Infancy to Adulthood
You know I also spent some time this week for obvious reasons as you were going to get into the message I'm looking at how much of life is different as an adult than it was as a child I think everyone can probably attest to that right it's a little different like for instance this week I don't know why I thought about this but I will remember when I was a little kid maybe five six seven eight years old I made a vow that I was never going to do something as an adult so whenever I was watching cartoons my mom or my dad would come into the house and they would make me change the channel so that they could watch the news you know anyone ever experience that I get so frustrated I think when I am an adult I'll never change cartoons on my kids.
But that's when you have like one you know T.V. in the house now there's T.V.'s and computers and all those things so they probably watch cartoons all the time and the other thing I was thinking about how things are different especially now in today's world before I was sixteen almost every teenager what they look forward to was getting their driver's license and getting a car kids these days they don't care about that they got their cell phones they can connect with everybody back in my day if you want to this is somebody had to get in your car and driving over see them but very different but you know a life as an adult is obviously different than life as a child for obvious reasons but once a person reaches adulthood they should not go back to living and behaving like a child right. Now all the wives are saying yeah husband did you hear what he just said I want to open your Bible so the book of Galatians and we've been in Galatians now for a while and what Paul is doing is he's explaining to those in Glacier why God gave the law and how they're no longer required to follow the law because it's been fulfilled by Christ. And last week what we did is we looked at two of the main reasons why Paul explained that God gave the law to the nation of Israel one of the main reasons God give the law was to reveal sin as soon as God says Thou shalt not do this and if you do that you know it's a sin and so God gave the law to reveal sin but also God gives the law to point us to Christ because Christ fulfilled the Law And so today Paul is still trying to get for passage for today's trying to get the glaciers to understand the relationship with the law and in our passage for today will read here in the first several verses of chapter four he teaches them about their new identity how they are no longer children but rather in God's sight they are adult in Christ and so today Paul uses this concept of adoption His sons of God to explain why of the or not to place themselves back under the law so let's go ahead and read a passage for today and then we'll go back through it and we'll break it down so glacial chapter four beginning in verse one.
it says I mean that the air 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 His forth His Son born of a 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 Aba father so you are no longer a slave but a son and if a son then and air through God. And so this is one of the handful of passages in the Bible that really teach about how you and I become sons and children of God And today I just make this statement I'm going to talk about being sons of God and some of you ladies might say wait a second what are daughters of God in the Greek world in the Roman world the sons had the double portion of the inheritance but now in Christ there is neither woman nor man or slave or free and so every time we talk about being a Son of God It includes women too I think hopefully you are you already know that but I just wanted to make sure that it was understood now the word for adoption used in the Bible there's some obviously some similarities between adoption today but the main difference is this today when we talk about adoption in the concept that we get in our mind is of a loving young couple who goes to an adoption agency and they take home an infant child and they bring that child up on their house in a loving environment that's what adoption is today that's what it was back then as well but the word for adoption used in the Bible has some different standing meaning specifically to say that someone was adopted it's a legal standing with that individual it means that that person that son that has been adopted has full rights and privileges within the family and has access to all of its resources and possessions and so when a person expects Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior their condition is as a child or as an infant in Christ in fact the apostle Peter wrote in first Peter chapter two he encourages them and says like newborn infants long for pure spiritual milk that by it you may grow up into salvation and so that's our condition but our position as far as our position is concerned as an adopted son is that we are an adult son and we can draw on our father's wealth and can exercise all the wonderful privileges and responsibility as an adult Erin within that family so that's what adoption means in this setting. I read a phrase this week after one of the books that I'm reading to help me study for this and I'll read this to you and hopefully it will sink in he says he says in his book he says that we enter God's family through regeneration of the don't make sense you know we talk about we use the word we're born again we enter God's family by being born again the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit which washes us places us as a member of God's family so we enter God's family through regeneration but we enjoy God's family through adoption
if you're adopted into God's family it means that we should enjoy it there's something about being a son or a child of God that allows us to enjoy the grace of he has for us so I just ask all of you if you're a child of God if you're an adopted son or daughter of God Are you enjoying yourselves ation I want to go off on a really small rabbit trail here my next sermon series after Galatians I'm going to go through the prodigal son and there are several sermons and that little portion in Luke but I want you to go over to Luke root Luke fifteen really quick I want to read this
as I've kind of been pretty studying this I found something that's very interesting in a kind of is resonating especially as I'm going to glaciations but Luke Chapter fifteen beginning in verse twenty five for those of you familiar with the story how many sons did the owner have to he had the prodigal and then they had the older son the older son never enjoying being the son of his wealthy father and we read about this here Luke fifteen twenty five.
