, the word Abba of a fully grown son still living with his father and he would call out Abba is a term of many years of deep intimacy, fellowship, knowing and being known in this it gives evokes the sense of full communion he sees both the cry of a young child first learning how to talk daddy daddy and is also the statement of a fully grown man. There is such a richness in this word young children instinctively know a parent's love for them and with outstretched arms.

What dad when their little boy or little girl, Danny Wheeler, do turn to walk away, not right now.

You scoop your child up yes dear yes love one to having a child instinctively knows the cry of little child. Daddy, I want you happy I need you and Jesus is saying this is the kind of relationship you have with my father because I have redeemed you and brought you into the family. It was interesting.

Brian Chappell actually wrote about this this week in his devotional and by faith, he said long ago I read the account of a Christian who do not fully grasp the meaning of this verse until visiting a busy market in Israel and they are a lost child ran through the crowd, seeking his father by crying out the chapel writes the account echoed sweetly for my own heart.

Years later, as I follow Jesus's route to the cross in the streets of Jerusalem as the crowd suppressed upon our tour group and Israeli child pushed past me and the level calling out to the fatherhood gone ahead of him.

Although the. The ancient endearment for daddy chapel writes is used today as it was in Christ day and it signals love to see one of the subjective realities of being an adopted son of the King of Kings is God loves you more than you can possibly imagine. Consider this. This may seem like an extreme statement is not the degree of Abba's love for you is in direct proportion to his love for Jesus Christ himself. Think about that. The father loves you and me adopted children with the exact same love degree, passion, fervency with which he loves Jesus himself. Jesus actually testifies to this at the end of his high priestly prayer in John 17. These are his last words of that prayer because he wants us to know the deep, deep love of his father for all of his adopted children.

Jesus prays I make these actually speaking about those who will believe in the future. It's you and me and so many others. Jesus prays I made known to them your name and I will continue to make it known that the love with which you have loved me may be in them. Jesus himself says the death and the degree to which the father loves me.

That's how much he loves you and any adoptive parent knows this truth you don't love your biological child anymore than your adoptive child. There's not the doctor child is a lesser is the same so mask you this week. Have you doubted Cobb's love for you. Have you felt the need to try and prove yourself to him. Make it right with him. We so easily forget only don't doubt God's love you already have it. If you are in Jesus Christ. See, this is the universal love of God for every human being on the planet. It's only available to those who by faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Those are the adopted children of God.

And if that is you Abba loves you perfectly completely passionately and that will never change its is Pastor Eugene read right before communion this morning these words from Romans eight. I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. The degree of Abba's love for you is in direct proportion to the love of Jesus himself, just call help you can call out and almost sounds too familiar, doesn't you can actually say daddy, Jesus says it's okay when you reach out calling to him, he will embrace you in his loving arms with a blessing it is to be adopted into the family of God. We put into a new relationship of love with the father second. We are given a new family do these last two very quickly were given a new family with new priorities and values. Take a moment and just look around the room. Maybe if you're married, even beyond your spouse, you know, we are in this room tonight family.

We are all brothers and sisters in common union with Jesus.

Our older brother with God as our father, we are put into a new family.

The family of God is all made possible by adoption you see in this family. A transition transcends sex, race, even biological family. This family is the real deal. This is the family were committed to this is the family. God has placed us into my prayer for the church is that we would never be just coolly cordial to each other, keeping each other at arms length, avoiding the people who can irritate us and I want that stuff is garbage is garbage is the way the world works.

We are one in Jesus Christ and there to be no barriers between our love for one another and as part of the family of God, you know, we have we have new values and priorities in Romans eight right before those verses about adoption. Paul writes this.

If you live according to the flesh, you will die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live for all who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God is he one of the ways we know that we are a child of God is the Holy Spirit leads us along the paths of the father doesn't mean it means we start loving the way the father loves it means we start forgiving the way the father forgives him and we start showing grace to each other the way the father has shown grace to us seek we are part of God's family, and we take on and live out the values and priorities of the family is your father has a family business is to redeem to call all those he is chosen unto himself were part of that family business why we share the gospel is why we love and forgive and show grace and talk about the glory and the beauty of Jesus Christ our older brother who made it all possible.

