Adopted as Children – Ephesians 1:5-6.

Adopted as ChildrenAfter revealing to the Ephesian believers the fact that God had chosen them the apostle tells them also that God has adopted believers as children. How unbelievable—what a glorious privilege to be adopted as a child of God! And note:

⇒  It was predestinated, that is, foreordained.

⇒  It was the pleasure of God to adopt us—the good pleasure of His will. And it  was His purpose to adopt us, and His purpose and His pleasure and His will were all good.

This is most striking when we consider how sinful and depraved we are and how much we have cursed, rebelled, and rejected God. The fact that God wills and finds pleasure in adopting us and that He counts it as good is too much to believe. Yet, it is exactly what He says. 

The word “predestination” means to destine or appoint before, to foreordain, to predetermine. The basic Greek word means to mark off or to set off the boundaries of something. The idea is a glorious picture of what God is doing for the believer. The boundary is marked and set off for the believer: the boundary of being adopted as a child of God. The believer shall be adopted, made just like Christ and conformed to His very likeness and image. Nothing can stop God’s purpose for the believer. It is predestinated, set and marked off. The believer may struggle and suffer through the sin and shame of this world; he may even stumble and fall or become discouraged and down-hearted. But if he is a genuine child of God, he will not be defeated, not totally. He will soon arise from his fall and begin to follow Christ again. He is predestinated to be a brother of Christ, to worship and serve Christ throughout all eternity. And Christ will not be disappointed. God loves His Son too much to allow Him to be disappointed by losing a single brother. Jesus Christ will have His joy fulfilled; He will see every brother of His adopted and conformed perfectly to His image. He will have the worship and service of every person chosen to be His by God the Father. The believer’s eternal destiny, that of being an adopted brother to the Lord Jesus Christ, is determined. The believer can rest assured of this glorious truth. God has predestinated him to be delivered from the suffering and struggling of this sinful world.

 The word “adoption” means to place as a son.  Adoption is by Jesus Christ and by Him alone. God accepts us because we believe and trust His Son Jesus Christ. He tells us plainly that He wants His Son to have many brothers and sisters who will love, worship, and serve Him both now and forever. Therefore, when a person wants to live for Jesus Christ—wants to live for Him so much that he entrusts all he is and has to Christ—God takes that person’s trust and adopts him, makes him a brother or sister to Jesus Christ.   God’s purpose in adoption is that we might live forever—live to the praise of the glory of His grace.
“That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7)

 

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“We trust in the living God.” 1 Timothy 4:10

THE living God is opposed to a dying world, to our dying frames, and to our dying friends; these must not be trusted, or we shall be wretched. Our God may, ought to be trusted, for He is the only suitable object of a Christian’s trust; He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think. He is immutable. He never disappointed a sinner’s hope, if founded on His word; or refused a believer’s petition, for deliverance or relief. If we trust in the living God, it will preserve us from perpetual disappointment; from bitter reflections on self and others; from many dangers; and from the threatened cures. If we trust in the living God we are blessed; we shall be fruitful; we shall be delivered from slavish fears; we shall enjoy perfect peace; we shall be provided for; we shall find a refuge in every storm; have an answer for all who reproach us; experience firmness and stability; and enjoy solid happiness. Let us ascertain, Are we trusting in the living God? Let us seek grace, daily to live in simple, child-like dependence upon Him. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord.

In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust,
Mighty and merciful and just
Who hides my life above;
Thou canst, Thou wilt my Helper be;
My confidence is all in Thee,
My faithful God of love.

The above is the morning devotion by Pastor James Smith set for the 1st August taken from “The Believer’s Daily Remembrancer”

In these days of so much uncertainty and distrust it is good to be reminded that the believer has a rock and solid ground in which he can place his trust. What a great God we have, it is no coincidence that the central verse in the Word of God should read;

“It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in man (Psalm 118:18).  

Chosen to be Holy and Blameless.

ImageGod has chosen us to be holy and blameless. This is a wonderful verse. Just imagine! God determined before the world was ever created that He would have a people…

•  who would be “in Him,” that is, in His Son, Jesus Christ.

•  who would be “holy and without blame.”

•  who would live “before Him in love”—forever and ever.

