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Romans 8 14 15 mms 02 26 12 adopted as sons of god

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Romans 8 14 15 mms 02 26 12 adopted as sons of god

  1. 1. THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN HAVE BEEN ADOPTED AS SONS/CHILDREN OF GODThe Doctrine of Adoption - The Most Precious Blessing of the Whole of the Bible!i Romans 8:14-17 Charles e Whisnant, February 26 2012Material in this document: (footnotes) 1. ADOPTION IN ANCIENT ROME 2. The Spirit of Adoption (Exposition of Romans 8:12-17)ii 3. The Children of Godiii An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 4. DOCTRINE OF ADOPTION
  2. 2. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (13) For if ye liveafter the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, yeshall live. (14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (15) For yehave not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption,whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (16) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we arethe children of God: (17) And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; ifso be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:12-17 Under Roman law there were two steps to adoption. In step number one the individual being adopted (almost always were males-sons) was released from the natural fathers control. This involved the natural father selling the individual as a slave three times to the adopting Father. The adopting father would "release" the individual twice whereby the individual came back under the authority of the natural father. However, with the third "sale as a slave" the adopted father then assumed control and responsibility and the individual was now absolutely free from the natural father. In the second step the individual who now had no father, since the natural father sold the individual as a slave, the individual came under the control and authority of the adopting father forever. The individual was no longer responsible to the natural father. He was only responsible to the new adopting father. The purpose of this adoption was so that the individual could take the position of a natural son in order to continue the family line and maintain family ownership of property. This new individual, provided it was a male, who is now the "son" became the patria potestas for the next generation. Believers are chosen by God and predestined (marked out beforehand) to become adopted sons (and daughters) of God. What does this mean? It entails two things. First, believers who were previously children of Satan, were "sons of disobedience" and "children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:2-3) no longer have any responsibility or obligation to their old father, the devil (John 8:38, 44). Believers are now Gods sons and daughters and God has absolute control over them as their father. God controls their lives, property, and their future. Since God is eternal and will never die, we as his children will be eternally under this control. Our new father has the right to discipline us as his sons and daughters (Hebrews 12:5-11). We share in the inheritance of our "elder-brother" Jesus Christ. Believers have a new status and new privileges as adopted children of God. Second, this determination of who would be adopted as "sons and daughters" of God was settled before God ever created the world. Just as orphans cannot choose adoptive parents but are chosen to be
  3. 3. adopted, human beings can not choose to be adopted by God. In Gods own secret counsel and mind lie the reason or motivation for the adoption of any human being as sons or daughters of God. δια ιησου χριστου εις αυτον - "...through Jesus Christ to himself..." As we continue to read on in verse five, it tells us through whom the adoption is made possible. This adoption, where we are released from the responsibility of Sin and Satan and adopted by God is through or by the means of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection makes it possible for the sinner to be adopted into the family of God. κατα την ευδοκιαν του θεληματος αυτου - "according to the good pleasure of His will..." Paul tells us why or at least by what standard governed the actions of God. The standard is the good pleasure of Gods will. This word is used in the LXX (Septuagint) to describe Gods actions. God chose to adopt us because it pleased him. God takes great pleasure in caring for His adopted children and in the dispensing of the riches of his grace to them. ivThis is a second reason why we as believers are to praise God. We praise God for his benefits orblessings to us. This benefit or blessing is something we had no control over. God took the initiative andpredetermined the destiny of some of humanity to be adopted as his sons into the family of God throughJesus Christ. God did this freely as he operated from his own will for his own pleasure. In other words,nothing compelled God to choose and predetermine whom he would adopt. It was not our lineage, ourdisposition, our merit, our value, our desire, nor anything inherent within us. Nothing "made", "caused"or compelled God to adopt any one of us. He did so from his own free will which was governed by hisown pleasure. Is it any wonder that God is to be praised? What are your thoughts on your adoption? vPaul tells us why or at least by what standard governed the actions of God. The standard is the good pleasure ofGods will. This word is used in the LXX (Septuagint) to describe Gods actions. God chose to adopt us because it
