>We are His Kids!

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“The Christian life is the life of sons and daughters; it is not the life of slaves. It is freedom, not bondage. Of course, we are slaves of God, of Christ, and of one another. We belong to God, to Christ, to one another, and we love to serve those to whom we belong. But this kind of service is freedom. What the Christian life is not, is a bondage to the law, as if our salvation hung in the balance and depended on our meticulous and slavish obedience to the letter of the law. As it is, our salvation rests upon the finished work of Christ, on His sin-bearing, curse-bearing death, embraced by faith.”

– John Stott

>The New Testament in 3 Words

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“Were I asked to focus the New Testament message in three words, my proposal would be adoption through propitiation, and I do not expect ever to meet a richer or more pregnant summary of the gospel than that.

>Sinning Against Law versus Sinning Against Love

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“…when the devil comes and says, ‘You have no standing, you are condemned, you are finished’, you must say, ‘No! my position did not depend upon what I was doing, or not doing; it is always dependant upon the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Turn to the devil and tell him, ‘My relationship to God is not a variable one. The case is not that I am a child of God, and then again not a child of God. That is not the basis of my standing, that is not the position. When God had mercy upon me, He made me His child, and I remain his child. A very sinful, and a very unworthy one, perhaps, but still his child!

“And now, when I fall into sin, I have not sinned against the law, I have sinned against love. Like the prodigal, I will go back to my Father and I will tell Him, “Father, I am not worthy to be called your son.” But He will embrace me, and He will say, “Do not talk nonsense, you are My child,” and He will shower his love upon me! That is the meaning of putting on the breastplate of righteousness! Never allow the devil to get you into a state of condemnation. Never allow a particular sin to call into question your standing before God. That question has been settled.”

Martyn Lloyd Jones, The Christian Soldier, p. 255

>A Quick Test of Understanding of Christianity

>Thanks to Justin Taylor’s excellent blog for bringing this fantastic summation of the faith from J. I. Packer:

“You sum up the whole of New Testament teaching in a single phrase, if you speak of it as a revelation of the Fatherhood of the holy Creator.

“In the same way, you sum up the whole of New Testament religion if you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s holy Father.

“If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father.

“If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.

“For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new, and better than the Old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up I the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God.”

Evangelical Magazine 7, pp. 19-20, cited in Knowing God, p. 201.
Packer says on p. 202:

Our understanding of Christianity cannot be better than our grasp of adoption.

>A Reminder for My Birth Mom

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My precious and beautiful daughter Janelle wrote this a while ago for her birth mom…In case you are not aware, Janelle’s birth mom was a girl we met at a camp in Wisconsin; who a few months later got pregnant at the age of 13. She had heard me preach some narrow-minded things about abortion, contacted us; through prayer and His direction, we adopted Janelle at birth (and, several years later, another young woman connected with us with a similar story and we adopted Jacob…Josiah (24) and Joel (22) are our children the old-fashioned way!)

Here is what Janelle wrote:

A Reminder for My Birth-Mom
by Janelle E. Hager

When you’re depressed; I’m the One to turn to…

When you’re angry, I’m there for you…

When you’re hurt, My shoulders are there for you to cry on…

When you have a secret, My ear is there for you to whisper in…

When you’re going through a hard time, I’m here to hold your hand…

I was there when you asked Me into your heart…

I was there when your mom left…and then came back…

I was there when you got pressure into doing things you know you shouldn’t…

I was there when you told your parents the news…

I was right there next to you for those long nine months…

I was right there when you told your parents about adoption…

I was there when you chose the family…

I was there through the pain…

I was there when you met with the family…

I was there when you and the family chose a name…

I was there holding your hand in the hospital…

I was there when you first laid eyes on the baby…

I was there through the tears…

I was there when you handed the baby over to the family and said, “Here’s Janelle”…

I was there when the papers were signed…

I was there when the family gave you a hug and said, “Thank you, Davida”…

Love,

God…Your Father (by adoption)