The Glory of Our Adoption, pt. 2 – a sermon by Tim Melton

Romans 8:10-17, John 14:18 – A sermon preached by Tim Melton, November 11, 2012 at Surfside PCA, Myrtle Beach, SC

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Outline:

1.  Our Adoption is Legal
We belong to our Father.  Satan cannot touch us

Romans 8:3-4 – For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit

2. Our Adoption is Vital
It is living. A new DNA is taking place within us that was brought about by the Holy Spirit who bought us to life. 

Romans 8:14 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to Sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

3. Our Adoption is Relational
God’s Spirit is attached to and in continuous communion with our spirit. 

The Spirit speaks to us continuously.  He knows the language of our hearts.  And He constantly whispers – “You are God’s child.  You are a child of the Father.”  This is what empowers us to believe that we are God’s children.  The Spirit sings beautiful lullabies to us.  Not like fleshly, slave-woman lullabies – “Rock-a-bye baby..?”

Romans 8:16 – The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Romans 8:26-27 – In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

4. Our Adoption is Sealed with a Divine Inheritance
We have not been adopted into a curse, like Jesus was.  No, we have been adopted into blessing.

Romans 8:17 – Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

5.  Our Adoption is Organically Under Pressure
We are not static.  We are in the throes of travail…    in the struggle of labor pains.

That is to say, we are not static.  We are not standing still in the womb.  We are not now what we will be. The Spirit’s work in us causes us to grow and mature and develop, becoming more and more and more like the God’s Son.  This change causes pain, because as we grow in this way, we are becoming less and less fit for this present world.  We are being made for another.

This causes pain.  The process of change causes pain.  The results of the change causes pain.  And so there is this groaning that takes places.  Paul says that it is like “travail”.  Like a woman in labor pains.

So then, creation is like a helpless illegitimate mother.  She carries the child, but it is not hers. The child is the church, bought by the blood of Christ.  Her child does not belong to the slave woman, but it belongs to the Father who has adopted it.  He has all legal rights to the child.  The Holy Spirit is like a mid-wife.  Yet, more so, for He is able to enter the womb to guarantee the birth of this child.  He constantly works to assure it’s full delivery.  Now, as this process moves forward it causes labor pain.  Travail.  Suffering.

The woman (creation) groans. 
Romans 8:22 – We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

The child within her (the church) groans.
Romans 8:23 – Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

The mid-wife (the Holy Spirit) groans.
Romans 8:26-27 – In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

6.  Our Adoption is Incomplete but Expectant
It will eventually experience a full completion.  In that moment, our travail will seem as nothing.

Romans 8:18 – I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Romans 8:23 – “we wait eagerly for our adoption to Sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

7.  Our Adoption is Hopeful
It is presently rooted in a future reality. 

Romans 8:24-25 – For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

John 14:1-3 – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

Believing the Gospel – a sermon by Tim Melton

Isaiah 29 – A sermon preached by Tim Melton, July 15, 2012 at Surfside PCA, Myrtle Beach, SC

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In this sermon, I emphasized the importance of Believing the Gospel.  So often we treat the gospel as agreement with a set of intellectual propositions.  That is not the good news.  The gospel is seeing, fearing, receiving, and loving the glorious reality of the Lordship of Christ.  The gospel must find it’s way from our heads to our hearts.  Yet, we religious people are committed to keeping Jesus away from us.  We want to know him from a distance and serve him from afar.  We want to tame the living God.  Isaiah 29: 13 bears this out saying, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”  So often, we are only acquainted with a ‘picture’ of God.  We know ‘about’ Christ.  But Jesus will have none of this.  He will come after us.  He will wrestle us to the ground and break our hard hearts so that we might stand in awe at His wonder and be overcome by His love.

Dancing with the One who Brought You – a sermon by Tim Melton

Colossians 2:6-8 – A sermon preached by Tim Melton, September 25, 2011, at Willow Creek PCA Church, Wintersprings, Florida

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In this sermon, I emphasized the importance of Gospel Centrality, describing our life in Christ as a continual “circle dance” around the cross.  In his book, “Engaging God’s World”, Cornelius Plantinga describes the life of the Trinity this way,  “Self-giving love is the dynamic currency of the trinitarian life of God. The persons within God exalt each other, commune with each other, defer to one another.  Each person, so to speak, makes room for the other two.  I know it sounds a little strange, but we might almost say that the persons within God show each other divine hospitality…Each divine person harbors the others at the center of his being.  In constant movements of overture and acceptance, each person envelops and encircles the others…. God’s interior life [therefore] overflows with regard for others.”  (Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Engaging God’s World, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002, p. 20.)

Pastor and author Tim Keller says that Christ’s completed work on the Cross is an invitation to believers to join in this otherly oriented, loving, self-less, Gospel dance.  He says, “If from all eternity, without end and without beginning, ultimate reality is a community of persons knowing and loving one another, then ultimate reality is about love relationships.  Why did God create us?  There’s only one answer.  He must have created us not to get joy but to give it.  He must have created us to invite us into the dance, to say: If you glorify me, if you center your entire life on me, if you find me beautiful for who I am in myself, then you will step into the dance, which is what you are made for…You are made to center everything in your life on me, to think of everything in terms of your relationship to me.  To serve me unconditionally. That’s where you’ll find your joy.  That’s what the dance is about.” (Tim Keller, King’s Cross, “Entering the Dance” p. 7.)

If Only You Would – a sermon by Tim Melton

Psalm 139:19-24 – A sermon preached by Tim Melton, March 18, 2012, At Surfside PCA Church, Myrtle Beach, SC

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Psalm 139 is one of the most well-known and glorious songs in the Bible.  Yet, there are a few verses toward the end of the psalm that are often avoided or disregarded.  Yet, these important verses are a key to understanding the astounding context of David’s lament.  In this sermon, I seek to recover these verses so that we might gain a greater understanding of how boldly and honestly the believer may approach the throne of grace.

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