Note: the “parts” to this message are not based on logical breaks in the notes below. The message is broken up into sections (parts) based on the amount of time I had to teach for each segment. So it one part may end and another start at an odd place in the outline.
Because of where we are.
- In God’s family (Ga. 3:26; 1 Jn. 3:2 “ Beloved, now we are children of God;”).
- Brought near (Ep. 2:13).
- Translated into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13).
- In the heavenlies with Christ (Ep. 2:5-6).
- Ephesians 2:5–10 (NKJV) 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
- AT LEAST WE HOPE SO – IF – WE LIVE A LIFE GOOD ENOUGH NOT TO LOSE OUR SALVATION… doesn’t make sense that way does it?
- Can we be saved (all sins forgiven, justified) BY GRACE, a gift from God, then lose that salvation by committing sins that have already been forgiven, by violating the Law we are no long bound by????
If GRACE covers all my sin past present and future, how can a “future” sin cause me to lose my salvation when its already been covered by grace?
- Is grace not enough? Was Jesus atonement not complete? Was it only for my sins “up to now” and “maybe later if I something (or don’t do something)”?
- Was Paul wrong? Does GRACE NOT ABOUND where sin abounds?
- What sin can I commit that GRACE did not cover at the time of my salvation?
- Is there subsequent grace, progressive grace, installments of grace?
- What sins, how many, when, for how long will not be covered by grace and my salvation be lost?
- Can YOU do something to nullify God’s GRACE once applied to you?
- Multiple regenerations? Multiple salvations, justifications, imputations?
Because of what we have starting at the moment of salvation.
- We have… Eternal life (Jn. 3:16).
- We have… Peace with God (Ro. 5:1).
- What the opposite of peace? War. God was at war with you before you were saved. He wanted you dead (eternal condemnation) and defeated because you rejected Him and His son
- But now you are at peace NOT BECAUSE OF YOU OR ANYTHING YOU CAN DO BUT BECAUSE JESUS MADE PEACE WITH ON YOUR BEHALF
- Can you UNDO that peace that JESUS made with God by anything YOU can do? You didn’t make the peace to start with, you can affect that peace now.
- We have… An Intercessor (Ro. 8:34); Advocate with the Father (1 Jn. 2:1-2)
- Jesus our Lawyer – defending us when we sin and are accused
- Is Jesus not a good enough defender to defend ALL sin we commit?
- We have… All spiritual blessings (Ep. 1:3).
- We have… Forgiveness of sins (Ep. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 2:13).
- Colossians 1:13–14 (NKJV) 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
- Forgiveness of all sin, not potential forgiveness based on a maintenance plan
- We have… Sealing of the Holy Spirit (Ep. 1:12-14).
- Sealed and guaranteed…
- We have no ability to seal or guarantee ourselves to start with, can we UNDO God’s seal and guarantee?
- Or is God’s seal and guarantee in all way beyond our about to do or undo?
- We have… Access to God (Ep. 2:18).
- We have… Everlasting consolation (2 Th. 2:16).
- 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 (NKJV) 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
- Not much comfort if we know that our “everlasting consolation and good hope” can be lost if we happen to commit one too many sins
- We have… Eternal glory (2 Ti. 2:10).
- We have… Eternal redemption (He. 9:12).
- We have… Mercy (1 Pe. 2:10).
- 1 Peter 2:9–10 (NKJV) 9 But you a
re a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
- Mercy? What is mercy? The forgiveness we don’t deserve… where does mercy end AFTER we have been saved? When do we no longer get mercy anymore?
- 1 Peter 2:9–10 (NKJV) 9 But you a
Because of what is past, no longer true about us from the moment of salvation.
- Condemnation (Jn. 5:24).
- John 5:24 (NKJV) 24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
- Do we continue to pass back and forth from life to death over and over, and hopefully when we die we are currently in the “life” part?
- The law of sin and death (Ro. 8:2).
- Romans 8:2 (NKJV) 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
- From from WHAT? The law of SIN and death.
- Until when? We sin one too many times and then we revert back to the slavery of sin?
- Death and wrath (Col. 3:3; Ro. 6:11; 1 Th. 5:9).
- 1 Thessalonians 5:9–11 (NKJV) 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
- Not very comforting if you add “but be careful you because might lose the salvation obtained by Christ”… How? Can’t say for sure, but it could happen
- Not very comforting or edifying without the assurance that our “obtained salvation through Christ” is eternally secure BECAUSE OF WHAT JESUS DID NOT BECAUSE OF MY ABILITY TO MAINTAIN AND HOLD ON TO MY SALVATION
Because of what God promises about salvation.
