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

3 comments:

Mad Jack said...

Off Topic Comment

I did a presentation in Sunday School about Jael as found in Judges 4 and Judges 5:20-31; mentioned or referred to in 1 Samuel 12:9 and Psalm 83:9. I included Judges 9:50-55 to show that Sisera died a humiliating death.

I was surprised that collecting information about Jael and the circumstances around her could be so involved, but as it turns out Jael requires some serious reading and thought.

What do you think is significant about Jael?

You can email, post or ignore as you like - I'm MadJackRacham@gmail.com

Pastor Jeff said...

MJ,

Sorry to be so long in posting your comment and in reply. I've been busy of late and have let the blog slide.

I would like to have heard your SS lesson on Jael. When I was in seminary and worked as a chaplain at a large urban hospital, the Jewish chaplain at a neighboring facility was a liberal female rabbi who had a daugher named Jael. She said they liked the name but were a bit afraid to go camping with her. For thoughts I've shared in the past on Jael (and the entire Deborah episode in Judges) you can see the Judges sermon series I did a few years ago which can be found on sermonaudio.com.

Best wishes, JTR

Pastor Jeff said...

MJ,

Sorry to be so long in posting your comment and in reply. I've been busy of late and have let the blog slide.

I would like to have heard your SS lesson on Jael. When I was in seminary and worked as a chaplain at a large urban hospital, the Jewish chaplain at a neighboring facility was a liberal female rabbi who had a daugher named Jael. She said they liked the name but were a bit afraid to go camping with her. For thoughts I've shared in the past on Jael (and the entire Deborah episode in Judges) you can see the Judges sermon series I did a few years ago which can be found on sermonaudio.com.

Best wishes, JTR