Saturday, October 22, 2011

Character: A Spirit of Adoption

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Romans 8:14, 15

This is an exciting aspect of the journey to Christ-likeness. Even the doorway of adoption is glorious; what Christ inherently was and is becomes ours as we are adopted as children of God. The heavenly Father, though, is abundantly generous and the transformation from ‘child’ to ‘son’ is magnificent.

In the book of John, the author states that receiving Jesus allows Him to give us the authority to become a child of God. Adoption into the family of God is the Father’s will for every human being! Christ employed His position as Son solely to accomplish the will of the Father. Indeed, all of Jesus’ earthly life fed upon the will of God. From childhood, the sovereign Savior focused on the work of the Father. Scripture tells us that the eternal Son grew in wisdom, stature and favor with God and man during His earthly life. It is the Father’s intention that we pursue a similar path!

Examining Jesus’ life gives us clues to aid us on our journey. As a child, Jesus clearly understood the necessity of being about the Father’s business. He was not constrained by expectations nor deterred by rejection or persecution. Christ’s insistence on traveling through Samaria--inappropriate by Jewish standards—is one revelation of His tenacious focus on the plan of the Father. Jesus emphasized in that passage that He found nourishment in doing the will of the Father and completing His work. Our earthly comfort, acceptance and enjoyment must fall in place behind the purposes of God. The will of God is abundant, fulfilling nourishment.

Woven throughout scripture is a theme of growth from infancy to sonship. Godly love is the antithesis of childishness. Child-like faith is beautiful and child-like innocence of evil precious, but understanding the truths of God takes us beyond childhood. Our desire for the milk of God’s word will propel us to growth. The ultimate aim is that we, like Christ, will mature to being sustained by the meat of God’s will. Our growth in Christ produces the quality of character that ‘son’ implies. Might we all fix our eyes on Jesus, that we, too, will be able to set our faces as flint toward Jerusalem.

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