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Freedom Through Adoption [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
February 14, 2022 5:00 am

Freedom Through Adoption [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.

Freedom is understood perhaps best, and most richly for sure, by understanding yourself to be in Christ, the Son and daughter of God. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series called Unleashed, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program today, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. You can find out more about it and even receive a copy of your very own for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. So as you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer at PastorAlan.org. Find out more about it and make your request or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Again, our website, PastorAlan.org. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.

Here is Alan Wright. Beloved, are you ready for some good news? When you accept Christ, it's not just freedom from slavery in the sense that your sins are forgiven. It really is, in the biblical picture of the New Testament, a move from being like an orphan to being an heir. And today, as we continue this series on what the biblical picture of freedom is, we look at maybe the most multi-textured and rich image of all in the New Testament that explains freedom, not as the absence of any restraint, not as having no responsibility, but instead the image of freedom in the New Testament is one of sweet and deep submission. And though the gate may look narrow, on the other side of this gate is spaciousness of life. And what we're going to see today, as we've seen in past weeks, is that the idea of being unleashed is maybe best pictured in this simple picture we have of every day.

Only a well-trained submitted dog can go unleashed. And I want to show you today what may be the most beautiful image of all to explain what real freedom is. And it is going to be found in Romans chapter 8. We're also going to look at a passage in John chapter 8, but it's the image of being adopted as a child of God.

And this is Paul's picture of what real freedom actually looks like. So we're going to look first at Romans chapter 8 and then in John chapter 8. And Romans 8 is really a crescendo of all that has been building in the opening chapters of Romans, which is a beautiful, coherent, logical process of argument and exaltation of Christ to say, here's why the law didn't work and here's why grace works.

Here's what the law is. It's holy, it's good, it's right, it's a gift from God, but it only served to highlight how much we need God because we are unable to keep the law out of our own effort. And he explains all of this, and how it is that the fact that we are not under the law is not an invitation to go on sinning, but the fact that we're not under the law but under grace is the power by which we gain victory over sin.

And he builds through all of this and comes to chapter 8 and it's a real crescendo. It is for anybody who has ever been longing for a life of grace and the power of the love of God at work in your life, it's the thing you've been waiting for your whole life for him to start out and say there is therefore now no condemnation in Christ. And what he's doing is he's drawing a contrast here between the flesh and the spirit. And by this he doesn't just mean the works of the flesh are those evil and corrupt deeds that we do out of our sin nature that's so bent on selfishness. What he means is more deep than that and it is paralleled in what he has to say in Galatians where we won't take time to look today, but the works of the flesh are not just oh those sins in your life, but what Paul says the works of the flesh, he means trying to live by the power of your own human will out of your own goodness or your own effort. That to Paul is work of the flesh. This is what he talks about in Galatians when he talks about Abraham and Sarah when they bring Hagar in to bear a child because the promise of their own child has not yet come.

That's the flesh, that's what he's saying. And so now we have this contrast between flesh and spirit and as a contrast between law and grace and what we see in this passage in this is what I want our theme today to be is it is a contrast between orphan and heir and when you get this you get freedom. It's Romans chapter 8 at verse 12. So then brothers we are debtors not to the flesh to live according to the flesh for if you live according to the flesh you will die but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God.

And I want to just pause here for just a moment. I'm reading from the English standard version and I think that ordinarily it's important that we be sensitive in the language we use and not exclusive and here's an exclusive word sons because daughters is not mentioned here. And the reason the ESV has left this in as you'll see in this entire message today and I hope that you'll understand from the beginning there's nothing about this meant to be exclusive as all but hopefully you'll see this is a technical image about first century practices of adoption that was largely a childless couple adopting a in this image a male heir and that's why it's left in that language. I just want to make that that point because it's just we're going to see this all throughout the message.

