Love comes to us from the Father. Our adoption has given us a legal standing in justification. We cannot be separated from Him; we are linked to Him because He first loved us. We can sometimes forget who we are, but our standing in adoption can never be undone. (Romans 8:28-39; John 14:22)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 10/18/2020
P. Schaller –
Praise the Lord! We are gathered in the name of Christ this morning with a lot of joy and thanksgiving. He is for
us. He is for us. He is for us. This morning we want to speak on the subject of Adoption. I’ll give
you a minute or two to think about it, written in our New Testament. What it means to be
adopted. How many are visiting? Brian from Delaware. And the folks from Wilmington. Great to
have you. We have over here first time, a young lady. Welcome to our service. And another one
in the back. At the Welcome Center, there is something for you. After this service at 1:00 at the
end of this campus there is a Fellowship Hall where we have lunch. Five dollars and you can eat
a very small bread crumb! (joking). That will be after the service. You’ll eat good I think. That’s
at 1:00, and you’re all welcome. I’m going to share with you and then a short video for our flea
market and harvest day out here in the parking lot, then a special song, offering and then the
The message is on the subject of Adoption. Adoption. There is a verse in Gal. 4 that
explains it. Vs. 4. At the fulness of time, the right time, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. On a
certain day and a certain time, and he was made under the law. Vs.5-6 Abba is Aramaic for
daddy. Spirit of God crying in you, “daddy.” Ronald Regan had an adopted son and he said at his
funeral service, I am the son who was chosen by my parents to adopt me. They didn’t have to
do it but they adopted me into the family. You take on the name of the family. You have your
father. You have an adoption legally inheriting what the father has prepared for us. We live
often on two levels. We live here in this world with our experiences, troubles, and sins, fears,
worries so easily but God wants us to know something higher that we have been adopted and
he wants us to know what that means. We’re going to speak on that this morning. Praise the
Lord! It’s good. It’s very good!
I was in the Netherlands flying out of Amsterdam and near the
airport there were a block of buildings. I heard about the story that in those buildings, squatters
had moved in. They were abandoned for a while, and squatters had moved in and lived in those
buildings. Then, after some years, the owner wanted them out but because of the law it was
difficult. Eventually the owner who had the legal documents had ownership and had right to his
own buildings. So, he fought a battle and he won because he knew and the government of
course honored the ownership. I say this to compare it to Christians who sometimes the enemy
moves into your life and you accept that as normal. You need to know the rights, the
documents. You need to know who you are and you need to take a stand on what it is that you
know and believe. There is a verse in Hebrews.
This is just the subpoint but profound. Hebrews 9:16, maybe we could say, it would sound clearer to you “last will and testament” or a binding, legal document, arrangement. The inheritance is passed on through the death of the testator. Vs. 17. This is in the context of Christ dying for you and I. There is something now that we have
received through his death. Vs. 18. We have the first testament with blood. The second
testament or New Testament is with the blood of Christ. Another point we can make about this
is if I have inherited and I have legal rights to what we are going to say today, I would need
someone to explain to me what I have. Can you imagine someone who has inherited something
but they don’t have a lawyer or a document or knowledge and yet they are wealthy. They have
received something but they don’t know about it. We could say this book is where we stand as
believers. This is something different. This is new. This is important.
This is about something I cannot see very clearly. 1 Corinthians 13 says we look into the mirror darkly, like a foggy – driving down the road on a foggy day. You’re kind of going slowly with your lights dim and hoping you won’t
hit a deer. You make your way. This is like life. We are looking at life with an imperfect view.
That’s why squatters could live on your land and you accept it as normal. That’s why the bad
habits that you and I can have might become the life we always live. But when I have a lawyer,
we could say the Holy Spirit is the one to teach us what this is saying. Teach us who we are. The
Holy Spirit is our teacher in John. 14:17. What does he say to us? Rom. 8, this is deep theology. By
the way, the best psychology is theology. If I have theology, if I have God’s mind, it’s going to
affect me psychologically. That’s a good statement.