  4. 4. pleased him. God takes great pleasure in caring for His adopted children and in the dispensing of the riches ofhis grace to them.“FOR AS MANY AS LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, THEY ARE SONS OF GOD.” ROMANS8:14Nothing is more important in the interpretation of Scripture than to bear in mind the context. Nothing isworse than just to slect a verse at random, or to extract a verse out of its context. That is alwaysimportant in interpreting any Scripture; but it is unusually important here in Romans 8:14, because , aswe have already seen, in this chapter the Apotle works out and develops a very substained and closelyknit and developing argument.Now as we look at verse 14 and continues down to verse 17 we ask ourselves how does this statementsfit in to Paul‟s main argument?FOR Reminds us that this is part of what has already been said. Paul is arguing the fact of the eternal security of the Christian believer. This whole chapter is that of the Security and the assurance of salvation, or all who are truly justified in Christ Jesus by faith, or put it yet in another way, “The theme is the absolute certainty of the final, complete, and entire salvation of the believer. Which I might add has been the theme of Paul as far back as Romans 5:12-21 where Paul really gives a wonderful argument for the grounds of assurance and of certainty of the Believer who is in union with Christ Jesus by faith. In Chapter 8:2-4; 5-11; The whole object of our salvation is “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not aftr the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The ground of assurance is that the Spirit dwells in us.Chapter 8:12-13 Paul gives the practical exhortation: “In light of all this” “you are not debtors to theflesh, to live after the flesh.” That would be utterly inconsistent with your whole position as a Christian.“we are mortify thorough the Spirit the deeds of the body.”Then 8:14THE DOCTRINE: WE ARE SONS OF GOD Paul has talked about our Justification, he has talked about our Sanctification, and now he is going to speak about our Glorification. As I was studying earlier this week on God‟s Plan for Eternity, God has a plan for those who have been born again by the Spirit of God and who are sons of God. Paul is really interested in the ultimate glorification of those who are born again. God has a plan a purpose for us. And nothing will be allowed to prevent its accomplishment.WILL ALL PEOPLE GO TO HEAVEN? ARE YOU A CHILD OF THE LIVING GOD? Is there a “universal Fatherhood of God?” or the “brotherhood of man.” Or „universal salvation”
  5. 5. Answer: Not all are sons of God.“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God.”Notice “All who are” First Paul makes it clear that not all are Sons of God, and not all are “led by the Spirit.” There are those philosophers who argue that we are all children of God. Some want to maintain, that salvation will ultimately be universal, and all of mankind will be saved. Some even believe in the end fallen angels will be saved. Self-deception and wishful thinking and a very popular opinion, not all all man and women are God‟s children.Here is why that philosophy is wrong: John 8: 31; 44, 57-59 is a good verse to start. To the Jews Jesus said,” Ye are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father ye will do.” John 1:12; 17:9 “I pray not for the world.” This is part and parcel of the whole of the biblical teaching: The Bible divides all mankind into one or the other of these two groups. Saved or Lost. We are God‟s people or we are not God‟s people. We are either “dead” or “alive.” “You are, or you are not.” We are children of wrath or we are children of God, We are children of the devil, or the children of God. Our eternal home will be in Hell or Heaven, and that will be descended in this world we live in now. There are only two possibilities. The Bible has a theme. Be saved, or you are damned. We are called “today is the day of salvation.” WE are called to come out from among them, and escape the wrath that is to come. So let us just get this clear. NOT ALL MANKIND ARE CHILDREN OF GOD.But Paul „s main point here is to say that Christians are “sons of God.”Here is what Paul wants us to realize: We are more than just justified, we are “sons of God.” Salvatin ismore than a matter of just been saved. Listen I am a child of the King.BEING LED BY THE SPIRIT The relation of the Spirit to the sons of God is presented as being much like that of a shepherd to his sheep. They are “being led” by Him as their Guide and Comforter (John 14:16; John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7; Psalms 84:11 Paul says the law has a responsibility to “lead” men to Christ. Once the law achieves its objective, it passes the guiding role to the Holy Spirit, Who guides us daily into the truth. John 16:13; 1 John 2:20,27; I Corinthians 1:12-16
