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"Three Things Worth Knowing"

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth
His Son, born of woman, born under the Law, to redeem
those who were under the Law, so that we might receive
adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has
sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba!
Father!" Galatians 4:4-6

You know, when St. Paul wrote to the Galatians about
being adopted, he was referring to a Roman legal action.
Although Roman adoption was familiar to Paul's original
audience, there are some things you might want to know.

For example, you should know there were three things
which happened at that formal ceremony.

First, the person being adopted left his old family and
became part of a new one. That also happens to us when
we are given faith in the Savior. Those who believe in Jesus
Christ, who recognize His sacrifice, rejoice that the Spirit
leads sinners from Satan's family of damnation and brings
them into a new relationship with their Creator. By God's
grace they become children in God's household of salvation.

Second, in the Roman world, an adopted son became a
legitimate heir to the estate.

Nobody could take away the benefits which had been given
to him. That's exactly what St. Paul says happens to us. In
the book of Romans he writes, "For I am convinced ... (not)
anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from

the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord"
(see Romans 8:38-39).

In other words, once you had nothing to look forward to but
death and the grave; but now, because of Jesus' sacrifice,
you have become an heir of heaven.

Third, according to Roman law, when you were given a new
life in a new family, your old life was wiped out. Your past
debts were cancelled. You became a new person.

Because of Jesus' substitution, we who have been adopted
also find our sins are gone. The debt demanded by the Law
has been paid in full. We have been welcomed into a new life,
a life filled with forgiveness and hope.

That's what St. Paul meant when he said to the Corinthian
church, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

To make it possible for you to be adopted is why Jesus was
willing to leave His throne in heaven. Now, all who have been
given faith are adopted as children of God and have become
inheritors of eternal life. The door to God's family has been
opened, and for this we must give thanks.


Dear Lord, I rejoice that You, without any redeeming qualities
in me, have adopted me. Now, by the power of Jesus' life-
giving substitution I have been given a new and better life.
Keep my heart always grateful for this gift, which will never
end. This I pray in the Savior's Name. Amen.

Pastor Klaus

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