By Pastor Israel

Text:Ephesians 1:3-14

Our messages for the next few weeks will focus on the theme for this month which is, ‘Our position in Christ.’ This position refers to how we stand as blood-purchased people in God’s presence. It could also be God’s perception of us as followers of Christ. Before anything else, we must understand that our calling and new life in Christ are by His grace. Apostle Paul addressed this point when he wrote: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rm.3:22-24 NKJV).

Through faith in Christ’s death and resurrection we have salvation and justification. In addition we are adopted into God’s family as His children (Jn. 1:12-13). All this was in line with God’s eternal plan that after He has called us from darkness into light through faith in His Son, we might be conformed to His image, so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers (Rm. 8:29). Apostle John wrote: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him” (1 Jn. 3:1 NIV). This brings us to the message for today which is titled, ‘Our adoption as children of God and its implication.’

Our adoption as children of God is not just honourary, but it is real and functional after we have repented of our sins, received Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, and have been born again by the Spirit and the word (Jn. 3:5. 1 Pt. 1:23). It also has far-reaching implications. We may ask ourselves are we truly children of God by adoption? Note that an adopted child has the same rights as the natural child. He can call his adopter his father and has the legal right of inheritance to the father’s property. This is exactly our portion as adopted children of God.

We become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ of the riches of God. Paul wrote: “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you receive the Spirit of adoption by which we cry out, ‘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 joint-heirs with Christ” (Rm. 8:15-17 NKJV).

Like every child, the adopted child is under the training of his father until he comes of age. By that time, he must have inculcated the values and the character of his father. This is the expectation of his father. The same applies to us if we are true children of God. We learn to be like Christ through faith in Him by walking daily with Him through the study of His word, prayer and fellowship with Him.

It is God’s mind that we should be conformed to the image of Christ. If we believe that we are God’s children and Christ’s brothers, we may ask ourselves in what ways do we resemble Him? When God wants us to do anything, He will not leave us on our own, but will provide the enablement for us to achieve His aim.
For us to be conformed to the image of His Son, He has given us the scriptures in which God has clearly shown us His nature and how He wants us to be partakers of His divine nature.
He has also given us His Holy Spirit to help us if, of course, we listen to Him. Unless we are familiar with His word as written down in the bible, we may not know His mind for us, not to talk of inculcating His virtues and attributes He wants us to emulate.

Apostle Paul reminds us of some of the implications of our adoption as God’s children when he wrote: “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasures of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:4-6 NKJV).

Let us examine four important implications of our adoption as mentioned in the above-quoted reference.

1. The need to be holy. As children of God the life of holiness is expected of us. This point is brought home by Apostle Peter when he wrote: “As obedient children not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also must be holy in all your conduct because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Pt. 1:14-18 NKJV). As children of God we must pursue holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14).
Apostle Paul wrote that we are to present our bodies daily as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. He warns that we should not be conformed to the standard of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rm. 12:1-2 NKJV).

2. We must be blameless. This means that we should pursue righteousness both in our relationships with God and our fellow men.

3. We are to love. We must love God with our mind, spirit, soul, and strength; and our neighbours as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-40; Jn. 13:34-35).

4. Praising God. As adopted children of God, we must cultivate the habit of praising and thanking Him for bringing us into His household through the blood of His Son and for His mercies and loving-kindness toward us. Praising and thanking God should be our daily sacrifice to Him.

From all that we have heard so far, we need to understand that apart from the privileges of being God’s children, we have the responsibility to keep ourselves in the beloved through obedience to His laws and instructions given to us in His book. We must not forget that we are not on our own but we belong to Him who purchased us by His precious blood.

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