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Adoption leads to Hope Assured

Read Romans 8:14-17

Continuing in one of the most beloved chapters in all of scripture, Paul reminds us that when we are led by the Spirit of God, when our life is oriented towards, and determined by, the Spirit, we are children of God. No greater award than being welcomed into His family as a child of God. We have been freed and are now adopted children. The word sonship is used to show that it is because of the Son, not because of who we are, (male or female). Sons and daughters of the living God. No longer living in fear, but part of His glorious family, His people.

So much so that we can use the Aramaic word. "Abba". Aramaic is the language of the region Jesus was from and the language Jesus himself used during His earthly ministry. "Abba" means, "daddy" - a term of a close and loving father, an informal term of endearment. But more than this, it means 'Father, I will obey you'. It means intimacy and obedience. The Old Testament shows us this idea. The idea of God the Father and His people, "Israel" as His children (sons).

Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
“I myself said, “‘How gladly would I treat you like my children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’ I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me. (Jeremiah 3:19)

What is interesting is that the Jews did not especially practice the idea of adoption. It is rather a Greco-Roman concept. Sonship and adoption are where the Father takes on legal responsibilities for the child, moving the rights onto that child as if it were a birth child. That is, having the same privileges and rights as their own children would have. Truly breathtaking that our God does this... for us! We are therefore able to experience the same intimate relationship, the same privileges and rights to the Father as Jesus has.

This is why we can now call ourselves heirs and co-heirs with Christ. We now receive all the benefits of a natural child - guaranteed! Heirs awaiting our inheritance. We are moved from slaves to sons & daughters.

Now, if we are children it is because of the indwelling of the Spirit. Having the Spirit is linked to Christ's work. This however does not exempt us from suffering. But more than that, we are to suffer, so that, we may share in His glory.

Read Romans 8:18-25

Paul continues that "our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us". Just dwell on this phrase for a moment. Our suffering will not compare to the glory. We will suffer, but this is OK, because it will be nothing compared to His glory to come.

We are then moved to the beginning of creation. A reminder of God's power and eternal span, and His glorious plan. Creation has been suffering, but now, because of His children, creation has been freed. It was groaning (pain of childbirth). We now groan because we have the Spirit and we now see God's demand for holiness. Therefore the frustration increases because we are not meeting God's standard. In this, we now wait. Waiting for the redemption of our bodies, in the final rescue of the body from sin and death. This will happen when we are raised from the dead.

It is this reality that we have hope for. Verses 24-25 have the word 'hope' five times. Hope is an inevitable part of Christian living. Hope, saved and salvation, the glory already exists in heaven. It is this certainty that we now hope! A living hope! A hope we can be assured in!

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