This means a most wonderful thing; God wants us to be with Him. God does not want us separated from Him, gripped by sin and shame, sorrow and pain, death and hell. God wants us to live forever and ever with Him. In fact, note that God has determined that some will live with Him and Christ. He has “chosen us”—chosen believers—to live with Him. No amount of rebellion and rejection, cursing and denial of Him will stop His purpose and plan. God will have a people who will live with Him, and He will continue to choose us until He has the number He has purposed.

Now, note the great blessing of God: that we should be holy and without blame before Him.

1.  The word “holy” means to be set apart and consecrated to God. It is the same word that is used for “saint” in Ephesians 1:1.

2.   The word “blameless” means to be free from sin, dirt, and filth; to be above reproach and without blemish; to be without fault and defilement.

Simply stated, the great blessing of God is perfection; God has chosen the believer to be perfect. But note: the believer’s perfection is in Christ and in Christ alone. No man—not even a believer—can live a perfect and sinless life. No man is righteous or ever will be. Jesus Christ is the only Person who has ever lived a sinless and perfect life; therefore, He is the only Person who has the right to live with God. Our only hope of ever living with God is to believe in Jesus Christ—believe so much that God will take our faith and count it as the righteousness of Christ. This is the glorious gospel: God loves us so much that He has accepted us in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He has taken our faith in Christ and counted it as the righteousness of Christ. Therefore, we are acceptable to God because we trust in Christ and in His righteousness—accepted as being perfect in the perfection of Jesus Christ.

Grace be to you

ImageEphesians 1:2 (KJV) Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ”.

Grace is probably the most meaningful word in the language of men. The Bible means something far more than men mean by grace. To men the word “grace” means three things.

⇒  Grace is that something, that quality within a thing, that is beautiful or joyful. It may be the fragrance of a flower, the rich green of the grass, the beauty of a lovely person.

⇒  Grace is anything that has loveliness. It may be a thought, an act, a word, a person.

⇒  Grace is a gift, a favour that someone might extend to a friend. The favour is always freely done, expecting nothing in return, and the favor is always done for a friend.

In light of this, grace means two very significant things.

1.  Grace means all the favours and gifts of God. It means all the good and perfect gifts of God, all the good and beneficial things He gives us and does for us, whether physical, material, or spiritual (James 1:17).

2.  Grace means the favour of God showered upon men—men who did not deserve His favour. When the early Christians looked at what God had done for men, they had to add a deeper and much richer meaning to the word grace. For God had saved sinners, those who had acted against Him. Grace became the kindness and love that God freely gives to His enemies—men who are…

•  “without strength” (Romans 5:6).

•  “ungodly” (Romans 5:6).

•  “sinners” (Romans 5:8).

•  “enemies” (Romans 5:10).

No other word so expresses the depth and richness of the heart and mind of God. This is the distinctive difference between God’s grace and man’s grace. Whereas man sometimes does favours for his friends and thereby can be said to be gracious, God has done a thing unheard of among men: He has given His very own Son to die for His enemies (Romans 5:8-10). 

a.  God’s grace is not earned. It is something completely undeserved and unmerited.

b.  God’s grace is the free gift of God. God extends His grace out toward man.

c.  God’s grace is the only way man can be saved.

“If through the offence of one [Adam] many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many” (Romans 5:15).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exposition of 1 John 3:1 – 10 by Charles H. Spurgeon

“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.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:1 – 10Image

