Pastor Joseph Miller IV
Romans 5:1, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
We as Christians have gone through change: from a state of enmity to one of friendship. God took upon Himself our sin and became an atonement to establish a peaceful relationship with mankind. “Saved.”
Romans 5:2, "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
Not only has God saved us, but we have access to His grace and that with boldness and confidence.
Ephesians 3:12, "In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him."
Not only has God saved us and not only do we have access to His grace, but also we have the privilege of being a child of God.
Romans 8:14-16, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
In verse 14, the phrase “are led” means to lead or be induced, ‘a spiritual birth.’
For me, it was October 1974 at the CMA church on the corner of Victoria Avenue and Catalpa Street in New Kensington. Bill Weston was preaching that Friday night (an evangelist out of Missouri), and I remember going to the altar. Dick Jones’s father-in-law, Lawrence George, knelt down beside me and prayed with me. That Friday night was the beginning of the greatest relationship that a human can have and one that can never be broken. Not only saved by God's love but sealed with a promise.
Ephesians 1:13, "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise."
Romans 8: 15-17, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
A father-son relationship with the Creator. In Romans 8:15, the word ‘adoption’ is used meaning ‘taking someone from outside and placing them inside.’ From sinner to saint. From outside the family of God to being His child. Not only being His child, but an heir with all the benefits that come with that relationship.
The Benefits of Being a Child of God
1. The Gift of Grace (Ephesians 2:8)
A favor done without expectation of return, absolute freeness of the loving-
kindness of God to men, unearned and unmerited favor.
2. The Gift of Forgiveness
Going from the state of enmity with God to one of friendship is the product of
forgiveness. (Ephesians 1:7) Forgiveness is the product of grace. (Psalm 103: 12,13) The desire of God and the compassion of our Heavenly Father is
immeasurable and infinite.
3. The Gift of Love (John 3:16)
‘For God so loved.’ The driving force behind the sacrifice of His one and only
begotten Son was His affection and love towards us. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) The
true definition of love. The last two descriptions of love: love endures all things
and love never fails. These two attributes are the ones I am most thankful for. ‘A
never quit relationship.’
When my children were young, I gave them chores. They had rules, and I placed expectations on them. Sidenote: goals are better than expectations. Fast forward to now, and you will find that my kids, Jesse, Joe, Jordan, and Jolene, are by far my best friends in the world (with the exception of their mother). The people I want to spend all my time with and hate being apart from. Don’t get me wrong, chores, rules, and goals are important, but it is grace, forgiveness, and love that initiates and protects relationships. It is also profitable: Roger, Kassandra, Mike, David, and six grandkids being the result.
I am so thankful for that day, 42 years ago, that God’s grace, forgiveness, and love was imparted to me. I also have a family at Harvest Baptist Church whom I love and who loves one another with grace. We together, joint-heirs with Christ, glorifying our Heavenly Father.