That’s a T-shirt statement. Put it on the t-shirt. Vs. 29. We’re drawing a chain. We’ll have five links in the chain. There’s the first link on the screen there. The first link – they are all in these verses in 29-30. Foreknowledge. You got to pull back the curtain of time and look into eternity and say in your heart and in your mind there
is no beginning and no end. It’s eternity. When you pull back the veil, you see God who has
foreknowledge. He knows everything from the end to the beginning. He has a purpose. When
we talk about God, we are using all that we know and understand in reason and in experience.
We are worshipers. We need the Holy Spirit to teach us who is God. For God to foreknow
everything is a link in this amazing chain that really constitutes your security. Let me tell you a
story. A young man is raised in a family – I’ve heard stories like this in real life but this particular
story is my own version – this little boy grows up in a family with five siblings.
His mom and dad are there and they sit at the dinner table. We love you children. We are your mom and dad. You
now that. We love you. We love you very much and we take care of you. But let me tell you if
any of you bring shame on this family, any of you go to prison one day or you are a criminal, any
of you bring shame, I will disown you as your father. I will disown you. So, another night he says
something similar. Did you get in trouble in school. If you get in trouble in school, I will be very
angry with you and our relationship is in jeopardy. You cannot do that to this family. You’re
going to bring shame on this family. Any of you get in trouble in school? All of the children are
looking down at their soup. They are afraid to say anything. Even if they did, it’s not a good,
they are afraid. They are troubled by it. This love in the family which has it’s limits. They grow
up and one of them is in trouble.
There is a lot of emotion and anger in the family. One of them goes to prison. He’s disowned and that kind of situation. You can imagine. Down the street there is another family. A similar speech except it’s different. Children, mom and dad love you. I want you to know if you are ever in trouble, I’m going to be there for you. I’ll be there for you. You are in trouble in school, we will work it out. My relationship with you is important to me.
I’m your father. I’m your father and your mother are right next to me. This is what we think of
who we are to you. Life is tough. There are going to be things that happen. We are going to
make mistakes but this is our family. I’m thankful for you. God gave you to us as a family no
matter what happens. Which one of those pictures is a better representation of God. The
second one. But I have to say, that these speeches at the dinner table may never happen in a
family. These kinds of speeches might not ever happen at all and that’s like us being the
children of God and not hearing the speech from our Father.
He wants to say to us these five things in vs. 29-30. I foreknew you. Before you were ever born, I knew you. I know who you are. I know the hairs on your head, the footsteps you take (John. 10, Psalm 139). How did I foreknow you?
Vs. 29. Let’s make another link here. What does predestinate–? He did predestinate. He is
guaranteeing us something will happen in the future. Not predestinate like I was predestinated
to live in Baltimore, Maryland or predestinated to have a job or predestinated to be in the
military or predestinated this or that. No, that’s not what it’s saying. He predestinated us to be
conformed to the image of his Son in vs. 29. That we would be like his Son, very much like his
Son. In the same way, a dog is a dog. Like a dog. A dog is not a cow. A dog is a dog. A cow is a
cow and a bird is a bird. Man is a sinner is a sinner. But Christ is not a sinner. Christ is made as a
man but he’s actually God. He’s the God-Man.
We are predestinated to be as he is, I John 3:1-2. The sons of God. We will be satisfied when we awake with his likeness, Psalm 17:15. By the way, that is happening to us now. Have you sensed his likeness? Have you sensed the fellowship, the communion, the conformity to his image? It’s guaranteed. No matter what happens on this
level, and let’s talk about it for a minute. One of those boys did go to prison. He messed up.
One of those boys did get in trouble. It does happen. We are afraid sometimes. The squatters
move in. They take over. They take it off of our property. We say, It’s not your property. It’s my
property. They say, get out of here and so on and there is a battle. But this is saying that you
and I are in a family. We were never in that family before. We were lost. We were without God,
without covenant, and without promise in Ephesians 2:12.
Remember when you were a slave in Egypt? Remember when you didn’t have any authority or any power in your life to make any choices or decisions? Remember when you were like a fish in an aquarium and you swim along
and you stop and turn and swim along and stop. Remember you were a dog on a leash?
Remember when you lived in your sin and you had your limitations from Friday to Friday?
