Adoption > Justification

Being home for spring break means that I get to do things I love, like meet with my young adult group at church on Wednesday night. In Ethos, we’re going through 1 John. Wednesday, we were covering 1 John 3:1-10, and the message has stuck with me.

So commonly, you hear people say, “Well, I’ve always been a Christian.” Or, “My parents are Christians, so I’m one too.” Unfortunately, these statements lack the theological truth that there are no natural born children of God; you’re not just born into your spiritual family.

Every single child of God is adopted.

1 John 3:1-2 says,

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

See, we always focus on the fact that we are justified in Christ. We SHOULD focus on that fact, it’s crucial to salvation to realize that Jesus sacrificed himself on a cross so that we could be justified in front of our judge, God the Father. Before, we were sinners in the hands of a God who HATES sin. Now, we are redeemed and instead of seeing our sin, God sees the blood of his son and shows us grace.

As amazing as justification is, adoption is even greater. See, justification says that your sins have been paid, and you’re good to go. It says that your debt is paid and you’re free. Adoption goes a step further.

Where justification simply says that our debt has been paid, adoption is intimacy with the very one who died to pay the debt and the very one to whom the debt was owed. Instead of just telling us our sins have been covered and we’re free to go, God ADOPTS those very creatures that nailed his son to a cross. His son substituted and took our death penalty, and yet in an absolutely mind-blowing maneuver, God doesn’t just want us to not have to die; he wants us to be part of his family.

Such grace is absolutely astonishing.

So no, if you think you’ve always been a Christian, you most likely aren’t. There are no natural born children of God. Yet, you’re always welcome to come, be justified, and be adopted by our gracious and loving Father.

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