The gospel is not about get yourself a little cleaned up and then your acceptable the gospel is you know what I was hopeless, dead, and this is what Christ has done. We want to do the will of her father, not because were scared of him because of his great love for us is actually whole section here. I'd encourage you to consider and think about is sanctification actually happens by virtue of being loved by God and being part of his family. We grow more as we experience his love by trying to live under the law's part of pulse talking about this whole section in my four daughters are adopted and their shaped and being part of my family.

We are shaped by being part of the family of God's light fellowship is so important. You and I are meant to help each other see and experience the reality of the gospel in this place. When my seminary professors was again in Sinclair Ferguson never forget him. In class one day. I wish I remembered which Queenie was talking about. He told the story of one of the Queens of England whose kids were going out in the public. One day, and all she said to them was stop. Remember children royal children royal manners she was reminding her kids of who you are and now you remember who you are like that impact how you live being adopted of the family of God is meant to do the same thing where adopted into a royal family. You and I are a royal priesthood, it's meant to shape us. We are part of even greater royal family.

That's why we start hating the things of the world and loving the things of God. So we are put into a new relationship. A loving father were put into a new family with new priorities and values. Thirdly, we are given a new identity and a glorious future. And when my daughters came in our home. They all took on the name Harper when they like it or not. They have beautiful Chinese names.

Now they're all Harper that is become part of their identity. So many people can be defined by many things in life, even Christians so we can forget our identity is adopted children of the King. We can start seeking out our identity like an orphan in a career in being a great parent in achieving success or wealth.

Some people even elect their failer failures become their defining attribute in life for them know that is true in God's family in Christ.

Who are you the children of the King.

You are royalty. That's your identity in Roman culture. The servant who was adopted was no longer a slave. If you read the verses right before the ones I read tonight. Paul actually talks about how people are enslaved to the elemental forces of the world even says the law is one of those elemental things, enslaving people, you're not enslaved. The Roman who was adopted, no longer a slave, a full sun and more importantly, an heir and air of the one who adopted no one and I die. Our daughters will inherit whatever we have by some measures will be a paltry amount, but our daughters will get it. It will be fully theirs to do with as they please. The apostle Paul says this the blessings we have in Christ part of the riches of our inheritance is this. They are the in Christ, the unfathomable riches of Christ, that would unfathomable.

I can't pronounce it beyond that, what it means is past finding out unsearchable cannot be tracked out as to its extent see that idea is that the believers blessings and inheritance in Christ are to deep ever to be measured. We are the children of the Lord Almighty and share the eternal riches of Christ, and you know this by experience.

We've Artie asked warily experience and impart were given eternal life we experience the kingdom of God. The indwelling of the spirit intimacy of relationship with him access in prayer. We have now, but not fully because the fall inheritance is coming more is to come. Fullness is coming to all the adopted sons of God, and what a glorious future that is. This is when Jesus talks about you read about these things.

A day is coming when sin will be no more, where every tear from her eyes will be wiped away where we receive resurrection bodies just like the body that Jesus Christ has right now where we are we united with all those who have gone before us where there will nevermore be any separation of communion with God and we will rule with Christ. That's what's coming for all who are adopted sons of God. I think what Paul is trying to get at in this passage is that God was not content to leave us in the orphanage of the world as an adopted child. We are blessed richly perfectly loved and new family values and priorities, a royal identity and nothing nothing in heaven or on earth can ever change that you and I are irrevocably sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ my prayers. I would live in that reality. Daily I would live so much like an orphan and we all appropriate, the glories, the beauty and wonder of what it means to be adopted children father. There is no way to truly do justice to this concept to the reality of what it means to be adopted. Loved by you to be made. Your children and your heirs. Lord, this changes our outlook on life. If we hadn't. It changes are dealing with suffering is nothing can separate us from you and all suffering will be turned joy one day, or for those of us who have had hard relationships with other family members.

It gives us great hope in a reality.

Father I pray that you would let us know and experience. By the power of your spirit what it means to be your love children offer the glory of Jesus or can we pray and

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