To be loved and cared for …
Our pastor recently finished a sermon series on Romans. In Romans, Paul exhorts us to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice and to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. To build on that concept, our pastor is following up with a short series on transformation.
Today, the focus was on the motivation for change. Why should I live as a true daughter of the King? What motivates me to submit myself as a living sacrifice? The motivation is both simple and complex … it’s because of the great love the Father has lavished on me that I should be called the child of God! Justification, forgiveness, a clean slate, a future in heaven … those are amazing gifts. But God didn’t stop there. He didn’t just cleanse me of my sin! He adopted me into his family. He bought me at great cost, giving me his name, making me his daughter.
J.I.Packer, theologian, says it this way, “Adoption is the highest privilege that the gospel offers: higher even than justification … . That justification – by which we mean God’s forgiveness of the past together with his acceptance for the future – is the primary and fundamental blessing of the gospel is not in question. Justification is the primary blessing, because it meets our primary spiritual need. We all stand by nature under God’s judgment; his law condemns us; guilt gnaws at us, making us restless, miserable and in our lucid moments afraid; we have no peace in ourselves because we have no peace with our Maker. So we need the forgiveness of our sins, and assurance of a restored relationship with God, more than we need anything else in the world; and this the gospel offers before it offers us anything else…But this is not to say that justification is the highest blessing of the gospel. Adoption is higher, because of the richer relationship with God that it involves….Adoption is a family idea, conceived in terms of love, and viewing God as father. In adoption, God takes us into his family and fellowship – he establishes us as his children and heirs. Closeness, affection and generosity are at the heart of the relationship. To be right with God the judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is greater.”
The Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 4, verses 4 – 7: “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.”
An old hymn says it this way,
I once was an outcast stranger on earth,
A sinner by choice, an alien by birth,
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown.
I’m a child of the King, A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior, I’m a child of the King.