Being at peace with God the Judge is great. Being made His child by His adopting grace in Jesus Christ is even greater, Sovereign Grace Ministries founder C.J. Mahaney preached in a guest sermon at Solid Rock Church in Riverdale, Maryland on October 18, from Galatians 4:1-7 on the doctrine of adoption.
Sovereign Grace churches are great about preaching, and should continue declaring the wondrous truth of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but we should grow in our embrace of the even greater truth of our sonship in God's family through the atoning work of Christ.
Camp out on this truth, Mahaney urged, memorizing and meditating on the passage to make the joyous truth of it sink in.
It's that point that brought me to see a tie-in with the previous week's sermon passage from Philippians 3:2-14. That message, from guest preacher Mickey Connolly of Charlotte's CrossWay Community Church, focused on the surprassing worth of knowing (and being known) by Christ.
Verses 7-14 particularly stuck out at me (emphasis mine):
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
We are redeemed from our sin, stand justified and imputed with Christ's righteousness, joined to Christ and made part of God's family, sealed with His Holy Spirit, and yearning for His return, casting aside as rubbish the idols we used to so zealously treasure.
We know we will share in Christ's sufferings and so in His glorious resurrection (Rom. 8:18; I Peter 5:1).
And all of this is because we believe the truth that Christ has made us His own!
God didn't have to save us in the first place, and He could have merely saved us but had little if anything to do with us after the fact.
Yet God, in His infinite wisdom, sought to save a people from their sins and make them His people, His children, and the blood-bought bride of His Son. He made sons and daughters of the very people who killed His Son! He's brought us into His house and made us to sup at the Lord's table, remembering Christ's atoning death and anticipating the wedding supper of the Lamb.
What a glorious, mind-blowing truth. Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us: that we should be called the sons of God! (I John 3:1)
May this truth cause us to cling more tenaciously to Jesus, making the power of His death and resurrection our own, because He has made us his own! As we do this, let us never think we've "arrived," but let us "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."