January 4, 2024
- By Ed Powell
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"For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Romans 8:15
Many Christians believe that when they trust Christ as their Savior, God's work in their life is complete. Our reconciliation to God and our salvation are complete, but our spiritual journey, our walk and warfare, and our life as a follower of Christ have just begun! Paul challenges the Christians to "grow in grace," to "walk worthy of the Lord," and to study to show themselves approved unto God, workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.
There is much to be done so that we may be strong, steadfast, and mature in our spiritual life. Paul says, "You were once darkness." The word "darkness" in the Scriptures implies sin, misery, ignorance, unsaved, the mind of the unbeliever. He is blind to the things of God, which must be "spiritually discerned." He has no concept of God as holy, just, and righteous. He does not know that his heart is totally alienated from God because of his sin. He has no sense of his need for salvation because of the blindness of his heart. Unsaved men not only are in darkness, but also are darkness itself.
Then Paul says "they are now light in the Lord." What happened? "They turned from darkness unto light, from the power of Satan unto God, the eyes of their understanding being enlightened." They have been adopted into the family of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. As children of our parents, we are the result of the natural process of reproduction. But one who is adopted is brought into a family wholly by grace. He shares all the privileges and benefits of the family and is made an heir to the father's wealth. Notice, it was not because he desired to be a member of the family, not because he merited adoption, not because he could obtain such a relationship, but because he has been adopted into the family ALL BY GRACE! The father did everything necessary to make him a full member of the family. The father accepted him AS HIS VERY OWN! What a beautiful picture of our adoption into the family of God, who has given us a seat at His table.
This thought was brought home strikingly to me several years ago when I was one of 25 selected guests for a dinner honoring the retirement of Mr. Charles Haviland, heir and CEO of the Haviland China Co. It was elegant and classy to the utmost. One prominent couple from France, Mr. and Mrs. Rothschild, members of one of the wealthiest families in the world, were close friends of Mr. Haviland. Seats were assigned, and I was seated next to Mrs. Rothschild--next to wealthy French royalty! She was a beautiful, charming, and gracious lady, friendly and engaging in conversation. I felt very honored and somewhat in awe to be given such a privileged seat.
Then I thought, ONE DAY I'll be seated at the FATHER'S TABLE, next to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, because I have been adopted into the family of God! I am one of His very own! Through adoption, I am an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ! All by His grace! The Father did everything necessary to adopt me and to accept me "in the Beloved."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2024-01-04
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