“Predestined for Adoption” (Series: From the Mountain Peak)
Scripture: Ephesians 1:5-6
The doctrine of election and predestination can be tricky to understand but one thing is clear, they do not present God as cold and heartless. In fact Paul claims in Ephesians 1 that God’s purpose in election was to adopt us as sons to himself. Election then was the beginning stages of our adoption process! This means our salvation is not simply redemptive (slaves set free from spiritual bondage) but it’s ultimately relational (orphans made his sons and fought into his family). Paul teaches us that in love God desired and determined to make us sons in his Son.
Adoption is a definitive and legal status change by which we are brought into God’s family and given a new status as sons. We are no longer slaves and orphans. This is an objective reality that is true regardless of whether we feel it to be true or not. God has done this work and nothing we can do, not even our worst sins, can undo his adopting work. We are given an irreversible new name, new identity and new status. And in our adoption, God becomes our Father. This is why adoption is a glorious blessing and the crown joy of believers in their salvation. God’s fatherly identity is available to us through Jesus. God gave us his Son in order to gain us as sons. And being united now to Jesus, the Son of God, we now receive adoption as sons of God.
Being sons of God in the Son of God means also that the affections of the Father for Jesus are the same affections he has for us. In fact, in Christ we receive the very love that was reserved for and deserved by Jesus himself. Sharing in his sonship, we become God’s beloved. That’s why in Ephesians 5:1 Paul writes, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” United to the Beloved of God, we now are beloved by God which means no depth of our sin or magnitude of our failure can reverse and rewrite God’s adoption. In Christ, we are not more loved by God at our best and we are not less loved by God at our worst.
The glories of adoption are countless but here are at least two things that will happen when we grasp our adoption. First, our prayers become more intimate. When we address God, we have the great privilege of calling him “Father.” We don’t have to dress up our words to God hoping they’ll get his attention but we can pray earnestly and intimately because we already have his ear and his favor through Christ. Second, our prayer requests become more vulnerable. Calling God “Father” reminds us that we are all his needy, dependent children. Instead of trying to put our best foot forward, we can honestly and vulnerably share how we need our loving Father to meet us in our lives. As a result of this, we share and we pray to our Father in heaven as his children.
Suggested Group Discussion Questions
- Free discussion on the passage/sermon: Did you come to understand anything new or better? Was there anything that was clarified for you, convicted you, confused you, challenged you or comforted you? Share, comment, reflect on any part of Ephesians 1:5-6 that stood out.
- How do you feel about addressing or viewing God as “Father”? Is this normal for you or foreign to you? Easy for you or difficult for you? Why is is our adoption the “crown jewel” of the gospel and the highest privilege to enjoy?
- What are the obstacles to sharing prayer requests more vulnerably and honestly? Spell out in your own words how being a child of God affects our prayers and our prayer requests.
- Doxology: Express how this sermon helps you understand, appreciate and worship Jesus more. In what ways has the gospel become more alive to you having read this passage and heard this sermon?
- Response: Formulate a one sentence prayer that’s informed by the passage and the sermon. This prayer should articulate what you desire to walk away and how you want God to apply it in your life. Have a few people share what they came up with.