I don’t get to be at home to preach on this fine Easter Sunday, so this is my version of a sermon. Really this is what I am thinking today, so you guys get to share in it. It is adoption related since that is how my mind works right now. We also have some court day thoughts mixed in here.
Adopted. It is who we are at our core if we are in Christ. We were predestined to be adopted according to God’s favor and will (Eph. 1:5). But the predestination in itself didn’t finish it. It established what was to come, and even settled it, but it had not yet come into effect.
But then came Jesus. Jesus. The one who would pay the debt for the sins of the world. Jesus. There is no sweeter name.
So many people, Christian and non-Christian alike, give lip-service to the name of Jesus. He was a good man. He helps us in life. He saves us and loves us. He was our example. He is who you need to “pray to receive.” In some ways he has become cliche and maybe even vintagey or possibly even cool in some weird, sick way to talk about. Not that Jesus being cool is a sick idea. To those who have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness he is very “cool.”
But honestly Jesus is not “cool.” John Piper says a good word about this in his book Don’t Waste Your Life, but cool is just too flippant and idiotic to call Jesus. He is the Savior. He is holy. He is the King of all kings, the God of all gods. He stands in judgment over the entire world and everything is laid bare before his eyes. Knowing who I am, that doesn’t sound cool. It sounds freaking scary. Like I would rather pee in my pants than give him an ongoing, dap, slap, shake, grab, snap, cool handshake.
But the glorious thing in that is that he knows who we are. He knew who we were when he chose us. He didn’t choose us because we impressed him or because he thought we might make good pastors, or church planters, or parents, or accountability partners. He knew we were wretched and gross and filthy with the guilt of our sin and that we would continue in it up until the day he saved us and only get slightly better about it afterward. He knew us before and knows us better than we know ourselves…and he saved us and called us, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace (2 Tim. 1:9). We are his because he chose us to be his, and he chose us to be his knowing exactly what he was getting and what he would need to do to make us who he wanted us to be.
He adopted us. And our adoption was not cheap. His grace to us was not cheap. It was costly…deep…overcoming.
He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by his wounds.
We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way;
and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:5-6
You were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18-19
Not sure we can live up to the standard of our own adoption in our adopting process. Not sure we can really even come close. But what we hope is that this process and the final outcome will be such a clear picture of the gospel to anyone who cares to observe it that they will rejoice in our own adoption as sons and daughters. The blood of Jesus is rich, and it changes everything. His resurrection gives us victory over death. Amen.
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought,
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Was nailed to the cross and I bear it no more.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul.
Tomorrow we go to court. It has sobered us some. It’s a really big day. This is the day we have been working two years to get to. It’s tomorrow at 3pm. We have been working 2 long years to get to tomorrow at 3pm. How glorious is that? How stinking scared should we be. But we’re not. We’re nervous of course, but we are confident that the Lord will do what seems best to him, and we trust him.
1) that these 2-3 issues that we have been warned about will not come up or be minor, passing issues.
2) for peace in our hearts as we prepare and as we listen and speak.
3) for favor and a soft heart in the judge.
4) for clarity and favor as we make our statements to the judge.
5) for all the details that will go into tomorrow by a lot of people.
6) for approval.
Thank you for walking with us. Maybe, just maybe, we are getting close to the end of the road. Or at least to the end of this road before a new one goes in a new direction.