Friday, May 7, 2010

my adoption in christ...

"In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 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
i have been thinking a lot this week about my adoption in christ. this is of course something i have thought a lot about before and is one of the main motivating factors in my desire for adoption. i know that i am adopted and that i have been brought into the family of god, though formerly was a child wrath.  but this week, i was really challenged to think about what that really means for me. what are the implications of being adopted?

in his book knowing god, j.i. packer calls adoption the greatest privilege of the gospel. how can this be?  after all, isn't the fact that jesus paid for my sins, rose again, and therefore allows me to stand justified before the father the greatest privilege?  i am no longer plagued with guilt and i am free of my debt.  this indeed is great!  and worthy of praise, but look at galatians 4.  we were redeemed under the law and justified, SO THAT we might receive adoption as sons.  god redeemed us but he did not stop there, he went even further.  he went on to another legal proceeding.  he not only freed us, he then brings us into he very family.  he does not leave us out there to be servants and slaves.  he brings us into his family. 

i knew all of this i my head, but this week, i was asked the question, "do you live like a son of god or a servant of god?"  i immediately knew my answer. i live like a servant of god.  not that this would be horrible, after all i am justified, but he tells me that i am his daughter and i have all of those privileges.  i forget what most of them are, i just keep working hard, trying not to mess up and seeking to do things well to please the master.  no wonder i so frequently need to be reminded of his love for me.  no wonder i do not feel his greatness and love when i get to working so hard. no wonder i fall into despair rather than joy. no wonder i worry about my future.  i have forgotten and do not know the privileges of being a child of the king!

here are a few that have really stuck out to me this week:
  • i am fully loved and that the father is the perfect parent and his love for me will never change. i am assured in whose i am. i do not have to prove my worth or seek out my value. i do not have to live in fear that he will leave me if i mess up too badly.
  • i can ask my father for anything. nothing is too silly, to crazy, or whatever.  and i can know that he delights to give me good things (just like a parent loves to gives gifts to a child) but he knows what is best for me.  he will always give me what is best, even if i am asking for something else.
  • my father owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the earth is the lord's and everything in it! i do not have to worry about providing for myself (or my future child).  it is all his and he will give me what i need.  no child of a millionaire worries about getting what they need, why should i?
  • i have hope! i am an heir to all things that christ is an heir too. this world is not my home, my inheritance is coming. i freed from trying to find happiness and joy in the things here. i am also free to give away things just as freely as i have been given them.
i am not only freed, i am a daughter of god. i am no longer a slave or a servant, i am part of this family.  this truly is even more than i could ever ask for or imagine. my father's love is truly extravagant!

i recommend reading j.i. packer's chapter "sons of god" in his book knowing god. another great book, which is on my list for this summer is russell moore's adopted for life.

elector of saints,
blessed is the man whom thou choosest and callest to thyself,
with thee is mercy, redemption, assurance, forgiveness;
thou hast lifted me, a prisioner, out of the pit of sin
  and pronounced my discharge,
     not only in the courts of heaven,
     but in the dock of conscience;
  hath justified me by faith, 
     given me peace with thee,
  made me to enjoy glorious liberty as they child.
save me from the false hope of the hypocrite;
 (taken from "sincerity" in the valley of vision)