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Adopted in Love (Eph. 1:5-6)

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  39:30
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Introduction

· Close your eyes for a moment and imagine not being able to see anything. This is what life was like for Bob Edens. Blind at birth, he had never seen a sunrise, a green lawn, or a rainbow. But then, when he was 51 years old, he underwent a complex surgery that would give him sight. When he came out of surgery, he literally couldn’t believe his eyes. “I never would have dreamed that yellow is so…yellow,” he exclaimed. “I don’t have the words. I am amazed by yellow. But red is my favorite color. I just can’t believe red. I can see the shape of the moon—and I like nothing better than seeing a jet plane flying across the sky leaving a vapor trail. And of course, sunrises and sunsets. And at night I look at the stars in the sky and the flashing light. You could never know how wonderful everything is.” (God Came Near, Max Lucado)
· We have been going through Ephesians 1, and the blessings that are ours in Christ Jesus. Election, adoption, redemption, forgiveness, and inheritance. I hope that as we continue this study on the blessings of salvation, God is giving you “eyes to see” in greater clarity and color all God has done for you. If you can grasp these truths, it will literally change how you view your life, your relationship with the Lord, and your daily trials.
· Read vv. 3-6
· Today we will focus on that phrase v. 5, “he predestined us for adoption as sons.” There are two facets of adoption this morning: the blessing of adoption, and the benefits of adoption.

THE BLESSING OF ADOPTION

· Adoption is “To legally take (another’s child) and bring it up as one’s own” (Oxford Dictionary). It is the act when a person is given the legal status of being treated as the child of a parent with all the rights and privileges of being their biological offspring.
· It is a legal declaration. Similar to justification in this way. Story of Bryon and Holly. Last year we were invited to an adoption day at the courthouse for one of our families, Bryon and Holly. Our family went to the courthouse. Waited to go in. Bailiff opened the doors and we entered. We sat quietly, the judge entered. The clerk asked the parents to raise their hand and take the oath to swear to tell the truth. Judge said the case number and asked the parents to say their names aloud. He looked over some papers, then asked the prospective parents a few questions, then stamped the paperwork and announced and congratulated that the child was now belonged to them. Invited to take a picture together in the courthouse. It is a joy that is hard to even describe. Like marriage, they went in as two different families, they came out as one family.
· It was decided beforehand. Predestined. Last week, we learned that God “chose” us. That God chose us even before he created the world, to set his love on us. This was not because we were good. Nor was it because he foresaw our faith, as though he was responding to us believing in him. Rather, this choice, was according to his own sovereign grace. The word “predestine” is a compound word (pro-orizo). To “ordain beforehand.” Orizo means to separate, mark off by a boundary, or appoint. Ac. 11:29 the disciples determined to send relief to the saints in Jerusalem. To that, we have the prefix ‘pro.’ Romans 8:29–30 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
· It happened “in love.” The placement of this phrase probably belongs better with v. 5. It was out of God’s great love. 1 John 3:1–3 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. God didn’t have to do that. To pardon us from our sin and wipe our slate clean would have been more than we could have ever hoped form. But to adopt us? Unbelievable!!

THE BENEFITS OF ADOPTION

· The Benefit of Provision. God will take care of your needs. There is no need to be afraid. Matthew 6:7–8 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:25–26 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
· The Benefit of Indwelling. Romans 8:14–17 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
· The Benefit of Security. Romans 8:22–23 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies… Romans 8:35–39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Conclusion

· JI Packer – questions for examination. To help us realize more adequately who and what, as children of God, we are and are called to be, here are some questions by which we do well to examine ourselves again and again.
· Do I understand my adoption? Do I value it? Do I daily remind myself of my privilege as a child of God?
· Have I sought full assurance of my adoption? Do I daily dwell on the love of God to me?
· Do I treat God as my Father in heaven, loving, honoring and obeying him, seeking and welcoming his fellowship, and trying in everything to please him, as a human parent would want his child to do?
· Do I think of Jesus Christ, my Savior and my Lord, as my brother too, bearing to me not only a divine authority but also a divine–human sympathy? Do I think daily how close he is to me, how completely he understands me, and how much, as my kinsman–redeemer, he cares for me?
· Have I learned to hate the things that displease my Father? Am I sensitive to the evil things to which he is sensitive? Do I make a point of avoiding them, lest I grieve him?
· Do I look forward daily to that great family occasion when the children of God will finally gather in heaven before the throne of God, their Father, and of the Lamb, their brother and their Lord? Have I felt the thrill of this hope?
· Do I love my Christian brothers and sisters with whom I live day by day, in a way that I shall not be ashamed of when in heaven I think back over it?
· Am I proud of my Father, and of his family, to which by his grace I belong?
· Does the family likeness appear in me? If not, why not?
· God humble us; God instruct us; God make us his own true children
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