Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

Are You Adopted? (Romans 9:1-6)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Let's hear God's word now, from Romans, Chapter Nine, verses a, one through six. One through six, I am speaking the truth in Christ, I am not lying. My conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart, for I could wish that, for I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen. According to the flesh, they are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the Covenant, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises. To Them Belong the Patriarchs, and from their race, according to the Flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. But it is not as though the word of God has failed, for not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel. He may be seated. I want to speak to you today from the Bible, about adoption, adoption. I'm not human adoption, but divine adoption. How many of you have experienced human adoption? Many of you who are here today have been adopted or are siblings of someone who has been adopted, or our parents who have adopted or friends of those who have adopted. I'm all of you here, have most of you here any way of experienced human adoption and some form or another, but all of you who are baptized members of the Church have also experienced divine adoption, in which you have been brought in not just to a human family but a family of God, and this is a remarkable thing. Now, you might ask, are we not all children of God? And that is true. When God made his Covenant With Adam, when God made us, and as our creator, in a very real sense, the Bible describes us even as a sons of God, as people that in which were made by him and in his image. By virtue of God's Covenant With Adam and his posterity, we are all Christians and Non Christians alike, God's children. Therefore, we sometimes refer to strangers and people even outside of the...

...church, as brother or sister, because we are all made in God's image. But when the Bible speaks of adoption, it speaks of something else, a kind of special choosing and electing love that human adoption shows as well. When the Bible speaks of adoption, most often it has in mind, this kind of adoption that takes a child of Adam and makes him a child of Abraham. It's a way of speaking covenantally. It's a way of saying that those who are made in God's image are now made in another image, and according to another covenant, This is explained by something that happens in between these two things. I think many of you know what that is. It's, of course, the fall into sin. Man, who has made in God's image. The his great son, disobeyed and in the covenant that God made with him, he was cast out of God's presence. He was sent away. There was an angel that was sent to bar the gate so that man and God could not commune together in the way that he once did. The Sun, so to speak, was cast out, was was banished, was sent away from the family. And so Ephesians two three describes this group of people known as humanity as children of Wrath. Even we are described as children of the devil, people that did, instead of listening to the father that made them, the one who created them, listen to Satan enjoined their selves to him and sought to do his will instead. Ephesians two three says that we were by nature children of Wrath. Well, this is where adoption comes in. God then chooses, he sets these special electing love on people and says, I'm going to rescue out of that. Instead of a child of Wrath, which you are, I will make you a son or daughter of the Living God. I mentioned effusions two three, where it describes humanity as children of Wrath, but effusions one five says that the when God and his electing love has predestined us for adoption as sons, no longer in this category, no longer belonging to this family, but now to a new family. So this is adoption. It's God's giving a right to people who are once children of Wrath, the right to be treated as his legitimate children. So this is God. What God wants you to know about him this morning. It what it's what he wants you to know about his great love in a option, first to the Jew and then to the gentile. But before we...

...think about this in particular, let's briefly consider the context of what's going on here. I mentioning adoption because it's the first in this list of things Paul mentions. It's you see it there in verse four. They are Israelites and to them belong, the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises. And then in verse five he also mentions the patriarch. So what is this list? What's Paul doing in this section? Well, each of these things is part of something greater. Consider our hometown here, Tucson, and the Sonoran desert. In July. There's a lot of things that happened during this month. Right, big clouds billow up over the mountains, toads and frogs start a pearing in wet areas, insects come out, the creosote starts releasing all of its oils when it rains. All of these things happen and we put this name on them. Right, we call it the monsoon season. It's kind of our second spring, I heard one writer describe it, when, after the sort of protracted period in February through April, we get this sort of second spring, another set of flowers, another set of green and and water. The point as you have all of these things kind of coming together and which are described and paint a picture of something larger. That happens a kind of a season in our desert. Well, Paul's doing something similar here. He's pointing out all of these different things to give us a sense of something greater. He wants us to recognize without a doubt, God's great love for the Biological Children of Abraham. He's selling us his own heart, isn't he? He's saying he's showing us God's love through his own love for the Jews. Listen to the couple ways in which he does this. First, he speaks of his heart. He says, I'm speaking the truth in Christ. This is verse one. I'm not lying. My conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit. These are strong words, aren't they? If you said something like this, you would be saying something that is one of the most important things to you, to confirm it over and over in this way. What does he want to confirm? He says it in verse two. I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. He goes on to say, I could wish that I myself were a cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsman, according to the flesh, Paul has been speaking for eight chapters about faith in Christ, about the gentiles being able to come in, belonging to these Great Covenant Promises of grace, no longer being...