  6. 6. Galatians 3:1-5 Paul says. The result of this BEING LED is that the Holy Spirit is progressively sanctifying us as God‟s elect, setting us apart (the essence of the word “holy”) more and more (2 Corinthians 3:18) form the world and more and more unto God for His purposes 2 Timothy 2:21, His glory 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2. There is the initial setting apart (justification = past tense salvation) Acts 20:32; 26:28; Hebrews 10:10 and then the progressive continuous process of setting apart (sanctification as a process = present tense salvation) Hebrews 10:14. Can I say, that I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to Him. But I believe the Holy Spirit who awakens within us the first faint thoughts for God and goodness. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sins and leads us to the Cross where that sin is forgiven. It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to be freed from the sins which have us in their grip and to gain the virtues which are the fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the assurance that our sins are forgiven. Romans 8:16. And Jesus Christ is Lord. I Corinthians 12:3. Indeed, are not the inception (justification), the process (sanctification) and the consummation (glorification ) of our Christian life all the work of the blessed Holy Spirit.HOW DO WE KNOW WE HAVE THIS SONSHIP: 1. Being led by the Spirit Galatians 5:18. a. “I‟m worried whether are not I am a Christian? b. I ask: “Do you have the sense of the leading of the Spirit of God in your life? If you do have the sense of the leading on going in your life, ever if we don‟t do it. 2. Having a childlike confidence in God: Galatians 4:5 3. Having liberty of access: Ephesians 3:12 4. Having love for the brethren: I John 2:9-11; 5:1 5. Having love for obedience: I John 5:1-2 a. Are you killing the deeds of the flesh? Then the Spirit of God is in you. b. If you seeing victory over sin, its evidence of the Spirit in your life. c. So if you are killing the deeds of the body proves you are been led by the Spirit of God. So you belong to Him. d. I can sense the leading of God in my life basic in Christian living.HOW DO I KNOW I AM BEEN LEAD BY THE SPOIRIT OF GOD? HOW CAN I BE SURE?1A THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES NOT LEAD US VILOTELY. He doesn‟t grab us by the hair and drag us. He doesn‟t lead that way. But leads by bending and changing our will. It‟s a promise to us to lead and guide us. Proverbs 3:5-6; Pslms5:4-5; Psalms 143:10 and Isaiah 30:25.
  7. 7. You will be going on in life and you will hear a small voice behind you saying this is the way, walk in it. Have you heard it. Not a auto voice… a voice of conscience, of conviction, a voice of the spirit, prompting you in the right direction. Isaiah 48:16-17, Jeremiah 10:23-24aHOW DOES HE LEAD US By His Spirit (14)HOW DOES THE SPRIT LEAD US?21B ILLUMATION: By giving us understanding of God‟s word. That is illumation. There are those times God leads us individuality, very specific, very purposely in a practical way. But primary the leading is the Spirit of God is through the illumation of the Word of God. The Spirit of God leads through the Word of God. As the Word is read, studied, mediated the Spirit opens our understanding, our mind, our hearts so we can understand. Genesis 41:38-39 Joseph‟s Spirit Ephesians 1:15-19 enlightening our eyes unto understanding. Colossians 1:8-11; Colossians 3:16 I Corinthians 2:13-14 Luke 24:25 Then opened He their understanding , that they might understand the Scriptures. WELL IS THE SPIRIT OF GOD LEADING YOU? What does that mean? 1. Are you understanding the Word of God? 2. Is He opening the truth to your heart? 3. Are you coming to the truth conclusions? 4. Do you see the reality of the Word of God? 5. Is the Spirit of God making it clear? 6. Does it touch your heart with conviction? 7. Does it give you joy, sorrow? 8. Is the book a living book? THAN I WOULD SAY IT IS BECAUSE THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS ILLUMATINMG YOUR HEART.2A BY SANCTIFICATION THE SPIRIT LEADS:
  8. 8. So once He shows us, He then helps us apply them. In the process of spiritual growth. He stirs the heart and will that‟s all lI know how he does it. I know this, the Lord lives in the heart of the believer, He speaks in the mind and heart. He can convict the heart, bring joy to the heart, produce all His fruits. How? Can‟t! It‟s a miracle. Pslams 119:35. 133.THE DOCTRINE OF SONSHIPTHEY OR THESE ARE SONS OF GOD 5207SONS: Figuratively is one who on one hand is the object of parental love and care and on the other hand yields filial love and reverence toward the parent. Clearly, in the present context Paul is speaking of those who are spiritual offspring of God. Hebrews 2:10; 12:5. Men become sons of God in the regenerative and adoptive sense by the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour (John 1:12; Galatians 3:26). The universal brotherhood which the New Testament teaches is that brotherhood which is based on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the divine and only Saviour of the world. And the same is true of the universal Fatherhood of God. It is true that all men are "His offspring" (Acts 17:28) in the sense that they are Gods created children; but that the New Testament makes a very clear and striking distinction between sonship by virtue of creation and sonship by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, there can be no reasonable doubt.SONSHIP IS THE PRESENT POSSESSION OF THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST. I John 3:2. First we were not born the sons of God, we were born sons of Adam. We were children of wrath. We were born with a fallen nature. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. He stands alone, He is unique, the only begotten Son of the Father, the only begotten Son of God. I n our fallen nature we are as far removed from being sons a it is possible. So then how does anyone become a son of God? Well we have to be “adopted.” Which is another biblical doctrine. Romans 8:15 deals with this. It is an act whereby a person who is not by nature related is taken into the family, and I regarded as a son. He is given the privilege and the position of a son, and behaves as a son. Such is adoption. And this becomes a picture of this great doctrine which we find in the Bible.
