This weekend we continue our series on Galatians. In the next talk, Simon Chaplin will be speaking on the topic, “Freedom Enslaved“, from Galatians chapter 4 verses 8 to 31.
We’re also looking forward to hearing from Jemimah McNeill at our 5pm service about the plans for the upcoming Fiji Mission with Year 13.
We will also share the Lord’s Supper at 5pm Saturday, so be sure to join us for this important reminder of the death of Jesus.
Our 8am Sunday service will be a Morning Prayer AAPB service.
During our service, we’ll have our weekly question and answer time, and Simon will be answering these questions:
If you’re wanting to check out our church we’d really love you to visit us on Saturday at 5pm for a contemporary service with kids’ program and dinner afterwards, or come along on Sunday at 8am for a Prayer Book service.
If you can’t make it in person, you’re welcome to jump online to watch the service (with the same sermon and many other items) at www.oakflats.tv.
If I were asked that question my first answer would be this: justification by faith.
And in the year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation my answer would come all the more readily. But I’d be wrong.
I can still remember first reading Knowing God by the famous theologian J.I Packer where I discovered my mistake.
There he explains the greatest blessing we have as Christians is this: adoption as sons.
“Adoption is the highest privilege that the gospel offers, even higher than justification. Justification is the primary blessing of the Gospel because it meets our primary spiritual need. We all stand condemned under God’s judgment. So we need forgiveness of sins and assurance of a restored relationship with God before we need anything else in the world.
But this is not to say that justification is the highest blessing of the Gospel. Adoption is higher, because of the closer relationship with God that it involves.
Justification is a forensic idea conceiving God as judge. 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 and establishes us as his children and heirs.
To be right with God as judge is a great thing. But to be loved and cared for by God the Father is a greater.” (p187)
Packer immediately goes on to cite Galatians where justification leads to the greater blessing of adoption:
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:4-6.
And so next time you are thinking of what the greatest blessing we have as Christians is, remember that we are adopted as children of God and we are able to call him our Father.