- Never perish (Jn. 10:27-28).
- Shall never die (Jn. 11:26).
- The glory of God (Ro. 5:2).
- It’s about God, not about us being able to “maintain” our salvation
- Shall be saved from wrath (Ro. 5:9).
- Saved from wrath, not POTENTIALLY saved from wrath
- Glorious liberty of the children of God (Ro. 8:21).
- Redemption of the body (Ro. 8:23-24; Ph. 3:21).
- Predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ (Ro. 8:28-29).
- Cannot be separated from God’s love (Ro. 8:31-39).
- God shall confirm you unto the end (1 Co. 1:8).
- 1 Corinthians 1:4–9 (NKJV) 4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
- POTENTIALLY… if you don’t lose your salvation because of something you do
- Just kind of loses its meaning doesn’t it?
- He that hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Ph. 1:6).
- Shall appear with Christ in glory (Col. 3:3-4).
- Delivered from the wrath to come (1 Th. 1:10).
- Not appointed to wrath but to salvation (1 Th. 5:9).
- Eternal inheritance (He. 9:15).
- Incorruptible inheritance (1 Pe. 1:4).
Listen to this list uninterrupted. Every point directly from a Bible passage:
Because of the terms used to describe salvation.
- “eternal life”
- “full assurance”
- “strong consolation”
- “hope … sure and steadfast”
Because of what we are.
- Justified: Paid in full, account satisfied
- Reconciled: God is no longer AT WAR with us our enemy
- Risen with Christ
- We have a new eternal spirit…
- A child of God forever
- Sanctified in Christ
- Made holy in Christ
- New creation
- Accepted in the beloved
- Made fit for Heaven
- Complete in Him
- Citizens of Heaven
- Children of light
- Born again
- Sanctified once for all
- Perfected forever
- Passed from death unto life
Because of where we are.
- In God’s family
- Brought near
- Translated into the kingdom of His dear Son
- In the heavenlies with Christ
- We have… Eternal life
- We have… Peace with God
- We have… An Intercessor Advocate with the Father
- We have… All spiritual blessings
- We have… Forgiveness of sins
- We have… been sealed and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit
- We have… Access to God
- We have… Everlasting consolation
- We have… Eternal glory
- We have… Eternal redemption
- We have… Mercy
- We have… no more Condemnation
Because of what God promises about salvation.
- Never perish
- Shall never die
- The glory of God
- Shall be saved from wrath
- Glorious liberty of the children of God
- Redemption of the body
- Predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ
- Cannot be separated from God’s love
- God shall confirm you unto the end
- Shall appear with Christ in glory
- Delivered from the wrath to come
- Not appointed to wrath but to salvation
- Eternal inheritance
VERSE AFTER VERSE AFTER VERSE THAT STATES “THE FACTS” ABOUT THOSE WHO ARE SAVED WITH NEVER A CONDITION OF “IF YOU DON’T DO SOMETHING TO MESS IT UP” OR “ASSUMING YOU DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO KEEP YOURSELF SAVED”.
Galatians 4:4–7 (NKJV) 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
We are adopted into God’s family.
- Adoption is to take a child or minor into a new family legally
- It is primarily the process by which we either give a child a new family, or a family a new child.
- When you adopt someone into a family they become partakers of the full blessings, privileges and inheritance of that family
- But…. You can UNadopt someone right? An adopted child can renounce that adoption as an adult, right?
- In the same way, you can lose you salvation by renouncing your adoption in Christ, right?
When Paul wrote Galatians and used this adoption example, he did not have to define and explain adoption. The original readers of the letter would have been 100% clear and educated on what this “adoption” was because it was very open, very common and very well known in that day.
- Paul is the only one who uses the word “adoption” in the New Testament (Romans, f Ephesians, Galatians)
- A compound Greek word: huios, “son”; tithmi, “to place.”; “to place someone as a son.”
- In that day girls were rarely adopted so Paul by “matter of fact” speaks of “sons”
- There is no set of laws in the Old Testament with regard to adoption.
- Jews adopted for two reasons: because they were childless, and when parents were in old age and needed someone to care for them they would adopt someone who could be a kind of caretaker.
Paul is not talking about that. He’s talking to Gentiles in the Greco-Roman world.
- In the ancient Roman world they did not adopt children.
- They adopted adults, and they adopted male adults – almost always an adult male twenty years of age and up, even into the thirties.
- They were adopted into wealthy families, families of status, families with an estate, families of prominence, and virtually all those kinds of families did adoptions.
Even if they had children, even if they had sons, they would adopt. If they had no sons, obviously they would adopt in order to have an heir. But if they had sons that they didn’t think were suited for the future of the family, they would adopt another son.