...an adom but now being in Christ. But there's this question that's left over. What about the Jews? What about all of these Jews who are not believing? What about the Jews who crucified the Lord Jesus Christ? What about the Jews? Yes, the gentiles are coming in. Yes, Paul describes them as even children of Abraham through faith. But what about the Jews? Does Paul not care about them anymore? Does God not care about them anymore? Has God moved on? You blew it, he says to his people, I'm done with you, or is there something else going on? Well, the Lord's Apostle speaks and says there is something else going on, and through the rest of this chapter and Chapter Ten and chapter eleven, he's going to be describing for us this relationship between Jew and non Jew, between Jew and gentile, how, in the great history of God's redemptive plan, these two groups are both distinct and united, how they interact together, how they work together, how God is doing things in the world so that, as he says in Verse Five, He Christ will be God over all. Both Jew and gentile. This is the context in which he's speaking. Paul gives this list of things towards this end. So first he tells us his heart. Essentially, I love these people. If it were possible for me to be cut off from Christ I would willingly do it so that others could be included. My kinsman according to the flesh. And then he even uses this term Israelites. It's not a term he's been using up to this point. It's another way of sort of comframing what his ideas are about these people. Up to this point he's been talking about Jews, a very kind of political and national term. Now he talks about Israelites, same group of people, a different perspective. He's talking about to the people that God made covenant promises to, to the one that God and renamed Israel. And what does he say? He says, not only do I have love for them, but consider the love of God. To them belong the adoption, which will focus on today. To them belong the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises. He might say it this way if he were speaking to us, to you, does not belong the adoption the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship,...

...the promises in the Patriarchs. There's a very real sense in which me, as a gentile, this is not me, this is not my story. This story is the story that belongs to the Jews, to the Israelites. It belongs to them. God has shown special attention to them in history and Paul wants to make sure that we as gentiles, know that. He wants to make sure the Jews, as his specially adopted people, also know that. Now there's lots of implications to that, which will have to get to later, but what I want to do is focus on just one of these things today, and then another next week, and then another in the week after that and another week after that, and hopefully what you'll come to see is these big things that Paul's mentioning, adoption, covenant, Giving Of the Law, Patriarchs, all fitting together into this puzzle that shows you this great thing that God has done for the Jews, for the Israelites, his people. If you are a person, if you're a Christian, who never thinks about the Jews, the Israelites, who more or less ignores the Old Testament, who doesn't think about these kinds of things. This is a wakeup call for you to remember what God has done, to see his love that has been poured out on this people. But it's also an opportunity for us a gentiles, for us non Jews, to begin to see what it is we have been connected to. In later on in these chapters, Paul is going to describe the gentiles as like a wild olive branch that's being grafted on to this tree that's described here. So this means that in as these things are described, adoption, glory, covenants, etc. And we say, as I say, these do not belong to me, I am not a Jew. On the other hand, by faith, by in grafting, by Christ, they do belong to us. They become a part of our story, and that's another one of the payoffs, so to speak, of thinking about this thing. Though you may not be a Jew, I think that's true for most of us here. This becomes our story. We get adopted, as we will see, into a family, into a family in which this story, though we didn't participate in it, that we didn't belong to it, originally becomes our story, a way in which the old testament isn't just something that happened to another people group at some point in time, but it comes our family history. So here's how I want you, how God wants you to listen to this passage and and the ones following. It's like you, as a an adopted child, are brought into the family and God sit...