That’s what I remember. Friday night is party time. Then you go through the week. Then it’s
party time. What a life from Friday to Friday. Compare that from eternity to eternity, Psalm
90:1. God, you are our habitation. You are from everlasting to everlasting. You are our
habitation. Wow! Vs. 29b. I want to say it for the sake of the language. It’s not specifically
correct but I want to say that he is the firstborn of the species. He is the firstborn of this kind.
He is the firstborn of this new creation. It is accurate.
He is the first one from the dead. People died before Jesus. They died and then maybe resuscitated like Lazarus was raised from the dead and lived some more years and then he died. But Jesus was raised but different, never to
die again. The first born from the dead. He’s the first of this kind that you and I are. Vs. 30.
Moreover, as if that isn’t enough. Moreover. Here it is. A link in the chain for who we are. Who
are you? I’m foreknown. Where are you going? I’m predestinated to be like Christ. It’s
guaranteed. How come? Because I’m called. What does it mean “called”? I don’t know actually.
I know the Bible verses and I know it in my experience. I know how it works. Why is someone
called and someone isn’t called? Why is someone drawn and they just want it. They are
interested. They want to know about God. Why does that happen? Jesus said in John. 6:44, no one
can come to me except the Father draws him. You can push people like in Japan when they
push people on the subways.
The pushers are packing the subways. You can push people. You can manipulate people. You can pay people. You can force people but can you draw people? God can. God can draw the with love. He draws us by his Spirit. “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord.” He draws us. Draw us, in Song of Solomon. 1:4. Listen to this piece of Bible. Draw me – singular pronoun – and we will run after you. If you draw me alone, I won’t be
alone. We will run after you. When you are called, you are alone (Isaiah 51:2). Abraham was called
alone. Where was he? In the Ur of the Chaldees. What happened? No one knows how it
happened. He was just called. It says he believed God. He was a pagan. He was a man without
God. That’s true. It’s like us. We were without God. We were without God and God somehow
he drew us. I have to go to that meeting. I don’t know why. I want to go. But those are crazy
people. I know. I don’t know if they are. Maybe they are but I want to go there. Where? To that
place? Yes, I want to go there.
Then I go home and I’m laying in bed thinking about it. Why am I thinking about it? I don’t know. I don’t know. If God has called you, there is something going on. There is a chain. What is a chain for? A chain can be a bad thing like when it has you in bonds, but there is another kind of chain that is a good thing. That I belong to somebody. Somebody owns me. It’s like that family picture when the father says the bad news. I want you children to
know that mom and dad love you but if you ever get in trouble, it’s over. This other father says,
if you ever get in trouble, it doesn’t change the fact that you are my child. I’m your dad. That’s
the meaning of this. These words. They are theological words. Everyone of them is filled with
meaning and Bible verses that defined them. Who called you? God. What does it mean? The
next one says to whom he called he justified.
That’s another link. Justified. It’s a word used in law in a courtroom with a judge, and you are guilty of a crime and the judge un-customarily by his authority can declare you righteous or free. I would imagine that rarely happened. But used in the meaning of our New Testament, God looked at you and your sin and in a sense he looked
over at his Son on the cross and his Son’s death, perfect life and death on the cross has
cancelled out our sin and has imputed to us righteousness. We are now justified, declared
righteous when we are not but we are. This is in the mind of God. He has justified us. That
means we are saved. How secure are you saved? So sure, that this chain, this link, none of these
links can be broken because none of them depend on you. Let me tell you something. When I
was in Bible college, I started to make vows or promises.
I will get up early in the morning for prayer. For three weeks, I was hitting a home run and that day came. You know what day it was! No home run. The day it didn’t work. It didn’t happen. You know what I mean. If any of
this, the father’s speech has to come from the father’s heart to you and I knowing how bad we
can be. Knowing how wrong we can be. It has to come from him. The love doesn’t come from
us at the kitchen table. The love is coming from the father at the kitchen table. We will never
leave you, never forsake you. What we promised to you is going to happen. None of our words
will fall to the ground. We are giving you this love because this is what makes a healthy family.
