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The Spirit of Adoption
Romans 8:14-17 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (15) 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. (16) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (17) 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.”
In the letter to the believers in Rome, Shaul (Paul) explains the work of the Holy Spirit in confirming who you are in the Messiah. There were apparently Gentiles and those of the lost sheep of Israel among the Jewish believers that questioned whether they were a part of YHVH’s family or not. Shaul wanted to calm their fears and encourage them that there is a way that they could know without a shadow of a doubt that they were considered the Sons of God. It required walking in the Spirit and walking in the Truth / Law or Torah of God. How do we know this?
Starting with verse one in Romans chapter eight Shaul lays down the understanding that there are two natures or two opposing laws that are either drawing people toward the Messiah or away from him. Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Messiah Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
- The Law of Sin and Death- This is described as the Flesh or to be carnally minded.
- The Law of the Spirit- This is the Law of YHVH or Torah written on our hearts. It is also referred to as the Law of God, walking in the Spirit or being in the Spirit.
Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life (Torah written on our hearts) in Messiah Yeshua hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Romans 8:3 “For the law (of sin and death) being powerless, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and concerning sin, condemned sin (the law of sin and death) in the flesh:”
Romans 8:4 “That the righteousness of the law (Torah/Law of the Spirit) might be fulfilled (come to maturity or fullness) in us, who walk not after the flesh (the law of sin and death), but after the Spirit (Torah/Law of the Spirit).”
Romans 8:5 “For they that are after the flesh (the law of sin and death) do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit (Torah/Law of the Spirit).”
Romans 8:6 “For to be carnally minded (lawlessness) is death; but to be spiritually minded (living Torah) is life and peace.”
Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind (lawlessness) is enmity (war/rebelliousness) against God: for it is not subject to the law of God (Torah/Law of the Spirit), neither indeed can be.”
Now having laid this foundational truth, Shaul explains that they were adopted by YHVH into His family and therefore they need not worry about living in slavery and fear because of their lawless deeds of the past. The chain of sinful or lawless living (1 John 3:4) that produces death has been broken because of the Spirit of Adoption.
Romans 8:15 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage (sin and death) again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
What is this Spirit of Adoption? When a child is adopted by a father the adoptive parents go through legal channels to get the child “legally adopted” or the act of becoming a true member of the adoptive parents’ family. When the child is received into the family they receive all of the love and benefits of the natural born children but they also are expected to keep the “rules of the house” as well. For example; if they had a bedtime curfew of 11:00pm with their other family and the new adoptive family had a bedtime curfew of 9:00pm then does that adopted child keep the old curfew or will they be expected to follow the new curfew along with the natural born children? Of course, the adopted child would have to keep all of the rules of their new household or they would be considered a rebellious child and punished. It is also notable that the natural parents of the child would have to release their rights to have custody or legal ownership over the child before the adoptive parents could even claim the child legally as their own. Yeshua the Messiah came in sinful flesh and put to death this enmity toward the Father that all flesh has by nature because of the sin of Adam. Through his sacrifice the legal ownership of the Law of sin and death (our former Father) has been broken so that our NEW Father can legally adopt us into His family (the Commonwealth of Israel).
Ephesians 2:11-12 “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; (12) That at that time ye were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Gentiles were, by Shaul’s admission, strangers and aliens to the covenants and promises of YHVH. These are those that are under the Law of sin and death and without the Spirit of adoption who will not be a part of the “household of God” unless they repent and turn toward the Messiah and live under his rules of the house.
Ephesians 2:18-19 “For through him we both have access by one Spirit (the Spirit of adoption) unto the Father. (19) Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners (under the law of sin and death), but fellow citizens with the saints (commonwealth of Israel), and of the household of God;”
It is very shocking to hear New Covenant believers in the Messiah today that they are a part of his family BUT they do not regard his people (Israel) or the “rules of the household” (Torah/ Law of YHVH). There were examples for us even in the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) where those of other nations (Gentiles) were coming into the faith of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. YHVH made it very clear that these sojourners and strangers were to be treated and subject to the same laws that they were living by. He did not have a separate law for the stranger or a separate set of expectations. Read for yourself:
Exodus 12:49 “One law shall be to him that is homeborn (Israel), and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you (Gentiles/ Goyim/nations).”
