Saturday, July 21, 2007

Worship Notes: Our Adoption as Believers

Although somewhat late, here is last week's "Worship Notes" bulletin insert (July 15, 2007):

This morning we meditate upon the doctrine of adoption. This much-neglected doctrine is one of the most comforting aspects of salvation. God, without any obligation to do so, has freely chosen a people for Himself. Being specifically elected by God the Father to be one of His children is a reminder both of our inability to save ourselves and of God’s great mercy and grace in choosing us for salvation.

Every Christian has been adopted into the family of God. This is a family that far exceeds the fellowship of the world that we once knew. Now, we have a unique relationship with Jesus Christ. Hebrews 2:11 (NASB) tells us that Christ “is not ashamed to call them brethren,” when speaking of believers who have been saved in and through Christ. However, Christ is the natural Son of the Father, the “only begotten” (i.e. unique; one of a kind), while we have been adopted. How glorious it is to consider that even though we are not the natural children of God in the way that Christ is, we still “have obtained an inheritance” (Eph. 1:11, NASB). We receive the blessings of sonship for which the Holy Spirit is “given as a pledge [or down payment] of our inheritance” (Eph. 1:14, NASB).

If your trust is in Christ alone, thank God that He has given us the “right to become children of God” (John 1:12, NASB). If you have not come to the point of trusting in Christ alone for your salvation, consider your hopeless and helpless state. You are not His child and thereby stand under judgment without the blessing of adoption. This morning, come to the true Son, Jesus Christ.

Songs for Today

Today we glory in God as our Father, a reflection of the fact that we have been adopted. We begin by singing, “Redeemed,” a hymn that reminds us that we can only be called God’s children because of Jesus Christ, who is the only way to God (John 14:6). Since we have been redeemed we can sing, “His child and forever I am.”

Our next song, “The Child of God,” is one compiled from verses of a hymn by Isaac Watts (v. 1-3) and one verse from a hymn by Charles Wesley (v. 4). I encourage you to follow the internet links in the footnotes and read the full texts of both of these hymns.

The Child of God
(Sung to the tune of “Am I a Soldier of the Cross”)

1. [As] new-born babes desire the breast,
To feed, and grow, and thrive;
So saints with joy the gospel taste,
And by the gospel live.

2. They find access at every hour
To God within the veil;
Hence they derive a quick'ning power,
And joys that never fail.

3. Lord, I address thy heav'nly throne;
Call me a child of thine;
Send down the Spirit of thy Son
To form my heart divine.

4. Assure my conscience of its part
In the Redeemer's blood;
And bear thy witness with my heart,
That I am born of God.

God, the Father of Your People” reminds us that God is our Father, and we are united as a family of spiritual brothers and sisters as children of the heavenly Father. This song brings to mind the reality of God’s promise to us: “I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jer. 31:33).

Finally, “Be Thou My Vision” serves as a hymn of response to remind us to keep our focus upon the Lord at all times. We glory in the words of verse two, knowing that God is “my great Father, I Thy true son.”

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