Sunday, August 15, 2010
Our Sovereign Adopting Father.
One of the most comforting teachings in scripture is that of the adoption of sinners by our Heavenly Father. Adoption is the closest relationship one can have with a parent apart from being begotten. We see in Romans 8:15 as adopted children of God we call out to God as Abba! Father! This is again repeated in Galatians 4:6. This is the same terminology by which our Lord Jesus called out to him just prior to his crucifixion.
Mark 14:36And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” ESV
Wow! We have the privilege to address the Creator of all things in the same manner as his only Begotten Son addressed him. No other religion has its adherence as adopted children. The best analogy we can use to describe relations with God in all other religions is the follower as employee or slave and God as Employer or slave owner. We are members indeed of the family of God and no longer a slave, employee or servant to God. Jesus calls us friends, brothers and adopted children of God
Galatians 3:23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. ESV
We receive this adoption by faith in the waters of baptism. Not the secret baptism so many in evangelicalism teach. This unknown baptism delivers nothing to no one to which one can look for assurance that he or she is loved by God. There is only one baptism taught in scripture and that is the one where water is going on in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Sprit. That is the essence of adoption is to have a new name placed on you. A sinner brought into the loving relationship of the Holy Trinity! Why do so many reject this in favor of the unknown? Perhaps that it is too fantastic for the human brain to contemplate. Part of our fallen nature is to assume that if one cannot measure or totally understand something it cannot be true. That leaves a person in a horrible state for nothing makes sense to us in the Gospel. In the entirety of God’s word nothing about him makes any sense due to it being outside our experience.
Or do you not know, St Paul writes to us in his epistle to the Roman church, that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? In baptism we are plunged into the death of elder brother Jesus. Somehow, which we cannot understand, Jesus has instituted baptism for the purpose of transferring the fruit of his cross to us. We cannot return to the cross for it occurred nearly two thousand years ago. Jesus gave us this gift to know we have the forgiveness of sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit in a tangible way. This is evidence of actually being the temple of God. We are the temple of God even though we may not feel like it or look like it. We don’t have to search our works or our level of trust but rather believe this good news and live in the peace that it offers.
The law says, "Do this," and it is never done. Grace says, "believe in this," and everything is already done.*
In the Name of Jesus. Amen †
*The Heidelberg Disputation of Martin Luther, May 1518