by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 7 July 22, 2012 Dayton, Texas
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
1901 ASV Translation:
5 that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 So that thou art no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
I. God Sent Forth His Son.
II. The Descriptors.
A. The sent Son was "born of woman" (see notes for 7/8/2012(187)).
B. The sent Son was "born under Law" (see notes for 7/15/2012(189)).
III. The Outcomes.
A. We receive the "adoption of sons".
1. In spite of evidence that the "adoption" has future-fulfillment issues, Paul clearly declares that "the adoption" occurs at the point of "redemption".
a. Paul used "adoption" terminology in Romans 8:23 when telling his readers that they would have to "wait" for it.
b. But in that same context he clearly told them that they alreadyhadreceived "the Spirit of adoption" (8:15).
2. In our text/context, it is clear that Paul considers the "adoption" to have already taken place because the outcome is "sonship" and they are "nolonger slaves but sons" (Galatians 4:7).
3. What we "have received" is the Father's determination that the "children" are to be no longer "under tutors and governors" and have passed the point in time that was "appointed by the Father" for the execution of that determination. It is exceedingly interesting that the point in time that faith grasps the promise of forgiveness through grace and not law is the actual point of the level of maturity required by the Father for the release of the child from subjection to tutors and other slaves of the household. What makes it so interesting is the fact that the point in time that faith grasps this promise is the same point in time when a person is "born again" and is transferred out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son. Most of us consider that the production of a "babe", not a "matured child who is ready for adoption-privileges". But, that said, most of us are clearly wrong in our perception. It is true that the newness of regeneration and entrance into Life produces "babes" who are to seek the "sincere milk of the Word" (1 Peter 2:2), and it is true that there is a time in the beginning of this new Life that people are immature and in need of teaching (Hebrews 5:12), but it is also true that coming to a faith-grasp of salvation by grace is a "maturity" doctrine that qualifies its holder for "adoption". What we conclude is this: "adoption" is not the Father's determination that the "son" no longer needs to increase in knowledge and wisdom, but that the threshold for such increase has been crossed: adoption is the threshold.
4. What this means in terms of being a "lord of all" (the outcome of adoption) is that God has given to us a certain level of "authority" over our experience of "Life" and a certain level of ability to "handle" Life with wisdom. This means one potent thing, at least: the understanding of "Grace" is the bottom-line of "adoption-level maturity".
B. We receive "the Spirit of His Son".
1. God "apostelized" His Son at the point of "redemption" so that He would be the Redeemer without failure.
2. God, then, "apostelized" His Spirit at the point of "sonship" so that those He indwelt would become "like" His Son. He also does this, in at least one true sense, absolutely effectively. It is the hope of Christians that someday their entire being will be "like" Jesus, but it is a present fact that there are already certain aspects of their being that are "like" Jesus.
a. The rather massive difficulty this truth presents is the undeniably ungodly behavior of those in possession of the "Spirit of His Son".
b. If the "Spirit" is "of His Son" and He has been "apostelized", those He indwells should be active presentations of Jesus.
c. But, just as the physical body of "believers" remains shackled to corruption because its "adoption" is on hold for the present (Romans 8:21), so also is the soul of "believers" yet in bondage to corruption as long as the truth of "adoption" remains an object of speculation rather than an object of faith (2 Peter 2:19). Bondage is only broken by the knowledge of the Truth (John 8:32) and faith in that knowledge. Until a person believes any given truth, that person remains in bondage to the "lie" that has supplanted it. The only realm in which there is an inclusive "once for all" deliverance based upon a single instance of faith is the realm of Justice. "Justification" delivers us instantly and forever from every "sin" in terms of the "just" recompence due sin. Once a person is justified by faith, he/she is forever free from the condemnation of Justice (Romans 8:1) Every other "deliverance" depends entirely upon "Truth believed" in terms of an immediate "faith" in the Truth that addresses an immediate circumstance. One cannot "believe" today for tomorrow's circumstances. Bondage arises from being overcome by deceit (2 Peter 2:19) and the only defense anyone has against that bondage is a deliberate, clear-eyed, dependence at the point of the deceit in its participation in the present circumstance.
d. Thus we can conclude that "the Spirit of His Son" produces the attitudes and actions of that Son in the lives of those He indwells only in response to particular faith in particular promises at specific points of contradiction of truth by lies. That people often miss seeing these "productions" of the Son is because of the plethora of "mixed signals" that arise out of a complex life. No one's "body" produces only a picture of Jesus because no one's actions are completely dominated by faith in the truth. On any given day the "bodies" of believers produce a vast host of actions, some of which are dominated by truth and some of which are dominated by delusions. It is the mix that creates the confusion and, thus, the disbelief that God has actually "apostelized" His Spirit in the lives of His adopted sons. But, faith must be exercised in God's gift of His Spirit if He is to reproduce the life of the Son in the bodies of the adopted sons. The lives which we live in the flesh we live by the faith of the indwelling Son (Galatians 2:20).
3. The realm of the Spirit's activity is identified as "our hearts".
a. This dare not be minimalized: the "heart" is the root of every attitude and action.
b. The Spirit's involvement at the "heart" level means that He will be addressing "values" held.
1) We must be aware, going in, that a profession of faith is not the same thing as believing.
2) We must also be aware, going in, that the most simple "belief" will yield the fruit of faith as Jesus said (Matthew 17:20).
3) We must also be aware, going in, that deceit regarding the nature and content of "faith" will be, and has always been, the chief "domain" of the adversary's campaign against the sons of God. It is no accident that "faith" is mostly presented in flawed terms simply because the deceptions are present and havebeenreceived as truth.
4. The impact of the Spirit's indwelling is identified as creating an "Abba" orientation.
a. Apparently, this is the bottom line in terms of where the Spirit begins His work as an Apostle of the Father.
b. Being the bottom line, "Abba", as a fundamental orientation, cannot be over emphasized, but can easily be distorted into varied concepts that invariably begin with some form of "My Daddy will...", or "My Daddy would not..." that are built upon vacuous notions of what "fatherhood" means outside of biblical revelation. In our text, it is the "Father" that decides if/when a person qualifies for "adoption" and that is rooted in whether the lesson of Law has been received.