Says now is older son was in the field and as he came in drawn you near to the house he heard music and dancing This is after his younger brother the prodigal had come home and he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant and he said to him Your brother is come home and your father is killed the fatted calf because he has received back safe and sound but he was angry the older brother and refused to go in His father came out and entreated him but he answered his father look these many years I have served you and I have never disobeyed your command yet you never gave me a young go that I might celebrate with my friends but when the son of yours comes came he has devoured your property with prostitutes you killed how to care for him and he said to him Son you are always with me and all that is mine is yours it was fitting to celebrate and be glad for this your brother was dead and is alive he was lost and has found you know you read that parable and you have to ask the question if the older son was always in his father's presence why did the A never allow himself to enjoy being a son of his father
well that's something I look forward to preaching on in a few weeks from now after we're done with Galatians but for this morning what I want to do is I want to look at the transition that takes place in the life of a believer moving from an infant under the law to an adult son being free from the law and so to understand this transition takes place we need to understand three things in the first thing is this we need to understand what we were we have to understand what we were and what we were is children in bondage let's read the first three verses again of chapter four lation chapter four verses one through three This talks about us being children in bondage Paul says again he says I mean that the air 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 and so 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 now it's fascinating if you learn more about the culture of the Romans and the Greeks in this time it really gives us an a greater understanding of what Paul is really teaching here in the Roman world and I kind of mentioned this last week children of wealthy people had virtually the same standing as the slaves there was no difference between a child of the owner of an estate and a slave in fact until the child was an adult he was under the supervision of the slave or guardian and so the order of authority when the owner of the estate then the guardian or a slave and then the Son or the dark of the child the infant was under the slave or the guardian. And this is the spiritual condition of the Jews that we were under the law look back on chapter three and this is a couple verses from last week chapter three verses twenty three three twenty five this is what Paul is teaching them to glaciers three twenty three three twenty five says now before face came we were held captive under the law imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed so then the law was our guardian until Christ came in order that we might be justified by faith but now that faith this come we are no longer under a guardian and so when these Judaizing years came to those in Galatians they led them back into legalism they weren't leading them only into religious bondage but really into moral and spiritual infancy that God had rescued them from so that's the first thing that we need to understand who we were the second thing we need to understand is what God did in order for us to become adult children in God's family God redeemed us he received us versus four and five let's reverse four and five again
so that when the fullness of time had come. God sent forth His Son born of a woman born under the law to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as it's you know this glacial passage is one of my favorite Christmas verses I know I've done a couple of Christmas or omens based primarily off that passage but the neat thing about this is God had been preparing the world the modern civilized world for decades and centuries for the moment when Christ came into the world I want to talk about the two major world powers that preceded the birth of Christ the Romans were in power power when Christ was born but before that we're the Greeks and the way that the Greeks had influence society to really prepare the world the world for Christ is in a couple ways they they've changed the way that people would gather together in cities in the cities called the policy if you like of metropolis that's from Greek influence and one thing I loved about Phoenix when I moved here it's so easy to find your way around isn't it all the streets are north and south and east and west and then you have all the business is happening in kind of a central area that's based on Greek influence and so Greeks change and influence the way that cities were structured another thing that the Greeks did is they made sure that everyone spoke the exact same language and so that's why the New Testament is written in Greek and then after the Greeks came the Romans you may have heard this phrase before how many of you heard the phrase All roads lead to Rome Well there's a reason why there's a saying you because the Romans built roads they built roads all throughout the empire and not only did they build roads the Romans were very good about if anyone's caused any problems there was a disturbance the Romans would go and they would pretty pretty much put an end to it and so there was peace from the Romans and also roads and so Kiri how and when Christ was born never before had the modern civilized world had one language peace and roads that connected the entire empire and everyone living in these cities and so God had been working everything out for thousands of years so that when the Messiah would come it just the right time with the purpose of redeeming us and adopting us as His sons look again at verse five
Verse five says the Jesus came to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons now the word redemption means to set free to pay a price so that you can redeem it so you can buy it out of whatever condition it's in you know back then maybe some of you have heard slavery was very prominent in fact there are about sixty million slaves in the Roman Empire and bags in a man who a wealthy man can walk into and pretty much any woman city and he could buy a slave and after he bought a slave he could do one of two things he could either keep the slave for himself or he could set the slave free and so would this is telling us is when Jesus came he paid our price to be ransomed through his own blood and not only did he set us free from the law but he did something even more important he set us free from the bondage to sin but he adopted us as adult sons in God's family that's what God did so under the law the Jews were only children but under grace the believer is a Son of God with an adult standing in God's family and so now is talk about the third thing that we need to understand as we go from infancy to adulthood the first thing is we need to understand what we were children in bondage second is what God did He redeemed us and the search thing we need to understand is what we are and if you place your faith in Jesus Christ what you are is a son and then air a co-heir with Christ that is your legal standing in God's eyes look at verses six and seven again.