  9. 9. Adoption is an act of God in wich he takes us into His family. Adoption is a legal action. It is not identical with justification; but close. When God legally, declares that He regards a man as just in Christ, he also adopts that person into His family. So we think of adoption therefore primarily and essentially as a great legal action on the part of God. So if God Himself adopts us into His family, as a legal matter, the action is an irreversible one. Ephesians 1:3-6 is clear on this as well. Our assurance of eternal salvation is found here in sonship. God has do it, and because He has, it is an irreversible action. Now often times when one is adopted in to a family, he stills acts like the family in which he came from. But in the case of being adopted into the family of God, we have something else. Something happens to him. There has been a change of nature in him, He has undergone rebirth. He has been born again.. He has been born of the Spirit.SONSHIP. We are adopted into the family of God, we come in to a relationship with the Father. And its not only a legal action, but there is a nature change in us. This is amazing, there comes with this adopition a likeness and similarity of mind and of outlook. As sons of God we now look at everything from God‟s standpoint, from the aspect of eternity. Paul metins this in 1 Corinthians 2:15-16. “We have the mind of Christ.” Sons of God have this “mind” this “outlook” of Christ.
  10. 10. 1. The mind of Christ, the Son of God, becomes our mind. 2. Also another thing: There is a similarity and a likeness in the matter of behavior. Matthew 5:44-48 Christ teaching on the Sermon on the Mount. 3. We are to behave as Sons of God. “Let our light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” There are a few implications in the term son of God wouldn‟t you say. The term covers our relationship with the Father. It covers our being, or existence or activity, our outlook on life, our understanding, or conduct and our behavior. The blessings of SONSHIPS: 1. We are objects of God‟s peculiar love: John 17:23 2. We are objects His Fatherly care: Luke 12:27-32 3. We have the family name: Ephesians 3:14; I John 3:1. 4. We have the family likeness: Romans 8:29 5. We have a family love: John 13:35; I John 3:14 6. We have a feeling of relationship toward the Father, Son and the Spirit: Romans 8:15 7. We have a family service: John 14:23; 15:8. 8. We receive fatherly chastisement: Hebrews 12:5-12 9. We receive fatherly comfort: 2 Corinthians 1;4 10. We gain an inheritance: Romans 8:17; I Peter 1:3-5Material in this document: (footnotes) 1. ADOPTION IN ANCIENT ROMEvi 2. The Spirit of Adoption (Exposition of Romans 8:12-17)vii 3. The Children of Godviii 4. An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 5. DOCTRINE OF ADOPTION FIRST i I just finished my study of Dr. Sinclair Fergusons "Children of the Living God", which is a treatise on the Doctrine of Adoption. I was drawn to this study because Dr. Wayne Grudem, in his "Systematic Theology", stated that: "the Doctrine of Adoption just may be the single greatest blessing, even above forgiveness of sins!"
  11. 11. This didnt make sense to me. How could anything be more important than the forgiveness of sins? I decided that if this were the case, then I had better park the bus and rest awhile in this doctrine. What I have found is a completely new, and very precious self-image. The above photograph presents a fairly good visual of the whole of the doctrine. From Dr. Sinclair Ferguson: "The conviction behind this book is that realizing what John was speaking about is life- transforming. It lies at the heart of understanding the whole of the Christian life and all of the diverse elements in our daily experience. It is the way - not the only way, but the fundamental way - for the Christian to think about himself or herself. Our self-image, if it is to be biblical, will begin just here. God is my Father (the Christians self-image always begins with the knowledge of God and who he is!); I am one of his children (I know my identity); his people are my brothers and sisters (I recognize the family to which I belong, and have discovered my deepest roots)." From Dr. J.I. Packer: "You sum up the whole of the New Testament teaching in a single phrase, if you speak of it as a revelation of the Fatherhood of the holy Creator. In the same way, you sum up the whole of New Testament religion if you describe it as the knowledge of God as ones holy Father. If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being Gods child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all." These are both powerful statements for Christians to hear and understand. If you boil the whole of the Bibles teachings down to one thing, that one thing is that God desires to have a relationship, with each of us, as "sons". He started that way in the Garden of Eden, and the whole of the Bible tells of his past, present, and future plans to restore us into sonship. Dr. Wayne Grudem, as I see it, was right. This doctrine is a more precious blessing as compared to salvation, as difficult as that may seem. Salvation is the how, but Adoption is the why! ARTICLE The Spirit of Adoption (Exposition of Romans 8:12-17) The Holy Spirit, who is called the “Spirit of Adoption” is this passage, is prominent in Romans 8. In the first seven chapters of Romans the Holy Spirit has only been mentioned two or three times. In Romans 8 alone, the Holy Spirit is mentioned twenty times!