Leviticus 24:22 “Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger (Gentiles/ Goyim/nations), as for one of your own country (Israel): for I am YHVH your Elohim (God/authority).”
Numbers 15:16 “One law and one manner shall be for you (Israel), and for the stranger that sojourneth with you (Gentiles/ Goyim/nations).”
It is very clear that YHVH wants a united house with one Father, one king, one house, one people, living under one law. You do not want to be a disobedient son/child who has rejected the loving instructions of a father presuming that your end will still be blessed and secured by the Father. This is a false presumption that will cause great anguish and loss in the Kingdom of our Messiah for those that rebel against the “rules of the household of God.”
Matt. 7:22-23 “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (lawlessness).” They professed to be His children but His instructions or laws were not kept and the judgment that He gives is that of a father who brings his wayward son to the gates of the elders and pronounces that his child is rebellious.
Deut. 21:18-21 “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father (Torah), or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: (19) Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; (20) And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. (21) And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones (tablets of stone/Torah), that he die: so shalt thou put (burn or consume with fire) evil away (burn or consume with fire) from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.” This is the same language used by the Messiah when speaking of the rebellious children that claim to have been a part of His household, eating and drinking with Him. The passage in Deuteronomy calls the rebellious son a glutton and a drunk, but the parallel passage of Matthew 7:22-23 speaks of it as eating and drinking…
Luke 13:26-27 “Then shall ye begin to say, we have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. (27) But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity (lawlessness/rebellious children).”
Shaul speaks of adoption and being grafted in describing the same process and uses these analogies to describe the relationship between Unbelieving Israel, Believing Israel and Gentiles (those of other nations) coming into the faith.
Romans 11:16 “For if the first fruit (Messiah) be holy, the lump is also holy (Believing Israel): and if the root (Believing Israel) be holy, so are the branches (Believing Gentiles).”
Romans 11:17 “And if some of the branches be broken off (Unbelieving Israel), and thou, being a wild olive tree (Believing Gentiles), wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root (Believing Israel) and fatness (Messiah) of the olive tree;”
It is shocking to me when I hear that New Covenant believers and those that claim to be believers in the Messiah will agree that they are adopted but they refuse to submit to the rules of the household of God. The real interesting fact is that the only real evidence you have as to whether you are adopted or not is the Law. It is the Law that shows that you are “legally adopted” and nothing else. If you are adopted in the United States the only thing that shows that you belong to a different family is a legal document stating that you are now part of a new family. Isn’t that exciting?! Instead of fighting against the Torah/Law New Covenant believers should be celebrating the Torah because it is the legal document that says you are adopted into the family of God. We can see this taking place with Jacob when he adopts Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph and an Egyptian mother (not legal in the State of Israel today as being “Jewish”). You can clearly see that they are not only adopted into Jacob’s (Israel’s) family but they are treated or looked at as Ruben and Simeon! Ruben and Simeon were the first born! So what Jacob is declaring is that this adoption makes the adopted sons equal to the natural born sons. It is not replacement theology or replacing the natural born sons because we read about their blessings later on and that they are shamed but still part of the family.[Gen 48:5 KJV]5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, [are] mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.
You could take a blood test but it wouldn’t show if you were a part of your new family. An adopted son will not have the same DNA however that is not the deciding factor in the court of law…only the legal document that says you are adopted matters! Gentiles and those lost tribes of Israel may not be able to take a blood test to prove their lineage. You must hold onto the Torah written on our hearts which is the Spirit of adoption. That is the only evidence we have as to the validity of our adoption into the family of God.[Gal 4:4-7 KJV]4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. [2Ti 2:19 KJV]19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity(lawlessness).