This is why Jesus Christ came into the world. He came into the world to be the God of all grace,
to show us the grace of God and reveal to us who we are. Go to the last word. Glorified. Has
this already happened? Yes, every one of these has already happened and it’s sure. Glorified.
Finished. Perfected. I don’t feel perfect. I don’t live perfectly.
I’m not perfect. Isn’t that what God wants to say to us about this, that no matter what happens. Look at the sequel of these verses. He’s almost saying you don’t believe this so let me ask some rhetorical questions. Vs.
31-32. That reminds me of when we were caving in Budapest. I’ve used this illustration many times. I try not to be too repetitive. It’s a good one. In the cave, we come to a small hole so we
take the biggest person and say, hey you! You go first. If you can get through, we’ll all get
through. You can say, there will be a day when God will forsake me. There is a day when I don’t
feel. There is a day when my failure is overwhelming. There is a day when I know I’ll never make
it. There is a day when I fear the encroachment of death breathing down my neck. I can feel the
alienation, the loneliness, the darkness, the deep pit of Psalm 88. The waves that overwhelm
me. Yes, all of this is life but we must hear what our Father says to us. He’s adopted us. The
word “adoption” is a word of affection but it has a legal meaning. The Apostle Paul used it, the
Roman law of adoption.
The laws where a serious legal act before the Roman magistrates
enabled a person to take into his own family a child not his own and treat the child as his own
with all the privileges and responsibilities of that new family. This is very important law because
the adopted child had all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family.” If we are adopted into
God’s family, do we have rights? Do we have privileges? What are the guarantees? Who are
we? What is our identity? Jesus said pray, our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name.
I love that word. Your name, the great name, the name God. The Jews in the Old Testament the
name was so holy that when a scribe wrote the name Yahweh, he first washed. Then he wrote
the name and then he washed again. They were like ceremonial and religious laws for the name
of God. They didn’t even say the name. That’s why when they wrote it, they had the consonants
and left out the vowels. It was the name of God is like so – imagine Jesus saying to Jewish
people, say, Our Father.
God is your Father. In the Old Testament, the word Father was written I believe 7 times for God and in the New Testament it’s 80 times. Father. We cry not only father but Abba. Daddy, Affection. Father. We have the Spirit of God in us that gives us four things. I have another chain I want to draw here and it’s in John. 14. We have this chain and it’s in the mind of God decided in eternity regarding you. You are guaranteed a speech by God at the
family table so to speak that is saying this is sure and you must live in this security. I want you
to know that the love will change you life. The love and the trust that you have in me as your
Father. I am the Father that will never let you down. If you go to prison, I will be sitting next to
you. If you fail, I will be there picking you up. If you lie, I will be there correcting you. I will be
teaching you. I will never fail you. If you get in trouble, I’m with you in it. If you make your bed
in hell, I am there (Psalm 139). John. 14:22, I’m sure in the ancient world he knew of places like
Rome and Alexandria, Egypt. He knew of the world but we know China.
Why don’t you go to China? Why don’t you go to Africa and India? Lord, why did you manifest yourself only to us?
This is his answer. “if a man love me.” That’s it. That’s what will happen. If you have a man
knowing God loves me, God loves me first, you are saved by grace, then you will love God. You
will love God and there will be a chain here in this text that I want to show you. This is what will
happen. If a man loves me, he will keep my words. This chain. This chain can fail because it
includes me. This chain can be broken but if this chain is broken, it doesn’t stop what God has
decided in himself. He will just keep loving. He’ll be there. He’ll keep coming. He’ll keep loving
you. You can’t stop God from loving you. God is love. God will keep loving you. But if you
understand that your Father has adopted you and put you in his family, then he will say to you
and if you love me Jesus is saying, you will keep my words. How do you keep his words?
In your heart. You hear them again just like you eat pizza many times. You eat it again. I’ll hear the
same word again. I’ll eat the same pizza, not the same one but the same recipe. I’ll eat the
same recipe again and again and again and it’s just as good as it was before. Same with keeping
his word. It’s just something that doesn’t die. It’s the Word of life that you keep. Why didn’t you
go into all the world? Because I have a Korean man that loves me and he’s keeping my word.