  12. 12. In this morning’s text the apostle Paul highlights four important functions of the “Spirit of Adoption” in our lives as Christians. The Spirit of adoption assists our sanctification, issues our sonship, assures our spirits and ensures our salvation. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (13) For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (15) 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. (16) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (17) 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. Romans 8:12-17I. The Spirit of Adoption Assists our Sanctification, vv. 12-14. This is accomplished as the Holy Spirit aids the believer in the putting to death of the deeds of the body. This was the focus of last week’s post. I won’t say much more about it today, but it is our responsibility as those alive in the Spirit to put to death the deeds of the body (v. 12). It is also evidence of our relationship with the Father (v. 14). To summarize, it is those who are led by the Spirit to put to death the deeds of the body who prove to be the Sons of God!II. The Spirit of Adoption Issues our Sonship, v. 15. The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of Adoption”. It is the Holy Spirit of God that makes us the sons of God. We have “received the Spirit of Adoption” as opposed to “the spirit of bondage again to fear”. We have not received the law again (an instrument of bondage and fear) but a relationship with a Father! In a parallel passage found in Galatians 4:1-7, Paul explains in more detail this process: Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness 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’re familiar with adoption today in which a couple unable to have children naturally may adopt a child as part of their family. That’s a wonderful picture, but there’s more to our adoption as sons of God than this. In the first century an adopted son was a son who was deliberately chosen by his adoptive father to continue his name and inherit his estate. He was not in the least way inferior in status to a natural born son. But our adoption is even better than that. In the first century an adoptive father could only give an adopted son his name and inheritance. But the Spirit of Adoption gives believers a new nature! And this new nature results in a heart-cry, “Abba, Father!” A lot has been made of the Aramaic term Abba being a more personal term than the Greek term Pater (translated “Father”). However, both these terms imply an intimate relationship with no discernable difference in meaning. I believe the real significance of the repetition of the Aramaic and Greek words
  13. 13. for Father is to show that both Jews and Gentiles are now able to approach God as their Father. This is why Paul can address this mixed group as brothers. He and the Roman Christians have the same Father! Remember how Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Our Father . . .” This has been called by some the sweet “Our” of prayer. We approach God together with our brothers and sisters in Christ! This was made possible by the death of Christ on the cross. After His work of redemption was complete following the resurrection, Jesus told Mary Magdalene to “go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” John 20:17III. The Spirit of Adoption Assures our Spirits, v. 16. of the universe!IV. The Spirit of Adoption Ensures our (Final) Salvation, v. 17. Just as Israel, the physical descendants of Abraham had an inheritance. We also as the spiritual descendants of Abraham have an inheritance! Abraham was promised a land and a people! We also have been promised a land (heaven) and we are called by the Apostle Peter a “holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9- 10). But what specifically is our inheritance in this text? Glorification - the final stage in our salvation. This is how the Spirit of adoption ensures our salvation. He guarantees the completion of our salvation, the redemption of our bodies! This inheritance is only for those who suffer. But I have good news for you (or bad depending on your perspective). All Christians are called to suffer! As Philippians 1:29 states “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” In other words all who have been given the gift of faith have also been given the gift of suffering. Therefore if you are a true believer in Christ you qualify for this inheritance of glory because you have suffered, are suffering or will suffer in this life. There is no glory without suffering. No crown without a cross. But one day we will see Him (Jesus) and be like Him! Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2 “It doth not yet appear what we shall be”! We may not look like much now, but it doth not yet appear what we shall be! A fuzzy caterpillar may not look like much now, but soon he will soar effortlessly through the sky on multi-colored wings. An acorn may not look like much now, but before too long it will grow into a mighty oak where birds may nest and animal and human life may find shade under its branches. You don’t look like much right now, but if you are a child of God through faith in Christ Jesus, you will soon be like Him! No, “it doth not yet appear what we shall be”! Likewise Paul says in Philippians 3:20-21, For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