...you down on the couch and opens up the family photo album and says, let me show you what you belong to. You're new, I understand that, you're different, I understand that, but let me show you what belongs to you, what church you are joining. To them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, the promises, the Patriarchs. And you know what, now it belongs to you too. Well, thank you for bearing with my long introduction, but I hope you're properly seated now on the family couch, ready to look at these pictures. And we're going to look at the first one. Adoption. What does God mean when he says that the Jews, the Israelites, were adopted? How was the old church, as we might call them, and ourselves, adopted? When we adopted our son? There was an adoption day that happened. There was an actual moment in time, I suppose even a precise minute we could we could point at and say this is when he was adopted. It was an adoption day, not only for him but for lots of people. There was a park here in Tucson filled, and many of you were there for this, a filled with families all under these RAMADAS, adopting children. Judges asking families, will you treat this child as your own? Will you give to them all the benefits that you would give to an as you might give to a natural born child? Yes, the parents promise and say, and in this the child is adopted. Well, what about Israel? When was their adoption day? Well, it's not as easy, I think, to pin down as it might be for this day in which these children were adopted together and these court rooms in the park. But there are things that the scriptures point to that help us to understand a considering the fall. We might start with genesis three fifteen, when God says to Eve, I will give you a son who will come and save you from the serpent, who will save you from your sin. That promise is is fulfilled and made more explicit then in Genesis Chapter Twelve, we're God speaks to Abram, Abraham, and says this. He says, go from your country and from your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. You see what God's do being here. He's taking Abraham from one household,...

...in a sense moving him from a nut to another. He's moving him away. And what is he going to do with this Abraham? He says, I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing. I will bless you, I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families on the earth will be blessed. Then later on we read in a similar way in genesis seventeen of verses seven through eight. I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you, throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant to be God to you and to your offspring after you, and I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God. So you see what God does. He says to Abraham, I am electing you, I am choosing you, and in you I'm going to do something special for you and for your offspring after you, for you and your children. I will make you a great nation. I will bless you with an everlasting covenant. I will bring you in to the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession. He says. Well, this is a beginning of those promises that are made. When God says I will be their God. He says that right. He says I will be their God in the end of Verse Eight. There in genesis seventeen, I will watch over them, I will protect them, I will keep them as sons. I will give them this land. You see, they're going to be treated as sons, they're going to be given and inheritance. Now listen to exodus for verse versus Twenty Two through Twenty three, and let this put chills down your spine. Exodus for Verse Twenty Two and Twenty Three, a God says to Moses to speak to Pharaoh, who wouldn't let his people go. Says, then you shall say to Pharaoh. Thus says the Lord Israel is my firstborn son, and I say to you, let my son go that he may serve me. If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son. Is God treating his children as sons? Yes, he is. He is protecting them, he is keeping them, he is going to fight for them. They belong to him. Well, you can begin to see that this adoption of the Israelites, this bringing in, gives them certain benefits. The first group of benefits we could call external and temporary benefits. So,...

