Sermon delivered on September 28th, 2014

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Text: Galatians 4:4-7


For the past two Sundays, we have been answering the question, "What happens when a person repents and believes the gospel?" A hundred things happened and its up to us to find out what they are. When I first got saved, my idea of salvation is that my sins are forgiven and I have assurance of entrance into Heaven. I had no idea that there is so much more to salvation than forgiveness of sin and entrance to Heaven. But as I grow in my knowledge and understanding of the Scripture, I am finding that God has so much in store for those who have repented and placed their trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation.

My prayer these days is that God would awaken you and me, as to who we are and whose we are. That we would be wide awake to these realities. Because I am fully convinced that, if we are wide awake to these truths, it would cause us to love the Lord Jesus Christ even more, trust Him more, serve Him more. If we wake up to these truths we will have a greater appreciation of our salvation and increasing confidence in Him and a renewed commitment to proclaim the gospel of the grace of God.


I - There is yet one greater blessing

So what happens when a person repents and believes the gospel?

Eternal life, forgiven of sin, reconciled with God, cursed removed, no more condemnation, justified, redeemed, reconciled with God, access with God, regenerated, joint heir with Christ, became a citizen of Heaven, new creation, servant of God, sanctified, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, guided by the Holy Spirit, comforted by the Holy Spirit, became a member of the body of Christ, access to God, peace, joy, freedom, hope, purpose, and many more.

But what do you think is the greatest and highest blessing and privilege you could ever receive from God? Is it salvation, eternal life, forgiveness of sin, declared righteous, or allowed to see and enter Heaven?

As great and glorious and amazing these things are, in my humble opinion, there is yet even a greater blessing than all these, and it is adoption into God's family. It is becoming a child of God.

In justification, we are criminals, pardoned by the King and declared righteous, and put into His service. But in adoption, we are strangers, adopted by the King, and put into His family and enjoy all the privileges ad responsibilities of being part of that family.

God went way beyond giving us eternal life, forgiving our sins, declaring us righteous, reconciling us to Himself, giving us the privilege to enter to Heaven; which are all amazing things. By His free grace, received us into His family and gave us the right to enjoy all the privileges and responsibilities of the children of God.

This great privilege is only possible because...

Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5: To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

But when the right time came, when every thing was in place, God sent His Son, born of a woman, subject to the law, to buy our freedom from the law, to deliver us from the curse of the law and not only that to adopt us into God's family.

6: And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Because we are sons and daughters, we call God, Abba, Father!

Abba, is Aramaic. It is a special word of endearment, love and affection, of close and intimate relationship. In our present language, it is "Papa" or "Daddy." A slave was never allowed to address his master as, "Abba."

7: Wherefore thou art no more a servant, (slave) but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

I am a child of the King! I am not His slave but His son. I am an heir of God. And if you have repented and believed the gospel you are a son, a daughter, an heir of God, joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).

Oh, Lord awaken us to these realities!


II - All of God and all of grace

Being adopted into the family of God is a gift of grace. There are two ways we may become members of a human family — we may be born into it or we may be adopted into it. We become members of the family of God by both — by new birth (regeneration) and by adoption. Born into the family of God by regeneration and received into the family of God by adoption. They are always joined together. No regeneration, no adoption. They are both God's gift. It is all of God and all of grace.

In regeneration we are given a new nature as children of God. It is the renewing of our hearts after the image of God. In adoption we are given a new position as sons of God.

In civil adoption, usually the parents adopt children who are cute and attractive. Parents usually adopt children who have pleasing characteristics and are worthy to bear or carry their family name. In some countries, females are discriminated; they are excluded for they cannot carry the name.

In orphanage, not all babies or children get adopted due to maybe wrong age, wrong color, and wrong gender; or maybe they have physical or mental disability. Human parents discriminate, but God is gracious and more generous than we are. He adopts every kind of person into His family - young, old, boy, girl, dark, light, healthy, sick, educated, uneducated, no one excluded. The only reason for exclusion is unbelief.

But our adoption is not based on our pleasing characteristics, because we have none. It is rooted in the indescribable and amazing free grace of God. God adopts us out of free grace and love, not because our character and record show we are worthy to bear His name, but despite the fact that they show the very opposite. We are not worthy to be placed in Gods family, yet in spite of our unworthiness, in spite of our unattractiveness, God adopted us into His family.

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7: For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9: Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10: For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Romans 3:10-18

Psalm 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5: For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

What grace! What honor! What privilege!


III - With great privilege comes great responsibilities

Think of the blessings of having God as our Father: provision, protection, comfort, fellowship, guidance, instruction, etc.

Of course, with great privilege comes great responsibilities.

Adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby we are received into His family, and have a right to enjoy all the privileges and responsibilities of the children of God.

Luke 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

The more knowledge and privileges a man has, the more is expected from him. The greater his gifts are, the more useful he ought to be, and diligent in the improvement of them.

Part of being adopted into God's family is we carry His Name. What a privilege and blessing to carry His name! What a responsibility to carry His name!


1. Imitate the Father

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45: That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46: For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47: And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.


2. Glorify the Father

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

The root of our adoption is grace. The goal of our adoption is glory. You and I were adopted for the praise of the glory of His grace.


3. Trust the Father

In difficult times, do not forget that God is your Father.

Matthew 6:25-32

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

If God cares for the birds, which are obviously not children of God, is it not plain and clear that He will certainly care for you and me, who are children of God.


IV - Final Exhortations

1. Behold

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Do you want to be awaken to the reality of who you are and whose you are?

Behold — Stop, look and listen! Read, study, and contemplate. Behold and after you behold, behold again.

"If the love of the Father will not make a child delight in Him, I don't know what will?" - John Owens

Never get over the wonder and excitement of knowing that you are a child of God, and you belong to His family. Meditate on the greatness of God's love in adopting you, and you will praise Him more than you do.

Often in this world we are not recognized as sons of God. On that day we will occupy our rightful positions. Today we may be considered the outcasts of society, troublers of Israel. Then we will throw off the veil and put on the new body.


2. Examine yourself

Remember we enter into God's family by regeneration and adoption. You cannot have one without the other. 

Have you been born into the family of God? Have you been born again?

John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Seek the mercy of God offered in the Gospel. When you seek it from the heart, you will find it. And you will become child of God and the newest additions to God's big, loving family.