  14. 14. This is our inheritance! A glorified resurrection body like that of our Savior’s! On that day, there will be no doubt that we are really brothers! Not because we came out of the same mother’s womb, but because we will all be conformed to the image of our elder brother, the Lord Jesus Christ! Pastor-Teacher John Farley Sunday, November 28, 2010THIRD ARTICLE: Spiritual Gifts part 55: The Doctrine of Adoption. 1. The believer is said to be born of God (John 1:13) and born of the Spirit (John 3:5,6,8). That is regeneration. 2. The Bible also says there is something called the adoption as sons. The believer is called God’s child and God’s son or daughter, ROM 8:23. Here in ROM 8:23 this adoption is something that we as born again believers are eagerly awaiting. 1. Adoption, closely related to regeneration, is nonetheless distinct from it and deserves its own separate treatment. 2. Biblical adoption is that grand design of God by which He confers or bestows upon us the status or the standing of adult sons and daughters. 3. This happens positionally at the moment of salvation when He recognizes us as an adult son or daughter permanently by His placement. 4. In regeneration we are born again and given the new nature. 5. In adoption we are declared to be God’s son or daughter, and God’s heir. We are introduced into and given the privileges that belong to members of God’s family. 6. What the Bible means by adoption is based on the Roman aristocratic function of adoption in the first century, and it is not the same as our twenty-first century practice. In an aristocratic Roman family, the first born male, the natural child, did not necessarily become the heir to the family fortune. In ancient Rome, being adopted was one of the most fortunate things that could ever happen to you. It meant more privilege, greater opportunity, and a new inheritance. Roman parents, particularly fathers, maintained strict discipline in the home. At age 14, if the boy was a weak individual, the father would pass by his own flesh and blood in favor of selecting another who was more qualified to be the heir of the family name and fortune.
  15. 15. The father had absolute power (patria potestas) over the members of his family. He could even take the life of a family member and it would not considered murder. Step1: the son had to be released from the control of his natural father. Step 2: since the natural father no longer had any authority over him, the adopter became the new father with absolute control over him. The purpose of this adoption was so that the adoptee could take the position of a natural son in order to continue the family line and maintain property ownership.1. Adoption meant recognition of the legitimate heir.2. Adoption meant to pass on the family fortune and family opportunities down to that person who was best qualified to be the legitimate mature heir of the family inheritance.3. The young man who was adopted became the heir of the family fortune, the family business, and the seat in the Senate.4. The saints chosen by God are predestined as adopted sons and daughters of God.5. We are also placed in permanent union with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. This qualifies us to be recognized by God as His adult sons and daughters.6. Biblical adoption shows up in connection with the moment of salvation, yet it also shows up in God’s thoughts in eternity past, and then again at the Rapture.7. Adoption is something that God started in eternity past, EPH 1:5. He made a decision concerning believers in Christ.8. This is election, God’s expression of His will for us, granting us His highest and best as members of the Body of Christ.9. This is predestination, God’s provision related to His will for us.10. God thought about us in eternity past, and decreed the fact that He would make us His adult sons and daughters one day.11. The three English words “adoption as sons” that appear in each instance are actually translating a single Greek word. υἱ οθεσί α huiothesia = the placing as a son, i.e. adoption huios = “son come of age” thesia = “a placing, or setting a person or thing in its place”. So the root meaning is “the placing of a son”. The Greek word huiothesia means to place a son in the home who would carry on the family business, the family estate. Therefore it meant recognition as an adult son.
