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Catechism Class, Lord’s Day 13B Q33 – Adopted!


Catechism Class, Lord’s Day 13B Q33.

The Adoption of Sons

Read Romans 8:14-17

The catechist asks, Why is He called God’s “only begotten Son,” since we also are the children of God? A: Because Christ alone is the eternal, natural Son of God, but we are children of God by adoption, through grace, for His sake.  So:- 

What do we mean by Adoption?  To be an adopted child is very special indeed! In our case, as Christians, God chose us when we were totally unlovable, when we didn’t deserve his love, and paid a huge price in order to bring us into his kingdom, he gave his own, natural Son for us!  And he didn’t make us second class family members either.  1 John 3:1   We are SONS.  In the ancient world that was so important.  A son carries the right of inheritance. John 1:12  Romans 8:17 As believers, our status in Christ that we are all sons of God – even the women!  The catechist has two important points to reinforce…

  • How does God adopt us? Through grace! We do not deserve to be in God’s family and we cannot earn it. We are adopted by Grace alone!  we are children of God by adoption, through grace, for His sake
  • What is His motive in doing so? For His Son’s sake.  Romans 8:15 Ephesians 1:4-6  

When a baby is adopted into a family, the family influences that child’s life.  The child will have a new family name, will learn mannerisms and speech from the new family, will grow up with the dialect and accent of the family, the family and the parents especially will have a major influence on the child, and onlookers will be able to see this family influence.  So it is with the believer.  The New Birth gives us a new family, and it won’t be long before the marks of the family start to show.  Our new spiritual family will change how we relate to others, how we relate to the Lord, and even how we view ourselves

1. How We Relate to Others – The Leading of the Spirit. 

Romans 8:14  Men and women in the street cannot see by the look of us that we are sons in the family of God.  But they can see evidence of our OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WORD! They can see our relationship to the commandments of God! Now it must be said, as strongly as possible, that the Holy Spirit never leads us to do contrary to the Word of God, for the Word of God is the Mind of God, and thus the mind of the Spirit! To break the clear teaching of Scripture for any reason is SIN. For example, to blaspheme the Lord is sin! To dishonour the Lord’s Day is sin.  Immorality is sin!  Telling Lies is sin! Failure to separate from the world and from false worship is sin, not respecting your parents is sin  How do I know all this? Read the 10 commandments for a good summary of what God requires from us as standards, and then prayerfully weigh your life up against God’s Word.  Matthew 5:16. The Spirit-Led man will be a marked man!  Psalm 37:37 

2. How We Relate to Our Heavenly Father.- The Cry of the Spirit.  

Romans 8:15. Here is the proof of our Sonship, Godwards!  We have received the spirit of adoption! We are placed as sons within God’s family! It is a work of God’s spirit, for the Spirit of Adoption is none other than the Holy Spirit of God! It is His work, to bring us into the family of God! Like salvation, this adoption is both present and future. We are adopted now, and we shall be adopted in the future at the Resurrection. Paul says, And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:23 

The Bible says we have not received the Spirit of Fear. The Spirit of Adoption, the Holy Spirit, drives away all fear by replacing the fearful and terrible sense of our orphanhood with the comforting reality of God’s fatherhood!  There is an interesting interpretation of John 14:18.  Literally translated, the verse would read, “I will not leave you as orphans – And of course then Christ goes on to promise that He will send the Holy Spirit — now described by Paul as ‘the Spirit of Adoption.’ This is the work of the Holy Spirit at conversion. 

We cry, Abba, Father! This cry of the Christian is the Godward proof of our adoption. We are his, because we relate to Him as our Father!  Galatians 4:6. The Holy Spirit is dwelling within the believer, and He relates to the Father, and so will we! The word ‘Abba’ is a term of endearment, and it is wonderful to know that we can come to our heavenly Father as a child would to his own father! 

3. How We Think About Ourselves – The Witness of the Spirit. 

Romans 8:16  This is the mark of the adopted believer, by which he himself knows that he is saved and certain of heaven.    There is what might call inside information, regarding the fact of our personal salvation! Note   It is not a physical witness, and nor is it an emotional witness!  It is not a natural witness. It is not something that we have by nature of our birth, it is something that we get when we come to Christ and are joined together to him. 

So, the Lord has removed from us the spirit of fear,  given us His Holy Spirit, whose task it is to bring us into the family of God, led and guide us through life, and give us reassurance that we belong to Him. We are now spiritual people.   So Paul says. “We walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” To be carnally minded is death… to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”   

We are the Children of God, not by natural birth, but because God in his mercy and grace, has adopted us into his family.  We KNOW that we belong there.  We bear a family resemblance, outwardly, upwardly and inwardly!

© Bob McEvoy, Sept 2021

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