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God Is Treating Us as His Children (Hebrews 12:4-17)

July 22, 2018 Pastor: Ben Muresan Series: Hebrews: Christ Is Superior

Topic: Hebrews Scripture: Hebrews 12:4–12:17

First Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 8:1-20

Second Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:1-29

Sermon Text: Hebrews 12:4-17

In his book, Knowing God, J.I. Packer argues that while justification is the immediate consequence of Jesus’ death on the cross for his people, it is not the highest blessing of the gospel in the order of salvation. Packer writes, “Adoption is higher because of the richer relationship with God that it involves.” Justification is a legal term that teaches we are declared not guilty because our sin has been imputed to Christ and his righteous obedience has been imputed to us. Justification assures us that our Judge is no longer wrathful toward us. This is wonderful news, but Packer argues that we need to probe deeper. He writes, “But contrast this, now, with adoption. Adoption is a family idea, conceived in terms of love, and viewing God as Father. In adoption, God takes us into his family and fellowship—he establishes us as his children and heirs. Closeness, affection, and generosity are at the heart of the relationship.” Packer concludes, “To be right with God the Judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is greater.”