What else is happening? Go to the next link. “And my Father will love him.” In his experience,
he will know the love of the Father. The Father is a father of affection. He is a father of
fellowship. He is a father of holiness. And he’s a father of authority. The Father will be with you
and I. The Father will show us his authority. The Father will reveal to us his heart. Son,
daughter, I love you. I’m for you.
Are you, Father? Yes, I am. Pray to me. Trust me. Come. Believe me. I am with you. Next one. Vs. 23. We will come unto him. Presence of the Father and The Son and the Holy Spirit in your life. He’s here. Have you felt that? Have you seen it? He’s here. Not always do I see it. Jacob said God was here and I knew it not. I see the blindness of my
own soul. I see the blindness at times. God is here and I don’t realize it. How many people don’t
see it. Or how many people don’t realize God is here and he’s enough. God is here and he’s
enough. That’s amazing. Peter was out fishing and two times the miracle happened. Cast your
net on the right side. He pulled in a lot of fish. Three years later, Peter is finishing again after
the resurrection. Cast your net on the right side. They catch all the fish and Peter says, who is
that? Who is that!! You don’t know who that is? It happens to Christians. I forgot. God is here
and I didn’t know it. I got wrapped up in my legalism. I got wrapped up in my narrow stuff. I got
wrapped up into politics in a way where it overcame me. We have our election coming up and
I encourage you as a citizen of the U.S. Everybody vote. That’s a part of our
privilege. But there is also something very deep about this message today and it’s not our
political situation. It’s what’s in my heart. What’s in my heart regarding people that disagree
with me or are different with me. Can I love people? Can I pray for them? Can I evangelize? Can
I share? Can I listen? Or am I always fighting? Can I be at peace. My Father and I will make our
abode with him. Vs. 23b. Jesus, why don’t you go into all parts of the world? Because you are
going in to all parts of the world. Lord, the people at Hopkins need you. Why don’t you manifest
yourself to them? Because you are there. That’s what will happen. Who are you? God is
dwelling with us. He’s dwelling with us. Even when tears are running down my face, he is
dwelling with us. Even when the son is sitting in a prison somewhere because he messed up,
God dwelling with him. God is dwelling. God is not ashamed to call us brethren, Hebrews 2. This is
something new. This is not the God of religion.
This is the God of reality, God of heaven and earth, the God that sent his Son, the God that showed up. Not theoretically. You’re behaving. No, that’s the first story in our introduction. That’s like the father that said I love you and I will be with you but let me put in here a caveat. “If” and it’s over. No, this is amazing. What shall
separate us from the love of God? In all these things we are more than conquerors. More than
conquerors. Napoleon got defeated at Waterloo. Hitler was defeated in the war. Evil people fall
down. Heroes win awards and everything and then death conquers them. But not us. We are
adopted into a family where we have everlasting life, where we have victory, where we learn
who we are. Father, tell me more. Open the Bible. Give me the legal rights. I’m here to stand with truth. If I fail, your grace is greater than my failure in Romans 5:20. If I’m confused, you are
my Comforter. If I fail, you are there with me.
Though I go through the valley of the shadow of death, your rod and your staff will comfort me. Thank you, Lord. Two chains in our message this morning. This one can never be broken. It’s a guarantee. It’s the foundation of the new family. And if in the new family we are following with loving him, we keep his word and love him and
he will come to us. He will love us and we will come unto him. The Father and I will come unto
him and make our abode with him. I’ll never leave you or forsake you. That’s awesome. Bible
school. Wow! Bible school. Woe! Woe! It’s like this chain. How many times have we gone
somewhere and to the natural mind they say, how can you live here? How can you do this
thing? How many times. P. Plunkett living in China. How can you live in China? Where is your
wife? She’s in America. Where is your family? How can you do this? How many times you are in
a situation and you say I don’t know how you are seeing this but I feel like I am in heaven. I feel
this is my home. How can you do this? Maybe it’s because God has taken his abode with us.
Paul, how could you be in prison and be so contented and write such amazing letters? God is
abiding. He’s taken up his abode with me.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.