Faithlife Sermons

Reclaimed

Sacred Pause  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Despite promises of unconditional acceptance and the wonderful life that goes with it, we live as orphans under prison like systems and teachers in an attempt to prove ourselves over and over worthy of love and all the richness that comes with it. Jesus is the promise kept and reclaims us, adopts us, shows us our Father and the life that is now ours.

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Introduction

Just joining in, say hello
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What needs to be displaced
In our communities?

Competing

Growing up, one brother. Two boys. Loved sports. Loved to compete, chased the prize promised for the winners.
Most everything was a competition. Even if there wasn’t a prize, we made up imaginary ones.
Every day at least during the summer and on weekends in the fall and spring when the weather permitted, we were competing at something often in ways we weren’t really allowed to.
Like play baseball with a real baseball. Hit the ball up the middle - of his mouth.
Doesn’t seem to just be sports that breeds competition and the desire for a prize. Marketplace: merit based bonuses. Driving: I got to the intersection or in the roundabout first.
We seem to be born with it.
When we would compliment one of our kids for doing something - didn’t have to be done well - he or she would look at the others and say: I’m their favorite. they love me more. Today: I’m the favorite, right?
No one wants to try hard and lose. Work hard and not be recognized, favored. Get nothing.
Sometimes take bad risks that end badly.
It’s great to be the favorite. The favorite gets things.
Special treatment
Extra
Privileges
Loved, accepted more.
The human heart wants nothing more than to escape the prison of a life of constantly trying to prove we are worthy to be their favorite and be given what is ultimately promised by those things: the freedom of knowing their love, acceptance and all the richness that goes with it.
The bible calls this being redeemed or reclaimed.
To buy away from something
Reclaimed wood
Our reclaimed windows
People in bible times understood this as buying back slaves in order to give them their freedom.

Release

Release

Galatians
Galatians 4:1–7 ESV
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.

The Promise (previous section)

Until Then: A Guardian

System of law (guidelines) and people who taught them
To know what wrong is (sin)
Like a prison

Guardian Will No Longer Be Needed

The Father Sets the Release Date

father’s legal right to fix the day when his heir would ‘come of age’, for the purpose of inheriting the father’s property. For Paul, this is connected with the concept of plērōma tou chronou, ‘the time had fully come’, found in verse 4. To Paul, this moment is when, in the plan of God, all mankind attains its majority in the coming of Christ.
Coming of age: Ready or Not? Rites of passage and responsibility taking. Used to have those.

Child Is Not Old Enough to Do all the Father Wants

Calling out of the boys - survive and you’re an adult with freedoms and responsibilities.
Driving a car -jump in responsibility.
Parents sometimes buy a car and it sits in the driveway. You’re not ready.

The Father’s Promise (previous section; inheritance) Belongs to the Child But the Child Isn’t Ready for it

Driving a car -

Things of God, what he promises are a BIG Responsibility

Biblical time while culturally, there was a set right of passage age, the father (head of household) determined when it was time to turn over the keys to the car, the house, the family business, the property.
The Father (head of household) set the date when his heir was ready to take on the responsibility of owning his property (inheritance).
Dad: I’ll let you know when you’re ready for it

Until Then: A Guardian

The Torah and Those who taught it were the guardians

System of law (guidelines) and people who taught them
System of law (guidelines) and people who taught them
To know what wrong is (sin)
Like a prison
What it became - competition
Who’s the best teacher?
Who’s more deserving
Arguing over who gets what; who's more deserving, etc.
The law - system of self-justification, self-promotion and the consequences that go with it.
Like a prison
In the background is the promise: I will come get you at the coming of age (when the time comes) to take your place in God's kingdom in the coming of Christ.

Once Under Their Authority, But in Christ, no longer

In the background is the promise: I will come get you at the coming of age (when the time comes) to take your place in God's kingdom in the coming of Christ.

The Time has come (coming of age - verse 4)

The Father (head of household) set the date when his heir was ready to take on the responsibility of owning his property (inheritance).
Coming of age
Paul: Humanity is ready to take on the responsibility of of what is promised
: The Kingdom is here
It was the Father’s legal right to fix the day when his heir would ‘come of age’, for the purpose of inheriting the father’s property. ‘the time had fully come’, found in verse 4. To Paul, this moment is when, in the plan of God, all mankind attains its majority in the coming of Christ.
Our inheritance
What belongs to us but not yet ours: God’s kingdom, the Gospel, freedom to experience what it means to be fully loved, accepted and to take on responsibility for the Father’s business of reclaiming the rest of us.

God’s Plan: set the time when we are ready to receive what he promised (inheritance/kingdom): the coming of Christ

Jesus: born in same condition (guardianship) to reclaim those also in that condition
Friends who have adopted
Desire for male offspring to give property.
- all things will unite in him - no more need to compete
Dead to the family from which you came.

Basic things we used to do to be loved, worthless

Dead to the family from which you came.
When Christ comes into our lives, were are reclaimed/redeemed from:
What deprived us of God’s favor, inheritance, privileges (sin)
And a system and its managers of trying to compete and prove ourselves and the pitfalls that go with it.
Dead to it.

- all things will unite in him - no more need to compete

Jesus’ Mission

New Status as God’s children with full rights
Born into the same conditions (guardianship)
Freedom.
To reclaim those also in the condition
Freedom can be scary. May want to go back to what we know even though it's worse (Israel and Egypt).

Adoption

Dead to the family from which you came.
When Christ comes into our lives, were are reclaimed/redeemed from:
What deprived us of God’s favor, inheritance, privileges (sin)
And a system and its managers of trying to compete and prove ourselves and the pitfalls that go with it.
We are Reclaimed/Redeemed from a system and its managers of trying to compete and prove ourselves and the pitfalls that go with it.
Dead to it.

New Status as God’s children with full rights

Freedom.
Freedom can be scary. May want to go back to what we know even though it's worse (Israel and Egypt).

Spirit Tells us: There’s Your Father and you belong to him

Adjusting to life after prison - freedom is not easy.
The spirit enables us to recognize and call God Father. Reminds us that those willing to follow him (suffer), are heirs to his kingdom.
Isn't attaching ourselves to a particular guardian: system of beliefs; a particular speaker or teacher that guarantees God will love us, receive us, keep his promise to us.
It is in attaching ourselves to Christ. When we do that, the Father says: you are now mine (adopted).
You are my favorite
Reclaimed to belong.
I accept you
I love you
Here are your privileges and responsibilities to participate in his Kingdom
We may say: Wait, what? And his spirit says, Look, there is your Father. You belong to him as his maturing child. He says, you are ready for all that is his. Right now.
Belonging to Christ - the promise of everything you’ve ever heard that belongs to him is yours right now, right here.
Eternal love
Eternal acceptance
Eternal life
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