  16. 16. ARTICLE DOCTRINE OF ADOPTION September, 1981 I. Greek vocabulary. A. The noun ui`oqesi,a, huiothesia, occurs 5X in the New Testament, Rom.8:15,23; 9:4; Gal.4:5; Eph.1:5. B. The noun is a compound meaning "placing as a son". C. In Rom.8:15, Paul uses the expression "a spirit of adoption" to show that we are not orphans, having received God the Holy Spirit by which we can pray to God the Father. "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, Abba! Father!"; cp. Jn.14:18; 15:26,27. D. In Rom.8:23, Paul uses the word in connection with our entrance into the full blessings of adopted status at the Rapture. "And not only this, but we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body." E. In Rom.9:4, the term is used for Israels adoption as the chosen people. "who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises." F. In Gal.4:5, the concept is used in connection with our redemption (Phase 1) from a condition as slaves to the requirements of the Law. "in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." G. In Eph.1:5, adoption is seen as part of the eternal decrees of God. "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will." II. Historical background. A. As related to the Old Testament. 1. It is said that adoption was not known to Hebrew law or custom. 2. Neither the noun nor the verb ui`oqete,w, huiotheteo, occurs in the LXX. 3. However, adoption is implied in Yahwehs relation to Israel, His "firstborn son", Ex.4:22; Hos.11:1. 4. This is established by Pauls own reference to "Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption", Rom.9:4. B. As seen in Greek and (especially) Roman law. 1. In Pauls day, it played an increasingly important part in Roman life. For example, from late in the first century to the mid second century AD and beyond, Roman emperors adopted men not related to them by blood with the intention that they should succeed them in the principate (i.e., office of Caesar). 2. Once adopted into the new family, the son was, in all legal respects, on a level with those born into that family. 3. If the son to be adopted was of age, he was adopted by his new father in the ceremony of adrogatio. 4. The Roman process of adoption required the presence of seven witnesses. 5. Their testimony was crucial if, after the adoptive fathers death, his "natural" heirs contested the validity of the adoption. The witnesses had to testify that a valid adoption had taken place in their presence. C. Roman law is the only source of reference for the theological background.
  17. 17. III. Theological background: A. All mankind has Satan as their spiritual parent, cf. Jn.8:41-44. B. All are spiritual slaves to the indwelling sinful trend of Adam (ISTA) and are under condemnation from birth. C. No member of the human race is a natural son of God by physical birth, except Jesus Christ, Jn.1:12,13; Lk.1:2633. D. God the Father predetermined from eternity past that certain ones would be His adopted sons and daughters, Eph.1:5. E. Jesus Christ, the natural Son, took an active role in the adoption of believers "to the adoption as sons through Jesus Christ". F. God the Holy Spirit is the agent of our adoption, Jn.3:5,6.IV. Adoption in relationship to God the Father: A. The Father decided to adopt certain ones (the few, Mt.7) from the human race based on something He saw in them, Eph.1:5. B. The decision was made in eternity past based on foreknowledge, Rom.8:29; 1Pet.1:1,2. C. The one thing that God required was positive volition at gospel hearing, which God eternally anticipated, cf. Isa.46:9,10. D. All that God foreknew and predestined He called and saved in time; not one will be left out, Jn.17:2.V. Adoption as related to Jesus Christ. A. Jesus Christ, born of a woman, is the natural Son of the Father. B. His perfect obedience in the incarnation qualifies Him as the heir of all things, Phil.2:8; Heb.1:2. C. As the natural son, He took an active part in the process that made the adoption of believers possible, Gal.4:5. D. The Sonship of Christ is unique. One of a kind, Jn.3:16-21.VI. Adoption as it relates to believers. A. The pre-salvation phase is taught by analogy in Gal.4:13. 1. Under Roman law, a son was considered by statute a minor (Greek nh,fioj, nephios, a "child" in the legal sense: one who has not come of age) until he completed his fourteenth year, during which time he was under a tutor nominated by his father in his will. Then, until he reached the age of twenty-five, he was under a curator. 2. The time at which the son came of age and became a free agent (namely, at the completion of fourteen years) was fixed by statute; yet, to the father, some discretion was reserved. 3. The time fixed by the father (Latin certum tempus) was specified in his will. 4. During these years, the son was under the constraints of appointed individuals (guardians and managers). 5. This represents the time before our salvation when we were under the ignorance and legalism of the cosmos, vs.3; 3:23,24. 6. Experientially, the heir apparent was no different than a slave during this period, even though he was the legal owner of all things. 7. In one sense, we were no different than negative unbelievers; yet in another, we were considered heirs of God even before we were sons, vs.1. 8. The inheritance (patrimony) was legally ours, yet we had no power to dispose of it (as in the case of the heir under Roman law). B. The salvation phase of our adoption is seen in Gal.4:47. 1. At just the right time God sent His "natural" Son into the world to redeem mankind from their former life under the law, v.4.