It's an image from first century Rome. Verse 15, for you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear but you have received the spirit of adoption as sons by whom we cry Abba, Father. Now Abba, with Jesus Himself, how He addressed God, the Father, Abba is just a very easy first thing for a child to say. In our culture we don't use Abba as much we use Dada. It's easy to say. I have a little nephew Wesley and as he's been learning to talk he's he's he's he quickly was able to call out my daughter Abby because that's a whole lot like Abba just Abby you know so she's just cheating from the very earliest times with him and going I'm saying Abby Abby you know and like I'm over here trying to say Uncle Allen. It's like the hardest thing for a child to say and so I'm just being left out of this whole thing. He's calling everybody except for me and so finally I just said I'm gonna call me Al and he could say that so now he just buzzed my right signature Al and I'll take it right because it's easy to say that's what Abba is Abba the smallest child calling out to a Father. Verse 16, the Spirit Himself, the Holy Spirit, bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and if children then heirs heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ provided we suffer with Him we are so identified with the very death of Jesus that we may also be glorified with Him. We are so connected with Him and I'm just going to show you this text I won't be speaking as directly to it but John chapter 8 I think is so intriguing and I want to just reinforce this with this text from John 8 verse 31. Jesus said to the Jews who believed Him if you abide in my word you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and here's the famous line and the truth will set you free and I wanted you to see where this famous line the truth will set you free where this the context of this famous statement a statement that is everywhere you go in secular society you'll see the same the truth will set you free it's on it's engraved on you know the university hallways and a crossing but look we're at this context of it verse 33 they answered him we are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone so they were taken aback they were offended by Jesus saying that you'll be free because He was implying they weren't free how is it that you say we'll become free never mind the fact that the people God had been enslaved in Egypt and had been reminded to never forget their slavery but verse 34 Jesus answered him truly truly I say to you everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin so Jesus says I'm reinterpreting the idea of slavery here to talk about spiritual bondage and the slave does not remain in the house forever but the son remains forever the distinction between a slave and a son is about the son abiding with the father that's what he's saying so if the son sets you free you'll be free indeed freedom is through this image of becoming a child of God an heir of God is what he's saying I know your offspring of Abraham literally seed of Abraham yet you seek to kill me because my words find no place in you I speak of what I've seen with my father and you do what you've heard from your father those are very direct words from Jesus he's saying that you are living your life out of a mystical fatherhood that is actually from the power of darkness that's influencing your life so it's a very strong statement in the context of that so freedom is understood perhaps best and most richly for sure by understanding yourself to be in Christ a son a daughter of God and that's my thing today that's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series this is what the Lord says I will restore the fortunes of Jacob's tents and have compassion on his dwellings the city will be rebuilt on her ruins and the palace will stand in its proper place those timeless words from Jeremiah 30 reveal the heart of God he loves to restore in ancient times cities would often be rebuilt on top of the ruins of the former city the new city would stand higher with safer walls and a greater perspective in pastor Alan Wright's eight message CD album out of the ruins you'll discover how God can rebuild your life gloriously out of yesterday's disappointments when you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today we'll send you pastor Alan's messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership call us at 877-544-4860 that's 877-544-4860 or come to our website pastor alan.org today's teaching now continues here once again is Alan Wright some of you heard me tell many years ago my son Bennett and I were playing in the yard and we paused to have some lemonade on the front steps it's one of the wonderful these parental moments that priceless conversations emerge and you never forget them and I remember where we're sitting I remember I remember it very well because he was six years old and out of the blue he just said dad what's a slave and I I was troubled by the question because I thought you know here we've been sheltering this boy I don't want to talk about slavery now this is such an ugly concept and I was six years old and where has he even heard such a thing and you know so forth and so I thought about it I said well there's nothing to do but just address this and I said well Bennett I said a slave is someone who is sort of owned by another person and it's a very bad thing I said that master owns the slave and the slave has to do everything that the master says I said it's it's a very sad thing but even the people of God for a period of time were enslaved and I'm very sad to tell you that there was a time even in our own country that we were time even in our own country that we we had slavery and he was quiet a little bit and he said I belong to you and I have to do what you say I said no no no son you don't you misunderstand I said you're my son you're not a slave it's it's all the difference in the world you're my son I said you don't understand said if a slave doesn't do what the master says then the master might beat that slave I never spanked him very much there had been it's here today I never spanked very much or very seldom but he he was six and there had been some gentle pops on the behind maybe a few times and he said but dad sometimes I've not done what you said and I got a spanking no no Bennett it's it's just it's just so different and I'm sitting there going explain the difference in this what is it you know and I just mumbled for like 10 minutes and I said let's go kick the soccer ball some more you know you're my son let's move on and so I've been spending 15 years you know trying to 16 years trying to figure out that answer and I think I have it for you today the image of of freedom that Paul is using here is essentially of moving from being like an orphan to to being the being a beloved son daughter heir and so it's helpful to think both in the natural terms what happens as studies have shown about orphans but also this spiritual picture for us and famously told of of an orphanage an orphanage in post-war Europe where they were trying to get the children to be able to sleep better but they've been these children have been without for so long you know they're displaced there are millions of of little ones that are displaced after the war and this particular orphanage they were trying to get them to sleep better because the children were so insecure so what they decided to do is just feed them a huge meal at night so they could go to bed really full and they found that they slept a little bit better but they realized they were still restless and they were still not sleeping well until somebody finally had