- Roman law: patria potestas, “the father’s power.”: a father could disown a born child or sell a son for adoption. He could also kill a son for whatever reason he wanted.
The father had absolute power over his children. If he had no sons or if he had sons that he didn’t want to become the heirs of his estate, he would adopt.
- They were chosen, not as babies but as 20-30 yr olds, because many babies didn’t survive childhood.
- You didn’t know what kind of a young man this baby would become so you would not adopt babies like we do
- So they waited to see their leadership potential, their mental skills, their physical strength, their wisdom; someone who would be the next patria familias, “father of the family.”
- The purpose was to bring an heir into the family who was worthy of this estate and could guarantee the future of that estate going forward.
In Roman times, the head of the family was both a manager of the family’s estate – a bookkeeper and a financial caretaker for the family’s fortune, and a priest, who basically ran the family religion.
- So when they adopted young men they were looking for an heir who could step into that role – very, very important: be the keeper of the family’s fortune and the keeper of the family’s reputation in the future.
- Less noble parents who had such desirable sons would gladly make those sons available to a noble family for a price which could be very high.
- It was an honor, not a dishonor. It was an honorable act to give your son to one of the patrician families, one of the families of the senators, the people who were elite.
These adoptions were not quite family ceremonies and personal business that was kept private like today.
- It was very public. It was very official.
- It was so official that at a high level it required senate confirmation, senate confirmation.
- It involved many wealthy families with estates and reputations. Many of them senators and emperors (9).
It was a long drawn out, very official, very formal ceremony, like a wedding. It was that public. It was that kind of celebration.
- The adopted son continued to be connected to the family that was their birth family.
- It was not a complete forsaking of your family, so that the family in the future would in some ways be able to enjoy something of the success of the adopted son as they stayed connected in some way with him.
- However, he would take the new father’s name, and he would bear that name for the rest of his life.
- He would get all of the rights and privileges of that family.
- He would be the heir of everything that family possessed, and he would bear the name of his new father.
- Roman adoption definition: “The condition of a son, chosen and given to a father and family to which he doesn’t naturally belong, to formally and legally declare a son who is not a son by birth, but a son by choice, granting him complete rights and inheritance.”
Four Adoption Results:
There were four things now true about this adoption and listen to the similarities about what is true for the New Believer in Jesus… exactly the reason why Paul uses this example:
- You had a new father.
- You were heir to his estate, the primary reason for this adoption.
- All the adopted son’s previous debts and responsibility were wiped out.
- He is now legally and absolutely the son and heir of his new father, and there is no past life to take into account.
- He would have to be purchased with a high price, which is one of the reasons that poor families would make this overture of a son that was desired by a wealthy family.
There were seven witnesses of the adoption:
- To establish the legality of it and testimony to
it, in case in the future other children of that wealthy family would contest
to that adoption and drag it into court.
- Galatians 4:6 (NKJV) 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
- The Holy Spirit is the witness that we are the sons of God.
- Isaiah 11:2 tells us of the 7 fold nature of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
- Seven is the perfect number of completeness and often used to symbolize perfection
- The fullness of the sevenfold Spirit is God’s witness to the legality of our adoption that can never be contested, because of the witness of the Holy Spirit.
Roman law said, “A man cannot disown an adopted son,”. So once you were adopted, it was permanent. Another clear statement by Paul about eternal security. He knew this was true of his analogy, and its exactly the idea he knew the readers of his letter in that day would walk away with.
- The adopted son is more secure in his inheritance than a born son. A born son could be disowned, sold, adopted out, or even killed.
When God adopts us into His family:
- We come from an impoverished family, with no future, no hope of ever achieving what that new family possesses.
- We are chosen then purchased.
- We are then given the name of the new family.
- We then become heirs of everything that that father possesses; and that can never change.
When you understand “adoption” in historical context it totally changes this simplistic idea of we were “poor lost children with no hope that God adopted into His family” leaving the door open to that adoption being undone or rejected possibly in the future.
With that in mind how much deeper and richer is Paul in Romans:
Romans 8:16; 22–23 (NKJV) 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
Adoption in Scripture is not the kind of compassionate, sympathetic, welfare, good work, “giving a child a home” or “give the childless parents a family” type of thing it is today.
- Adoption was for the purpose of inheritance.
- Adoption as sons in that Roman context is for the privilege, the right to have an everlasting inheritance that was permanent, complete and irrevocable
- This is exactly the message that Paul now conveys in Galatians about our adoption by God and inheritance in Christ
To be continued next week…