Adoption - The Believer’s Son-Ship
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
We have just read that God sent His Son "to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the ADOPTION OF SONS." In the letter to the Ephesians 1:5 we read that the believer has been predestined unto the ADOPTION OF SONS by Jesus Christ unto Himself.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the Sons of god by faith in Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither Bond nor Free, there is neither Male nor Female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Verse 26 clearly tells us that all believers are SONS and verse 28 says that there are no Males or Females. Verse 28 also abolishes racism, Jew or Greek, eliminates class and cast distinctions for there is neither Bond nor Free. Verse 28 gets rid of sexism for there is neither male nor female. There you are feminism with women’s lib is gone. Machoism the he -man is also gone. What does it all mean ? Suddenly girls are sons and boys are no longer males. What is the answer to all this ? What is the solution ?
This Son-ship is speaking of the believer's legal or judicial position before God.
Children are born from seed, and that is why Peter says: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." (1Pet.1:23). Birth and Adoption are not the same thing. The complete and final result of our adoption will not be realized till Romans 8:23 "The redemption of our body."
Therefore, the moment you are born again you become a child of God, like a new baby born into the family. But at the very same moment you are also adopted into the family of God and placed as a Son. So that you know about it we read in Galatians: "6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."
Because you are a Son - by legal position and definition, you are automatically an heir of God. In all of this it may be of great benefit that you remember that God is the God of order, and that the Bible speaks of a Natural order, a Spiritual order, and a Legal or judicial order. There is an excellent example of this in the book of Numbers. In chapter one all the tribes of Israel are listed, but this is repeated in chapter two. A careful observation will reveal that in chapter one the tribes are listed in their natural order beginning with Reuben as the one that was born first, and we know from 1Cor.15:46.... "that which is natural comes first." In chapter two the position of the tribes in the camp and on the march are listed and you will find Judah is listed first because the spiritual order is in view. Our Lord came out of the tribe of Judah. Look at Jacob’s prophecy regards Judah in Gen.:49-
8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.
9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
Now for an example of the legal order. In the book of Numbers chapter 27 we find Mr. Zelophehad who had no sons. Instead he had 5 daughters, and the names of his daughters are Malah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah. Because he had no sons his daughters became the legal inheritors ( Sons).
This character of Son-ship is to be lived out in real life. Rom.8:29 tells us that "we are to be conformed to the image of His Son." To be conformed does not mean to wait for something to happen in the future. To be conformed means to be an ongoing process exercising choice and will towards that direction. It is subjection to the Holy Spirit Rom.8:14 says: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God." The Son displays the character of his father, and so likewise the sons of God are to show the character of God. Reveal the glory of God. If you are still in doubt turn in your Bibles to Luke 6:35 " But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful."
BE YE, therefore, merciful, as your Father also is merciful. As your Father. Led by the Holy Spirit you will give evidence of God’s character. Be ye, - do it, that is a directive. You have heard the that saying "chip of the old block" or "the apple falls not far from the trunk." That is the general idea. As many as are led - led by the Holy Spirit that is. Have you ever seen someone having a big dog on the lead ? There is the dog way out in front pulling the owner along ? That is not what is meant. A dog that has been to a training school when led is a dog that will keep in step.
John 12:36 Believe in the light, the ye may be the Sons of Light.
1John 1:7 But if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another.
To believe, trust in Christ, and fellowship with other believers reveal that we are Sons of Light. 1Thess. 5:5 Ye are all sons of light, and sons of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Born into the Family of God gives us rights. Adoption into the Family of God gives us responsibility. If you would like to know about your rights come and see me after the meeting as for now I would like to concentrate more on our responsibilities.
Matthew chapter 5.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
13 Ye are the salt of the earth:
14 Ye are the light of the world.
16 Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven. Read 44-48.. 48.. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Perfect = completely developed, grown to maturity. Where do you start ? Practice at home, with your brothers and sisters in the Church of God. To be led by the Spirit is to have, according to Gal.5:18, Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Bear ye one another’s burden.
The Lord Jesus is the true reflection of God’s character and Son-ship is the true reflection of the Father, that is why the Lord Jesus could say he that has seen me has seen the Father. 2John verse 3 is quite deliberate saying: "Grace and peace from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the SON OF THE FATHER." The example of our Saviour is always the Father’s will first and put into practice. He could say I always do the Father’s will. At the age of 12 He was about His Father’s business.
Personally I have made this observation. Israel left Egypt for the promised land Canaan. Possibly no more than a 21 days journey but it took them 40 years. Why ? That is how long it took them to submit to the word of God. Only two men, Joshua and Caleb left Egypt and entered Canaan. Only two men lived not by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded from the word of the Lord. The Israelites were held back for 40 years by all those who lived after the flesh instead of being led by the Spirit. God blessed Moses in spite of Korah, but nevertheless he too was refrained from going forward. God can not use us unless we submit to His will. It’s all a matter of priorities. Let me finish with the word of Solomon Proverbs:10:1 " The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother." If you are looking for a perfect example for Son-ship look no further then the Lord Jesus. God the Father could say of Him: "This is my beloved Son in whom is all my delight ( in whom I am well pleased), HEAR YE HIM." No one ever represented His Father better than the Son of God for He could say: "He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father". Can God’s character be seen in you ????
F.J.R. Hackham South 31.8.1997