Sinners that only a Father Could Love…Essential Definitions pt. 2 by Caleb H.
July 28, 2008, 6:00 am
Filed under: Devotions

by Caleb Hancock

Last week, we covered the definition of Justification, why we should know and apply this term to our lives as Christian men. Today, let’s look at another term that looks absolutely unspectacular, and yet holds nuances that will edify your soul in a fresh way.

Mr. Grudem, in Systematic Theology, defines ADOPTION as such: Adoption is an act of God whereby he makes us members of his family.”

The reason that I referred to this specific term as “absolutely unspectacular” is that we see this word, adoption, all the time. We hear about friends or family members, or research for ourselves, about the process of taking in a child or person not your own, and legally making them a member of your family. While this is certainly an amazing means of grace in many lives, it should be no less meaningful to the average Christian man.

Why? What is the big deal?

It is exactly this: after God legally declares us NOT GUILTY, and FULLY RIGHTEOUS in JUSTIFICATION, where does that leave us? It certainly is a joyful and undeserved blessing. It certainly does mean that we no longer fear God’s judgment, knowing that Christ was condemned in our place and paid the penalty as our substitute for sins on the cross, but does it change God’s attitude towards us beyond acceptance?

Are we merely tolerated for eternity, trophies of God’s grace (which is a marvelous thing, to be sure), but is that where the blessings end?

No, for scripture informs us;

Galatians 4:4-7

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 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.”

We are NOT merely objects of God’s mercy, but above and beyond that, He has taken us into his family!

Is this not amazing? God did not have to do this! That is what is so humbling about both justification and adoption, neither are merited. In fact, in ourselves, we are disqualified from both. Yet, for those who have repented and trusted in Christ, God Himself has qualified you for both redemption, and then adoption!

And there are tons of application points that are inferred with this new status as God’s sons; but one in particular that I think we need to address is this: In the church, we are to relate to all Christian men and women as family members, fellow heirs with us in Christ, regardless of skin tone, income level, age, or any other distinction.

Let this term primarily affect how you relate to God, your heavenly father, today.

Let it not be a relationship marked by distant acknowledgment and cold thanks, but one where the love of God overwhelms you until with joyous praise and grateful affection as His adopted son, you bless His name and work on your behalf!

1 John 3:1

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”


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