Fathers occupy a special place in their children’s hearts. One way children know who they are is by knowing their dad. For good or for ill their father’s name and character are part of their heritage. In biblical times, this identity between father and children was even more clearly seen. A father’s land and trade would become his children’s. All the labor invested in their father’s work would eventually come back as part of the children’s inheritance. In contrast a slave had no inheritance or special privileges that the natural son enjoyed. Although a son could fall into slavery through economic or political circumstances, a slave status could only be changed through a redemptive exchange of some kind. Even so a slave turned freedman could never become a son. And thus an heir unless he was accordingly adopted.
Because Christ has paid the redemptive price for us, it is possible for us to become children of God through “the Spirit of adoption” (Rom.8:15 – 17) we can become his sons and daughters who share in an amazing inheritance. (John 8:31 – 47) Gal.3:26 – 47)
Now to the Theme: Sin within the believers is the major concern of St. Paul in this passage that he made this inquisition and perplexing question trying to remind the believers of the resolve to reject sin and to embrace righteous living. He was conscious of the biblical injunction that “Righteousness exalts a Nation but Sin is a reproach unto the people”
He looked at sin to mean – transgression, an overstepping of the law; the divine boundary between good and evil. Sin can further be explained through words like – iniquity (an act inherently wrong), error (a departure from good-doing) missing the mark; a failure to meet the divine standards. Trespass (the intrusion of self-will into the sphere of divine authority (Eph.2:1); lawlessness or anarchy (1 Tim.1:9). Unbelief or an insult to the divine veracity (Jn.16.9) rebellion, wickedness (Pro.10:21). These and others are the constituent elements called Sin.
The eye of God does not behold sin and that is why he does not tolerate it. It was because of Sin that God unleash terror on the old generation of the Israelites but later made a provision for escape – through Jesus Christ. Because of Sin –
Sin originates with Satan (Isa.14; 12–14) (He is the author of evil and disobedience) enters the world through Adam and Eve. Sin is summarized in three folds:
An Act or violation of authority or instruction
A State, absence of righteousness
A Nature, enmity towards God
St Paul was worried about this unwholesome behavior and attitude among believers who have heard the word, confessed and professed it yet were found constantly falling back against the very ills they have confessed. He asked this question, “For how long are we going to continue in backsliding, taking advantage of God’s Grace that is abundant and inexhaustible. If Sin leads to destruction and external damnation, why must we still be found wanting in it? Does the Grace of God ruled out righteous living?
Adoption into righteousness – The whole essence of adoption is a process of redemption from sinfulness thereby booking for us a place or an estate where we can freely relate with our Maker and have fellowship with him. It places us on a position of Sonship (Jn.1v12).
THE PLACE OF ADOPTION IN OUR CHURCH:
Having confessed our sins, and presumably repented from it and received forgiveness of those sins, it is therefore assumed that we have been redeemed.
CONSEQUENCES OF SIN
1. It breaks our relationship with God. Gen. 3:14, – 19.
2. It rubbished the entire work of redemption by our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. It took Jesus back to the cross. Heb. 6: 4-6
4. It destroys man who is an image of God.
5. It brings a shame, reproach to the people – Prov. 14: 34.
6. It reminds God he repented creating man.
7. It brings about death when it matures. 1 Cor. 15: 56, James 1:15.
8. It leads to hell.
9. It plagues and inflicts diverse sickness upon us.
10. As a church, it brings about spiritual death of the body of Christ.
11. It reduces the church to an ordinary meeting place.
12. It ushers in all forms human manipulation and permutation.
13. It hampers our Christian liberty – if the son of man shall set you free … Jn 8:36.
14. It brings about defeat by Satan.
15. It exposes man to danger.
16. It inflicts man with fear.
17. It releases wickedness into our land.
Having seen the consequences of sin, brethren shall we then continue in it that Grace may abound. 11 Chron. 7:14 … and turn from their wicked ways, thinking action, Decision etc … forgive their sins … heal their land.
• Truly our land is sick – because of pollution caused by sin.
• Our church is also sick because of injustice and unfair play, defilement caused by evil prayers, contamination with semi –gods and cultist. Worldly lives have permeated through our divine worship. This sickness of the church has caused backsliding weakness to our callings. The church has now resorted to penalties and fines to enforce discipline and call to duties instead of the revival where Holy Spirit shall renew the anointing already handed over to us by the Founder and our Lord Jesus Christ.
• The people are sick of spiritual alignment, imbalance and lack of love and trust has beclouded the much cherished organization sent to us by God.
We must resolve to return to God in complete repentance and purity of heart. We must re-discover our calling and hold tenaciously to it.
It is when we have gotten it right again, that heaven will celebrate with us our new birth and sonship. Adoption is not mere jamboree but a serious divine revolution brought about by the Holy Spirit. Since the wages of sin is death we shall vow not to continue to waste the Grace of God which we have received on a platter of Gold. The Grace of God which is inexhaustible may exhaust if we continue in sin.
• CONCLUSION In the words of St. Paul, (Hebrew 12 vs. 1) “Therefore we also since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run, with endurance the race that is set before us”
May the LORD help us to do HIS WILL so as to escape from Sin and the punishment of same. So that we may make heaven at the end of our race.