...for example, let me read from to you, from Deuteronomy one thirty one. What are the external and temporary benefits that they receive? Well, rescue from Egypt, right. And then, after rescue from Egypt, we read this of their wilderness wanderings. We read in Verse Thirty Jehovah, Your God, who goes before you, will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt, before your eyes, in the Wilderness, where you have seen how Jehovah, your God, carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place. You see what God is saying here. He's saying he didn't just rescue out him out of Egypt. He didn't just drop them off in the Wilderness and say, all right, there's the promised land. Hope you enjoy it. Write me when you get there, give me a phone call. No, he picked his son up and he carried him through snakes and desert, through enemy lands, and we read of that history, how God defeated Og and Basin, how a so and so I han. We read how he provided for them bread and the Wilderness bred from heaven itself. Talk about God providing for your daily bread. Here you are, my son, let it rain down bread for you. He carried Israel through the Wilderness as a son. This is the benefit of being adopted by God. Or again, in Deuteronomy versus eight five, we read another aspect of this sonship, the benefits. I'm he says. No, then in your heart that as a man, is discipline, that a man, that as a man, disciplines his son. Jehovah, your God, disciplines you. Well, this is where we all recognize that there is a difficult but also necessary aspect of sonship. Isn't there a father who loves his children, will discipline them, will train them, will show them and teach them, and this is indeed what God does, and this was not always easy. We read that after God has adopted and chosen this, a family of family, as his own, Israel, as his son, he brings them into this period. They are in this period of of being youths, of being disciplined. In Galatians, for Paula says that it was a so strong that you could even be described as a slavery. It was a hard growing up for Israel. The law came down, just like parents do right when your kids are young. What do you do? Here's the rules, black and white. You do...

...this, you don't do that, you do this, you don't do that, and that's what we read of throughout the history of Israel, don't we? God giving his laws, God giving his command saying here's where I want you to obey, and all of these various things. And it was to train them in two things, one in the righteousness that God requires and too, in their inability to do the things that he requires. One in the righteousness that he requires and two in their inability to do the things that he requires. God was constantly teaching them here is the standard, and you are not capable of meeting that now. Was He doing that to be mean, a father who never loves because his standards are too high? Of course not. God standards are high because that's what holiness is, that's what righteousness is, and he wanted to show it to us, not just to shame us or embarrass us, but so that we would see our need for him, our need for salvation, that would come through a son who would be born under the law to redeem those who are under the law, he says in Galatians, so that we might receive adoption as sons. There is this kind of emancipation that's coming, a growing up, a maturity for the old church that comes when Jesus comes throughout the whole Old Testament. Israel, God's adopted son, is learning through these external and temporary blessings and external and temporary curses, that they're not capable of doing the things that he requires, that they need their father to act in another way, not just in the law but in the Gospel. They need him to act according to His grace and according to His mercy. They need him to change not just their outward circumstances, not in Egypt or in Egypt, not in Egypt in the wilderness. Not In the Wilderness. They need their hearts changed inside. It's one thing to hear of the promises, to have them offered to you, to have them signified in this external way. It's another thing to actually receive the things that they signify. In other words, it's one thing to enter into the land of cane and enjoy the milk and honey and all those things. It's another thing to enter into heaven itself, the thing which can and pointed to, and enjoy boy everlasting blessing from God. And between these two things, Israel, God's adopted son, experienced a kind of wall between the external things that...

...were offered, all the blessings that were given there, and the internal spiritual changes that happened. There was this wall that happened, a wall that could not be climbed over by obedience, and we know that because they failed over and over and over again, and even the most righteous of them, King David, King Solomon, Moses, they failed. Do you remember that there were some people who actually didn't enter into the Promised Land? And do you remember that one of them was Moses? Because of his sin, Moses, the Great Mediator of the Old Covenant, Moses, this Great Holy and righteousness will, righteous one, Moses, who was adopted by Pharaoh's daughter and God's providence so that he could adopt a whole nation of people for himself. Moses didn't enter. Moses wasn't righteous enough to enter into the promised land, not the earthly anyway. There is this Great Wall between the external blessings that were given in the Covenant, the adoption that was given in the Covenant and the promises that and were received and fulfilled. But what has Paul been saying throughout Romans? He's saying that there's a way through that wall, and the gate is called faith. He's saying you don't have to climb over the wall. He's going to say later on you don't have to go up to heaven and pull Christ down in order to have Christ, in order to have salvation. You don't have to drag Christ up out of the grave either. He says you don't have to dig up under that wall in order to get into the promised land in order to receive God and Heaven and the blessings of a changed life inside and in the eternal, imperishable inheritance. You can receive it all through faith. You have to go back to glacians for to read Paul's explanation of these things, but you know who he points to to talk about this faith. He points to Abraham, he points to David and he says, look at these men, look at how they received a righteousness that was not by works, but a righteousness that was by faith. They believed and it was counted to them as righteousness. They received Jesus's righteousness. God gave to them what they need so that they could break through that wall and receive not just the signs, not just the external blessings and the promises, but actually receive the things that they pointed to. Receive Eternal things, heavenly things,...

