Adopted As God's Children    Romans 8:15-27    Nov. 20, 2006
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    I heard Jack Stanton, the former professor at SBU, tell the story about his daughter's security after she knew she had been adopted. Before the adoption was complete the authorities planned to take the little girl back into their control, and Jack kept her away from them. At times she had to hide, and fear gripped her young life. In time, Jack, and his wife legally adopted the girl. To celebrate they went camping, and when their daughter became tired, she told her parents she was going up to the tent and go to sleep. Surprised, Jack asked her, "Are you afraid?" She replied, "No, I've been adopted!" Jack told the story very well and applied it to Christians as being Adopted As God's Children.

1.    Being Adopted As Children We Have . . Assurance. Vs 15-18

    A.    Assurance from the . . Spirit. Vs 15-16
            15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but
            you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, "Abba,
                1.    The Spirit Give Assurance through Our. .Titles for God. v 15
                2.    The Spirit Give Assurance through Our. .Testimony of God. v 16
                    16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are
                    God's children,

    B.    Assurance from the . . Sufferings. Vs 17-18

        1. The . . Children's Suffering. v 17
            17 and if children, also heirs heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ seeing
            that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
        2. The . . Comparable Suffering. v 18
            18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth
                comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.

    We enjoy certain assurances because God adopted us into His family. As family members we received the Holy Spirit, and He enables us to call God, "Father." The endearing terms "Daddy, or Papa," could be included in the meaning of the phrase, "Abba, Father." Not everyone can call God, "Father," but the Holy Spirit gives us the assurance God is our Father, and we are His Children. Only a child could properly use the name "Abba." Slaves, regardless of how close, could not use this term. We receive further assurance as God testifies we are His Children. Assurance comes also through suffering. Non-Christians do not suffer on this earth for being God's Children. All of God's Family will suffer in this world, but we suffer with the assurance we are joint heirs with Jesus. Paul tells us our earthly sufferings do not compare to the blessings of heaven. Do I hear someone shout, "Glory?"

2.    Being Adopted As Children We Have . . Anticipation. Vs 19-23

    A.    Anticipation of the . . Revelation. Vs 19-20
        19 For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God's sons to be
        revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility not willingly, but
        because of Him who subjected it in the hope

    B.    Anticipation of the . . Restoration. Vs 21-22
        21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of
        corruption into the glorious freedom of God's children. 22 For we know
        that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until

    C.    Anticipation of the . . Redemption. v 23
        23 And not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as
        the firstfruits we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption,
        the redemption of our bodies.

    When we anticipate pleasure it becomes even more enjoyable. As adopted children we anticipate the future revelations of God. Creation anticipates all that will happen at the final revelation of God's Children. Creation will be restored as we receive the final revelation of the blessings God has in store for His children. We also anticipate the final redemption of our bodies.

3.    Being Adopted As Children We Have . . Appreciation. Vs 24-27

    A.    Appreciation of . . Salvation's Hope. Vs 24-25
        24 Now in this hope we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope,
        because who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do
        not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.

    B.    Appreciation of the . . Spirit's Help. Vs 26-27
        26 In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because
        we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself
        intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. 27 And He who searches the
        hearts knows the Spirit's mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints
        according to the will of God. Romans 8:15-27 (HCSB)

    We appreciate the hope God gives to His Children. Today, God's children know they have been adopted, and it gives them the hope of salvation. This hope is more like a certainty, than a wish. The final results of our salvation are not as yet seen, but we appreciate it with our God-given hope. The Holy Spirit adds to our appreciation as He intercedes for us. He does this according to the will of God. Some want to force a so-called "tongues" experience into this passage; but this is an utterance by the Holy Spirit and cannot be uttered by a human even if given a special kind of "tongue". We enjoy many blessings through being Adopted As God's Children. Amen? Amen!