  18. 18. 2. Christ delivered us from the curse of this previous existence (Gal.3:13), so that we should receive our instatement as adopted sons and daughters, v.5. 3. By faith we become sons of God, Gal.3:26 "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." 4. Two sure tokens of our status as sons are the spontaneous, uncoerced invocation of God as "Abba! Father!", and the spontaneous, natural, unforced acknowledgement of Jesus as Lord, Rom.8:15; Gal.4:6; 1Cor.12:3. You cannot refrain from speaking about what you are enthusiastic toward. 5. Believers are now sons and daughters of God. They have been given their freedom and the power to use it responsibly. 6. As those who have come of age, believers are sons and heirs (as in Roman law), and are qualified to enter into the final investiture of their sonship, cp. Rom.8:16,17. C. The consummation of our adoption as sons and heirs of God: 1. The final investiture of the sons of God occurs in connection with the resurrection of the body, Rom.8:23. 2. Each believers share in the inheritance is according to the growth and application of each one, Rom.8:17. 3. Positive volition to the end of Phase 2 carries with it great reward, Heb.10:32-36. Reviewed: June 4, 1989 Reviewed: June 3, 1993 © Copyright 1998, Maranatha Church Inc.THE CHILDREN OF GODiv"Children of the Living God" by Sinclair B. FergusonFOURTH ARTICLE ANCIENT ROME, ADOPTION: Googled. In ancient Rome, adoption of boys was a fairly common procedure, particularly in the upper senatorial class. The need for a male heir and the expense of raising children were strong incentives to have at least one son, but not too many children. Adoption, the obvious solution, also served to cement ties between families, thus fostering and reinforcing alliances. In the Imperial period, the system also acted as a mechanism for ensuring a smooth succession, the emperor taking his chosen successor as his adopted son.Causes As Rome was ruled by a selected number of powerful families, every senators duty was to produce sons to inherit the estate, family name and political tradition. But a large family was an
  19. 19. expensive luxury. Daughters had to be provided with a suitable dowry and sons had to be pushed through the political offices of the cursus honorum. The higher the political status of a family, the higher was the cost. Due to this, Roman families restricted the number of children, avoiding more than three. The six children of Appius Claudius Pulcher (lived 1st century BC) were considered unusual. Sometimes, not having enough children proved to be a wrong choice. Infants could die and the lack of male births was always a risk. For families with too many sons and the ones with no boys at all, adoption was the only solution. Even the wealthy Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus did not hesitate in giving his two oldest boys up for adoption, one to the Cornelii Scipiones (Scipio Aemilianus, the winner of the Third Punic War) the other to Quintus Fabius Maximus Cunctator.Practice In Roman law, the power to give children in adoption was one of the recognised powers of the pater familias. The adopted boy would usually be the oldest, the one with proven health and abilities. Adoption was an expensive agreement for the childless family and quality had to be ensured. Adoption was agreed between families by the mother giving the person they wanted to adopt (for the most part) equal status, often political allies and/or with blood connections. A Plebeian adopted by a Patrician would become a patrician, and vice versa; however, at least in Republican times, this required the consent of the Senate (famously in the case of Publius Clodius Pulcher[1]). A sum of money was exchanged between the parties and the boy assumed the adoptive fathers name, plus a cognomen that indicated his original family (see Roman naming convention). Adoption was not secretive or considered shameful, nor was the adopted boy expected to cut ties to his original family. Like a marriage contract, adoption was a way to reinforce inter-family ties and political alliances. The adopted child was often in a privileged situation, enjoying both original and adoptive family connections. Almost every politically famous Roman family used it. Probably the most famous adopted man in Republican times was Augustus Caesar. Born as Gaius Octavius, he was adopted by his great-uncle Julius Caesar and acquired the name of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (hence his common name of Octavian). As in the case of Clodius, one could be adopted by a man younger than oneself; his sister Clodia is also one of the known examples of a Roman woman being adopted. Although not technically adoption, it was common for a dying man to leave guardianship of his children to another man, thus granting him the power of a paterfamilias over what were now effectively his foster children. Examples include the Dictator Sulla leaving his children in the care of Lucullus, and Mark Antonys children being left in Augustus care.Imperial succession In the Roman Empire, adoption was the most common way of acceding to the throne without use of force. The second emperor, Tiberius, was the adopted son of Augustus, beginning a general tradition that the Emperor would adopt a successor. During the Roman Empires first 200 years, this tradition was common with Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Lucius Verus all becoming Emperor through adoption.