Up until this point, we’ve been through what leads up to the point of salvation – being born again. This session moved us into what flows from that moment. God declaring us justified, our adoption, and the believer’s union with Christ.
The progression in Scripture here is astounding. We stand condemned and He says not guilty. That’s not all. Then we are imputed with Christ’s righteousness. Amazing. Then the judge in the courtroom gets up from the bench, comes down to us, and welcomes us into His family.
What made this section especially impacting was David’s personal stories of the adoption of their son, Caleb. So many here, but just to pick one – the mental image of sitting in a courtroom and seeing person after person testify about a child, “We don’t want him.” All the while, David and Heather sitting in the audience barely able to constrain themselves from jumping up and shouting, “That’s why we came! We want him!”
So has it been done for us.
Some other memorable statements to dwell on:
– We do not justify ourselves; we are passive in this act. God justifies us.
– God’s law says over every single one of us: “Guilty.”
– “Justification is the hinge upon which everything turns.” John Calvin
– As God gives faith, God grants justification.
– Justified is once for all. You’re not justified more tomorrow than you are today.
– Put these things together in the courtroom: A just judge, a clear law, and a lawbreaker – it doesn’t look good.
– If we are simply declared not guilty, that would make us morally neutral. God goes beyond that.
– In order for you and I to be righteous before God, we need someone else’s righteousness.
– How do you know you are right before God? Because Christ… not “Because I…”
– Why is faith God’s chosen means for righteousness? It’s because faith is the anti-work – the desperate acknowledgment that there is nothing I can do.
– When you come to God in faith, you are saying, “I give up.”
– When you unite your life with Christ, everything He has belongs to you. That’s imputation.
– You don’t adopt accidentally. You adopt purposefully.
– The title “Father” of God is only used 15 times in the Old Testament. In the gospels alone, it’s used over 150.
– The reason we adopt children is not out of altruism; not because we want a cute Christmas card. We are driven by the fact that we were once a child of wrath and are now adopted by a loving Father.
– Most of us believe Christ died for the forgiveness of our sins, but we stop there. We live defeated lives because we have not grasped the mammoth reality that Jesus died for us to live in us.
– Christ in you now means Christ in you forever.
As 1 Thessalonians 4:18 says, encourage one another with these words.