Because you are sons God has sent the spirit of a son into our hearts crying Father so you are no longer a slave but a son and if a son then an heir through God you know because God has adopted us into his family as adult sons as far as a legal standing is concerned we have any credible inheritance waiting for us and part of that inheritance we can start enjoying even right now I don't know what it's like in your family some of you might be thinking when you're at some point in the future you might receive an inheritance others of you are like nope I'm just looking forward to Social Security or whatever it is whatever it is you're in your situation but when you stop and you think about what it means that we're children of God we are sons and colors with Christ there is an inheritance that God is going to bless us with and the Bible gives us just kind of a glimpse of what that is I want you to turn in your Bibles to Romans chapter eight
Romans chapter eight
more beginning will pick up in verse fifteen I'm something else you need to know about the Roman world in the Roman world a son of a wealthy landowner a son always had a future to look forward to a slave did not sometimes a wealthy landowner would provide in a slave's old age but it was not a requirement but if you grew up in the household even if you were under the slave you knew that when the time came for you to be an adult you had an inheritance waiting for you.
Read Romans chapter eight this is one of my favorite passages when it comes to talking about our future and beginning in verse fifteen Romans eight fifteen says 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 Father the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and if children then errors heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
But the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us for the creation awaits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God That's you and me for the creation was subjected to futility not willingly but because of him who subjected it in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and attain the freedom of the glory of the children of God 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 first fruits of the Spirit grown in really is we eagerly we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons the redemption of our bodies for in this hole we were saved now hope that is seen that is seen as not hope for who hopes for what he has but if we hope for what we do not see we wait for it with patience you know there's this passage is wonderful and verse nineteen I think is fascinating look at verse one thousand again it says that the creation itself waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God There is a time in the future when those who are truly God's children who have been adopted through the regenerating word of the Holy Spirit our faith in Christ that we will be revealed to all mankind in all creation and the creation is longing for that kind of interesting in the Roman world when someone was adopted there were two ceremonies First there was the private ceremony when the person when the slave was actually purchased and then there was also a public ceremony when the son would be revealed to the officials and to the community at large
we have already received our first ceremony as adopted children of God. Now it's Christ has put his Holy Spirit into us but the second one the public ceremony when you are in high as God's True Children and coworkers with Christ that's going to be a public ceremony and the world's going to see it that's exciting and then you get a good response you're not awake right now I think citing just think about that's what it means to be a son or a daughter of God and adopted child of God That's pretty incredible you know as we as we work our way through Galatians You know Paul is teaching them a number of reasons why they're no longer under the law and they're not suspicious of most supposed to submit to circumcision and all these different things and and I think hopefully as he's going through that the reasons they start to kind of add up in a very convincing way but the fact is still in today's world there is another Gospel being preached all around the world and Paul says in the beginning glaciers there is no other gospel there's only one and that's the gospel of works other religions teach that if you earn your way if you're good enough that you can earn your favor with God or whatever your deity is and it's a very popular Gospel and the reason why it's so popular is everyone wants to think that they're in control of their life right we want to say well if I only do these things then I can earn my approval and so the gospel of the world is very popular but the truth is it's only because of God's grace the Jew and I can have a hope in the future and if the Bible is true and I believe it is then our future will be enjoyed as sons of God and co-heirs with Christ himself we don't deserve that doing but we would be fools if we didn't accept it.
So let's close in prayer and let's thank God for this gift of sun ship and the hope of eternal life that we have in him a spray that
dear Lord every now and then we just we read what your word says and we we can be overwhelmed with how good and gracious you are and it's so obviously we don't deserve your mercy we don't deserve your grace
but in your great love for us you did not want to to stay under bondage to sin so you sent your son to pay the price for our adoption and Lord that first ceremony has taken place we place our faith in you you send your spirit into our hearts and we cry out the father we are your children we forever will be the Lord there's a day coming someday soon we hope for the second ceremony where the world will see who the true children of God are for those of us who have the first fruits of the Holy Spirit something that those are hearts with hope but until that moment or do you put a commission on our life you've given us a calling and that is to spread the message of your grace and truth to the world around us so Lord I just continue to pray that for the church you have us in this community for a reason and we want to share the message of grace to the world around us those thank you so much Father for paying the price to have us as your adopted sons and daughters and co-heirs with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we love you and we thank you for this incredible rich a gift we praise and pricing it.