...receive the forgiveness of sins. Let me relax with a little bit and give you a silly analogy. How many of you, on let's say December twelve, or maybe January second, said, you know what, I'm going to get a gym membership, and you go over to the gym and you you sign up and you you get your card and you're a member now and you're excited and you're gonna get strong and you're going to get ripped and you're going to lose weight because you're the member of a gym now and then about April you kind of go, man, I should probably turn this thing and why? Because it's not enough to have a membership to something unless you're actually getting the benefits of it right. It's not. It's not a helpful thing to be connected to something externally, to have a sign, a card that says here, I, I belong to this place. You really do. You paid it for it your you have every right to go in any time you want, maybe even twenty four hours a day, complete access. But if you don't go, if you don't show up, if you don't get on the bench, how are you going to benefit from it? It's the same thing with the Covenant of Grace. God adopts the Old Church and he adopts us as well. In the new church. He brings in all who profess their faith and their children, as Peter says, just as he did in the old and we receive children. You have received this sign of baptism. We've all received this sign and are brought in to belong to the church. But does the car do you any good if you don't believe for the gym, you're called to go and exercise your muscles. In the Covenant of Grace, you're called to exercise faith, which means receiving and accepting and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Without that, membership in the church certainly has advantages. You're getting to hear the Gospel, you're belonging to a community of faith, your you're receiving God's word. There are even external benefits, real external benefits, of belonging the care and compassion you were receive, training and righteousness, all kinds of good things, but only by faith, only by faith will we receive those things signified and promised. This is why Paul is so grieved, because he looks at his kinsman, he says, these are my...

...brothers. He looks at his family, he says, guys, this is not good. We have rejected the promises. We've been like Esau, who had a birthright and sold it away, who gave it away. He is grieved to his very heart, and we should be too. When we think about the Jews, when we think about those who have received all of these great blessings, who have belonged under Moses, to God in Abraham, were called into this covenant of Grace and yet don't believe in Jesus. They remain on the other side of that wall, and that should grieve us. If we believe in Jesus, if we have received these things, if we know the spirit of adoption that is changed our hearts, should we not speak to them and other general tiles like us who didn't even receive that? We must, we must love and we must preach, and some of US need to grieve for ourselves, because we and belonging to this new church and being grafted on, know that it's only in an external way. Some of US need to look at our hearts and see what's going on inside and recognize and admit the truth that, though we belong in a kind of outward in an external way, we're not abiding in Christ. Did you aren't following after him, you aren't trusting in him, you aren't living in him, you aren't walking in him. And if that's the case, grieve for yourself, let your heart ache for yourself, let you feel the anguish that Paul feels. But of course, don't stop there. Turn to Jesus, walk through the gate and this Great Wall, receive the promises that are offered to you, except the God of your salvation, because this is what God promises and this promise is available to all who do believe, Jew and gentile alike, that there is salvation, forgiveness of sins communion with God. I'll simply quote one verse from the beginning of Romans, Paul says, and will it verses one, sixteen and Seventeen, for I am not ashamed of the Gospel. This good...

...news about Jesus Christ, who has come into the world to save sinners from their sin, he says. I'm not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek, for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith, for faith, as it is written, the righteous shall live by faith. So, whether you are Jew or whether you are a gentile, a Greek, the same power of God unto adoption, eternal adoption, adoption filled with inheritance and blessings that can never go away, the can never fade or die. These are offered to us in Christ. So put your faith in him, believe on him and him alone, and receive these blessings that are given to us in him. Let us pray.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (646)