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Volume 20 - Page 8 of 195 Index | Zoom | |
and the freedom experienced by the children of God now is a foretaste of "the liberty
of the GLORY" which is to come.
What we have therefore is a "firstfruits of the Spirit", and while we are "saved by
hope", this does not exempt us at the moment from "groaning within ourselves" as
we "wait for the adoption".
The word adoption in the Greek is huiothesia--"to place as a son", meaning
something more than birth.
By turning to the companion epistle to the Galatians, further light on this wondrous
theme may be gathered:--
The testimony of Gal. 4:
"Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child (nepios, infant), differeth nothing
from a servant, though he be lord of all: but is under tutors and governors until the time
appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the
elements of the world; but when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His
Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that
we might receive the adoption. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of
His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Gal. 4: 1-6).
Here, instead of the bondage of corruption, we have the bondage of worldly elements.
The "time appointed of the father" is parallel with the "manifestation of the sons of God".
Redemption is effected by Christ in the same way as is recorded in Rom. 8: 3. The
sequel, "Walk in the spirit" (Rom. 8: 4), is found in Gal. 4: 21-31 and 5: 16. The
difference between the references to adoption and inheritance in Galatians and Romans is
that in Galatians the bondage is that of the law of Moses, and the freedom is experienced
now and immediately, whereas the bondage of Rom. 8: is that of corruption, and its
freedom can only be fully experienced in resurrection. Consequently we have introduced
in Romans the "Spirit of adoption". This does not exempt from "groaning" and
"suffering" and being "killed all the day long" (Rom. 8: 18, 23, 36), but "in all these
things" we may, by faith, be more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
The adoption and the earnest.
In Rom. 8: the Spirit of adoption is spoken of as "firstfruits", and firstfruits is the
earnest of future harvest. In Eph. 1: we have adoption as the great feature in the Father's
will, and the Spirit of adoption, given while we walk by faith and wait patiently, is not
called the Spirit of adoption, but "the Holy Spirit of promise which is the earnest of our
inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession". The inheritance is future,
the adoption, or "placing as sons", is future; the earnest of it is the Spirit of promise, the
Spirit whereby even now we cry, "Abba, Father".
Another phase of our adoption is expressed in Eph. 4: 13:--
"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ."