March 31, 2013
Resurrection Sunday, Adoption as a Gift of the Gospel
First, there will be no guilt trip to get you to adopt children.
Second, there is an astounding lack of adoption theologically and, as a consequence, practically by the church.
In nearly 2,000 years of church history and thousands of creeds (some 150 creeds after the Reformation) only 6 have been found to contain a theology of adoption.
This lack of emphasis on the theology adoption, that is at the heart of the Gospel, has resulted in a lack of the practice of adoption on the part of the church as a missionally strategic practice.
Third, the primary mission of this morning is to revel in the “vertical” reality of adoption as a glorious work of the Gospel completed in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
Fourth, the long-term mission of this morning is that the vertical truth of Father’s adoption of his people would lead to a culture of adoption where we have adopters and facilitators with none doing nothing.
1. The Gospel
2. Our adoption was costly for the Father
Galatians 4:4-5; Galatians 3:13
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 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, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:4-7)
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us – for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’ – so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles.” (Galatians 3:13)
3. Our adoption involves our status change from “not children” to “children”
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!””
A. Because of Jesus’ work we are, by faith, children of God
1. Creator of us
2. Lover of us
3. Caring for us
4. Always doing good to us
5. Always providing for us
4. Our adoption involves the reception of the Spirit of sonship
“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!””
A. Adoption is not less than biological succession. Adoption is equal to biological succession.
(Father does not look at Gentiles included in the Kingdom as less than, rather, he hardened Israel until a full number of Gentiles would be adopted into the Kingdom, then all Israel will be saved….see Romans 11:25ff)
B. In Christ we are adopted as children.
5. Our adoption involves the transformation of our behaviors so that they begin to match the behaviors of the Father (Do you ever just get sick of how you act and would do anything to stop acting like that…?)
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For 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. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit (who is kind of like your new birth certificate)
of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’
A. The Spirit of adoption helps us put to death all the things that are contrary to the family of God
6. Our adoption involves becoming an heir of the Father
“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
7. Our adoption was planned
“…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”
“Adoption was not Plan B in God’s mind. There was no Plan A with lots of children who never sin and never need to be redeemed. God predestined us for adoption before the creation of the world. Plan A was creation, fall, redemption, adoption so that the full range of God’s glory and mercy and grace could be known by his adopted children. Adoption was not second best. It was planned from the beginning.
A. The fall has affected all men
B. God, being rich in mercy, chose us to redeem us from the fall to show us the immeasurable riches of his kindness to rescue us from a deserved and eternal hell.
C. So, our adoption is not least rather it is a lavish gift
8. Our adoption comes with short-term suffering in overcoming the rubble of the fall but it also comes with long-term glory
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
This passage says we are waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons.
Are we not, upon belief in the Gospel, adopted already? Yes.
When we believe the Gospel we are legally and permanently in the family of God. But God’s work in adoption is not to leave any of us who believe in a state of suffering from the fall.
Father raised Jesus from the dead with a new body and he promises us that part of our adoption will be a new body in the resurrection with no more disabilities and no more groaning.
So, we wait for the full experience of our adoption…..the full blown resurrection of our bodies with all the brokeness from the fall removed!
A. Death is not our enemy, rather death is our ally, through the resurrection of Jesus, to bring our full experience of adoption to us.
9. Our adoption was from a terrible state
“…among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
A. Father adopted us from a path that ended in eternal punishment for the rebellion
B. Because of our adoption we….
1. Love Father, Son and Spirit
2. Submit to Father, Son and Spirit in joy
3. Follow Father, Son and Spirit
4. Worship Father, Son and Spirit
5. Serve fellow adopted children by Father, Son and Spirit
6. Invite as many as will come and receive adoption to come by the help of Father, Son