Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Vision (5/16/13): An Heir of God Through Christ
Note: Here are my sermon notes from the closing application of last Sunday morning’s sermon on Galatians 4:1-7:
“Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:7).
Paul lays out in Galatians 4:1-7 what we might well describe as God’s plan of salvation (order of salvation):
1. He describes where we were outside of Christ and apart from Christ (vv. 1-3). We were immature slaves.
2. He describes the glory of the incarnation, God moving toward us in Christ (v. 4).
3. He describes the miracle of both redemption and adoption (v. 5).
4. He describes the miracle of sanctification by the indwelling Spirit of God (v. 6).
5. He describes the present reality of our new status as sons, which pushes us to the horizons of this life and to the final stage of glorification (v. 7). We are the true heirs of God through Christ (dia Christou). All his riches are available to us now, however clouded, and will be revealed to us fully, as he wills in the future.
In his book Heirs with Christ: the Puritans on Adoption, Joel Beeke writes:
God’s child is like a poor peasant who has been taken out of the mire and raised in a position as prince of the realm. The adopted prince lives in the palace, has free access to the king, and enjoys the king’s favor, love, and protection. The prince tells the king that he cannot comprehend the greatness of the king’s love; it is unspeakably great to him. The king responds: “You have not begun to see the extent of it. Your inheritance is still coming to you” (pp. 70-71).
Thomas Watson wrote that it would be much for God “to take a clod of dust and make it a star; it is more [however] for God to take a piece of clay and sin and adopt it for his heir” (in Heirs with Christ, pp. 41-42).
I attended the Commencement Service last Friday morning at the FWCC where 19 inmates received their Associate degrees. One of the guest speakers for the service was Doris Buffet (sister of Warren Buffet), the wealthy benefactor whose Sunshine Foundation had paid for these inmates to pursue their education. Obviously there was a great deal of gratitude expressed to her, and she was, to her credit, humble in receiving it. Several said something like, “Who would have guessed that someone would come along and make someone in prison like me a benefactor of her wealth?” It was very moving. But friends, today we can stand and say that there is a greater Benefactor than any mere human being. It is the God of the Bible who has made himself known in the Son. He has a Son-shine foundation!
Are you aware of your new status in Christ? Amidst all the vicissitudes of life, do you know you are an heir of God through Christ? If you hold this status, this position, no man or circumstance may ever take it away from you!
If you do not yet have this privileged status does Paul’s description of it not make you desire it?
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle