Day 6 – Ephesians 1v5

…having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
God saw us before the creation of the world and knew that we would respond to Him, therefore it pleased Him to begin the process of adoption that began in the Garden of Eden and that was ratified at the Cross.  The truth of our adoption into Christ is one of the most beautiful pictures in the Scriptures.  In John 15 Jesus speaks of the True Vine and the importance of our abiding in Him; in Romans 11 Paul speaks of the wild olive branch that represents Gentile believers, being grafted into the natural olive tree which is Israel.  Both of these word pictures speak of God’s choosing to adopt rather than to merely foster us.  In our “modern” world fostering, though at times necessary, is a temporary condition in which a home is found for a child for a set period of time.  Adoption however is a permanent solution.  Once adoption papers have been signed, there is no going back, a child cannot be un-adopted!  This is not a new practice though; it was also a Roman 1st Century one. From our vantage point in history we know that the Roman world was a not equal, fair or even just society, far from it.  However it was in the context of a harsh Romanised world that the letter of Ephesians was written and for all their disparities the Romans had exactly the same principles of permanent adoption to which Paul is drawing our attention.  In Roman law a wealthy person may well adopt a favourite slave if there were no natural heirs.  This adoption instantly made the slave both free and privileged.  That is precisely our position in Christ!
We may like to think of ourselves as better than the Romans, but in truth we suffer from the same malady as they – the desire to gratify self.  Now this Bible simply calls this condition sin, since in the middle of that small three letter word we find the word “I” and the consequence of that single word has enslaved the entire world in the pursuit of selfishness.  You see just like the Roman world we were slaves too; slaves to sin, in servitude to Satan, even slaves to self.  But now we are ADOPTED into CHRIST!  Our debts have been cancelled, our identity has been changed and our future has been secured! None of this has been achieved on our own merit; it is in accordance with God’s good pleasure and will.  We did not have to perform and impress God as the orphan Annie did in the musical of the same name, singing and dancing her way into Mr Warbucks heart.  NO, NO, No, while we were STILL sinners Christ died for us, Romans 5v8.
In other words when we were STILL ragged, unclean, unshaven, unkempt, bad mannered, ill tempered, rude, boastful and arrogant – it was THEN that Christ died for us, THEN that God had already decided to adopt us!  We did not even seek God, He sought us!  He drew us to the point of decision, and we simply said “Yes LORD, save us!”  That was the only part that we played in our adoption.  We didn’t do anything else but simply agree with God that were indeed sinners in need of a Saviour and in need of Him!
It is vital that we realise that our adoption is not based on our performance, past, present or future. God loves us right now, and He is not about to change His mind. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more than He does right now.  God didn’t redeem us to enlist us as workers but to adopt us as sons and daughters of the KING, that we might be joint heirs with Christ of the Kingdom of God!  So often we come to God with a performance mindset because that is how we were taught from an early age. Everything we access in this present world is based on our performance and to a certain extent that is valid, an employee deserves their wages, a studious student will get good grades!  However we must not think that the kingdom of God operates the same way – everything we access from God’s kingdom is by FAITH and is via our privileged position as ADOPTED children of God.  So let us live in the light and freedom of our wonderful adoption.
OUR PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, thank you that You predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of Your will.  Enable us to rest secure in the knowledge today that You will never un-adopt us, and may that assurance be a witness to those we come into contact with today.
Amen
References
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
John 10
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Romans 8
17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Romans 6

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