s dear Dr. Hawker said concerning this, there is a chapter in every word and a sermon in every letter. How it opens with a “Behold!” because it is such a striking portion of sacred Scripture, that the Holy Ghost would have us pay particular attention to it. “Behold!” says he, “read other Scriptures if you like, with a glance, but stop here. I have put up a way-mark to tell you there is something eminently worthy of attention buried beneath these words.” “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us.” Consider who we were, and who we are now; ay, and what we feel ourselves to be even when divine grace is powerful in us. And yet, beloved, we are called “the sons of God.” It is said that when one of the learned heathens was translating this, he stopped and said, “No; it cannot be; let it be written ‘Subjects,’ not ‘Sons,’ for it is impossible we should be called ‘the sons of God.’ ” What a high relationship is that of a son to his father! What privileges a son has from his father! What liberties a son may take with his father! and oh! what obedience the son owes to his father, and what love the father feels towards the son! But all that, and more than that, we now have through Christ. “Behold!” ye angels! stop, ye seraphs! here is a thing more wonderful than heaven with its walls of jasper. Behold, universe! open thine eyes, O world. “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.” Well, we are content to go with him in his humiliation, for we are to be exalted with him.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” That is easy to read; but it is not so easy to feel. “Now are we the sons of God.” How is it with your heart this morning? Are you in the lowest depths of sorrow and suffering? “Now are youa son of God.” Does corruption rise within your spirit, and grace seem like a poor spark trampled under foot? “Beloved, now are you a son of God.” Does your faith almost fail you? and are your graces like a candle well nigh blown out by the wind! Fear not, beloved; it is not your graces, it is not your frames, it is not your feelings, on which you are to live: you must live simply by naked faith on Christ. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” With all these things against us, with the foot of the devil on our neck, and the sword in his hand ready to slay us—beloved now in the very depths of our sorrow, wherever we may be—now, as much in the valley as on the mountain, as much in the dungeon as in the palace, as much when broken on the wheel of suffering as when exalted on the wings of triumph—”beloved, now are we the sons of God.” “Ah!” but you say, “see how I am arrayed! my graces are not bright; my righteousness does not shine with apparent glory.” But read the next: “It doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him.” We are not so much like him now, but we have some more refining process to undergo, and death itself, that best of all friends, is yet to wash us clean. “We know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”    “And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure.“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law for sin is the transgression of the law.“And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” Believer, read these words in two senses. He was manifested to take away thy sins that thou hast committed; and that he accomplished, when “the just for the unjust,” he sustained the penalties of them. And he was manifested to take away the power of thy sins; that is to say, to conquer thy reigning lusts, to take away thine evil imaginations, to purify thee, and make thee like himself. Well, beloved, what a mercy it is that some one was manifested to take away our sins from us! for some of us have been striving a long, long while, to conquer our sins, and we cannot do it. We thought we had driven them out, but they had “chariots of iron,” and we could not overcome them; they lived “in the hill country,” and we could not get near them. As often as we worsted them in one battle, they came upon us thick and strong, like an army of locusts; when heaps and heaps had been destroyed they seemed as thick as ever. Ah! but there is a thought—they shall all be taken away. “Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins;” and so he will. The time will come when you and I shall stand without spot or blemish before the throne of God: for they are “without fault before the throne of God” at this moment, and so shall we be ere long.“Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.”
This plain, simple verse, has been twisted by some who believe in the doctrine of perfection, and they have made it declare that it is possible for some to abide in Christ, and therefore not to sin. But you will remark that it does not say, that some that abide in Christ do not sin; but it says that none who abide in Christ sin. “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not.” Therefore this passage is not to be applied to a few who attain to what is called by our Arminian friends the fourth degree—perfection; but it appertains to all believers; and of every soul in Christ it may be said, that he sinneth not. In reading the Bible, we read it simply as we would read another book. We ought not to read it as a preacher his text, with the intention of making something out of every word; but we should read it as we find it written: “Whosoever abideth in Christ sinneth not.” Now we are sure that cannot mean that he does not sin at all, but it means that sins not habitually, he sins not designedly, he sins not finally, so as to perish. The Bible often calls a man righteous; but that does not mean that he is perfectly righteous. It calls a man a sinner, but it does not imply that he may not have done some good deeds in his life; it means that that is the man’s general character. So with the man who abides in Christ: his general character is not that he is a sinner, but that he is a saint—he sinneth not openly wilfully before men. In his own heart, he has much to confess, but his life before his fellow creatures is such a one that it can be said of him: “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; but whosoever sinneth [the sins of this world. in which the multitude indulge] hath not seen him, neither known him.”
“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.”
That is the sign of it. Works are the fruits of grace. “He is righteous,”—not in himself; for mark how graces come in here—”He is righteous, even as HE is righteous.” It will not allow our righteousness to be our own, but it brings us to Christ again. “He that doeth righteousness is righteous,” not according to his own works, but “even as HE is righteous.” Good works prove that I have perfect righteousness in Christ; they do not help the righteousness of Christ, nor yet in any way make me righteous. Good works are of no use whatever in the matter of justification: they only use they are, is, that they are for our comfort, for the benefit of others, and for the glory of God. “He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil.”
“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
It were well if we always remembered that practical godliness is the soul of godliness; that it is not talking religion, but walking religion which proves a man to be sincere; it is not having a religious tongue, but a religious heart; it is not a religious mouth, but a religious foot. The best evidence is the salvation of the soul. Avaunt! talkative; go thy way, thou mere professing formalist! Your ways lead down to hell, and your end shall be destruction; for “He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he mighty destroy the works of the devil.”