the idea to feed them a big meal and then also give them a small loaf of bread to just go to sleep with and they found that with bread in the bed with them the children slept well because there's something inside of you just can't rest unless you know that there's some someone some way that you can be provided for because if the possibility is that the good comfort or food that you have today that someone provided won't be there tomorrow it's it's hard to pillow your head at night that you can't refrain from grasping or even stealing unless you're somehow assured that you're given provision essentially to be a beloved child is to know deeply that someone who knows more and has more can get things done for you has you in mind and that as you go to bed that someone has you in mind and that therefore your life is not utterly independent but you belong and there's a great measure of care for you because of the love that's been set upon you it means that you can know something about your future which is to say that there's an inheritance even if your inheritance is just that you'll get more bread tomorrow it's reassuring so what happens is that that both in the natural and i'm talking about a spiritual picture here but we're looking at the natural picture of in the orphaned heart it's very hard for an orphan to look on authority as anything other than a threat or a means of opportunity the orphaned heart tends to look on authority as a threat to be afraid of because it might take something from you or just hurt you or to look upon the authority as something to be leveraged for means of gain so you impress the authority manipulate the authority see the way the heir thinks is completely different than that child doesn't look upon his or her father in a loving relationship look upon a parent as if you're just someone to be manipulated for my gain or someone i could get something out of or something just to be feared for the orphan relationship's hard it's hard if you've not known deepest love unconditional acceptance it's hard to trust it's hard to trust us you can't count on other people and so orphans in the natural they have a hard time developing intimacy and developing intimacy and attachment sometimes and so the heir the son the daughter who has been loved by mom by dad is in a position of of having some different way of thinking and living in this world and the child doesn't even know it just it's just different it's like i just i'm in a relationship and and and and and and they're in in this relationship it's not perfect we don't know sometimes i get disciplined sometimes but it's all an expression of a relationship in which there is trust and therefore trust is possible an orphan may be trying to always prove something or the orphan heart might try to give off a message says i just don't care at all there's insecurity at work so the orphan heart is beset by temptation for substitutes for real love if real radical love and acceptance is not infused into your life then you come to believe that life isn't a gift and love isn't available and acceptance is conditional in short you learn to live by law rather than grace that sums it up if you live with the assumption that acceptance is conditional love can never be perfect and you might be rejected then you're either going to live under a constant pursuit of trying to measure up so that you would be accepted or giving up and rebelling because you can't be the sum of the orphan heart therefore is insecurity the orphan heart is afraid and that fear fuels almost all aberrant behavior so the orphan heart's not free because the law never sets you free the law of god was good and noble and holy and right and pure and a gift of revelation of god but it cannot does not paul has said all throughout romans ever set you free it just points out how much bondage you really are in in other words the power for living a whole different life and what real freedom is is not this avoidance of any authority but it is coming to know authority that is full of love and acceptance so that you become infused with a radical unconditional love that has come from god himself and without this we are left insecure and often without hope in this world and living in that way is terrible some years ago i was riding down the road there were tons of blue lights behind me and and i saw i knew something something unusual was happening i kind of slowed down i got to the right and the next thing i saw a car coming behind me must have been going at least 100 miles an hour on the interstate zigging and zagging weaving in and out and i was like at first i'm just like i want to not be part of this you know i'm just going to slow down get out of this and it's just just it could have been at least a dozen police cars chasing i was witnessing a live high speed chase like some scene from a movie and and and the next day i saw in the paper they caught him he was a bank robber but but as he went by me i looked at it and i saw the young man driving the car i saw the look on his face gripped me alan wright and we'll hear the conclusion of this story in our next broadcast freedom through adoption is the teaching in the series titled unleashed alan is back with us in the studio sharing a parting good news thought for the day in just a moment this is what the lord says i will restore the fortunes of jacob's tents and have compassion on his dwellings the city will be rebuilt on her ruins and the palace will stand in its proper place those timeless words from jeremiah 30 reveal the heart of god he loves to restore in ancient times cities would often be rebuilt on top of the ruins of the former city the new city would stand higher with safer walls and a greater perspective in pastor alan wright's eight message cd album out of the ruins you'll discover how god can rebuild your life gloriously out of yesterday's disappointments when you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today we'll send you pastor alan's messages in an attractive cd album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership call us at 877-544-4860 that's 877-544-4860 or come to our website pastor alan.org unlock the power of blessing your life discover god's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for alan wright's free daily blessing if you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement get alan wright's daily blessing it's free and just a click away at pastor alan.org back here in the studio with alan wright and our parting good news thought for the day as we place the bookmark here freedom through adoption it's a beautiful image daniel that in the roman empire though a father could disown a biological son a father could not disown an adopted son a son was adopted primarily with the aim of becoming an heir and seated in the choice of a father through the roman adoption process it meant that once adopted you're always his to be really free one way to see it is to be adopted as a child of god and once you become part of that family you might have some of your choices narrowed it means you're not part of other families it's not so there's something that looks narrow about it but as we've been seeing over and over real freedom comes paradoxically by the narrowing of our choices and then we become truly free the orphaned heart that is always worried about itself and always absorbed with self is not free it's the one who's really truly adopted and that's our gift in jesus christ so today's good news message is a listener-supported production of Alan Wright Ministries
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-12 23:50:26 / 2023-04-12 23:59:22 / 9

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