Adopted by God, a 3 point sermon from Galatians 4
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 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 4:1-7
We are by nature the enemies of God. Ever since the Garden of Eden, humanity has been prone to do the opposite of whatever it is God wants us to do. Jesus describes us in John 8 as being slaves of sin. It is easily witnessed throughout the history of God’s people in the Old Testament, the struggles of Paul with his own sin nature, and for that mature the course of all history. While in a general sense we are all belong to God, our natural state is like that of the prodigal son. God is watching and waiting for us to come down the road where he will welcome us with open arms.
Christ loved us while we were yet sinners. Or to put it in the language of Galatians 4, God sent forth his Son. While we were still his enemies (If you’re not for us you’re against us) God sent his own Son, his only Son, in order to redeem us. Jesus loves the Father and does the will of the Father, even though that meant his own sacrifice. Consider the sacrifice of Isaac. As he and Abraham went up the mountain, he noticed they had the wood and fire but did not take with them a lamb. Abraham said God would provide himself a lamb. On that day God provided a literal sacrifice, but Abraham could not imagine the full implication of his prophetic words. God later provided, as was his plan all along, the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. Phillipians 2 describes Jesus as not just taking the form of a servant, but being obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross.
God sent forth his son… so that we might receive adoption. Think about what happens during an adoption. A child for one reason or another needs a new family. Perhaps he or she has been orphaned. In some cases one or both parents are unfit to raise a child, maybe the child was even an “accident.” In any case a child that needs a new home is taken in by a compassionate family and actually becomes a son or daughter. Jesus goes as far in John 8 as to tell the Pharisees he is debating that their father is the devil. We are slaves to sin, the enemies of God, and yet Christ died to bring us into his family. We are adopted by God, who loved us when we were un-lovable. Jesus thus becomes the first born of a large family, and we are join heirs of all his inheritance.