> Living Letter

08/26/2014 - Bondage versus Adoption

All the words in the Bible mean exactly what they say. They don’t need to be “spiritualized” or interpreted by means of hermeneutic techniques. They are provided by the Lord so that, with the illumination of the Holy Spirit, we can understand them and accomplish that for which they were sent. God’s people have ceased to live the fullness of the Gospel because of the “interpretations” of certain “wise men”.

The prophet Hosea registered in his book the Lord’s explanation as to why His people suffer: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6).

For Hosea, all the suffering of God’s children is related to lack of knowledge. The prophet went even further: he said that those who despise the Lord’s guidance cease to be His priests. In fact, many keep the outer appearance, the “poise” and the attire of a priest but were disqualified by God a long time ago! Such people mix human thoughts to the truths of the Scriptures, leading millions of people into wrongdoings. Dogmas, traditions, rituals, proverbs and commandments that the Lord Jesus has never uttered are some of such thoughts. The punishment of these “ministers” will be great.

They lack what is most important: the power of the Holy Spirit. Here, in this world, they may even receive the title of priests of God and be considered as such by some, but they won’t be received by the Lord, for the Word warns: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23).

Despite the divine warning, some people prefer to bow to human knowledge. Those who do so are completely oblivious to the work the Lord is doing. However, those who turn to the Word find life and healing to their body: “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh” (Proverbs 4:20-22).

THE ROOT CAUSE OF BONDAGE

It was Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden that originated all the evil we know. By eating the forbidden fruit, our first father allowed the nature of Satan to enter into the world and completely contaminate humanity. God’s Word says that there is none righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10). Man, because of his insane act, left the hands of the One who is 100% love – God – and ran towards the one who is 100% hatred, the devil.

We never were at the Eden, nor did we eat the fruit, but because we belong to the human race, we have received the inheritance. Death, the nature of Satan, came to all of us and we are under that terrible yoke. Such an evil presence in the life of man is the explanation for the most insane acts performed by him since that day in Eden, as well as the reason for so much suffering. Because he is the origin of the human race, Adam not only transmitted his genetic inheritance to all his descendants, but also the spiritual one. Today, there is no reason to live under the enslaving cloak of the devil. Everyone can and should “rebel” and leave this bondage. There was the forbidden fruit of the garden, but there was also the cross of Calvary. If the first enslaved us, the second set us free!

This period through which human beings have been under the bondage of Satan is compared to that of the children of Israel in Egypt. They were under Egyptian bondage for centuries, until they were delivered by Moses. Mankind was also chained to the devil for a long time, before being rescued by the Lord Jesus. The slavery of the Hebrews was physical while ours is spiritual. Their deliverance occurred when, commanded by Moses, they departed towards the Promised Land; ours, when we accepted the Lord Jesus as Savior. The Israelites crossed the Red Sea as if they were being baptized in Moses; we’ve passed through the waters, being baptized in Christ and clothed in Him.

THE DAWN OF FREEDOM

With the coming of the Lord Jesus, the prince of this world was cast out. The devil, who until then acted as the owner of everything, was beaten and kicked out. Today, he no longer has the position he once enjoyed: “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (John 12:31).

The judgment took place upon the Lord’s death on the Golgotha. By offering Himself on that altar, the Lord Jesus paid the price for our fall in Adam, overcame the devil and ended slavery. Where is slavery now? Has the Lord Jesus left it lying around somewhere? No! He wouldn’t do that! He would not

leave it like that so that it could befall us again. Upon returning to the heavens, from where He came to do that wondrous work, our Savior has done something as great as the defeat He inflicted on the enemy: Therefore He says:“When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men” (Ephesians 4:8).

That is why the Lord commanded us to go all over the world and preach the Good News (Mark 16:15). He wants us to tell everyone that, in Him, they can and should declare themselves free. Nothing will be able to deter mankind. Slavery, with all its woes is a thing of the past. The light of freedom now shines on us, God’s children. We are new creatures and everything that used to exert power over our lives was taken captive by the beloved Lord: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

The Lord Jesus summarized His ministry – which should also be the ministry of everyone who is participating in the Kingdom of God – as follows: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD” (Luke 4:18-19).

This is the message the world needs to hear. Millions of people are trapped in creeds, dogmas and precepts of other religions, paying a high price for that; they’re lost, oblivious to the plan of salvation, preaching and hearing nonsense and the fabrications of men; they’re living under bondage due to not knowing the actual message of the Gospel. Such people will only be set free if they come to Light. It behooves us to tell all of them what belongs to them in Christ. Only the simple preaching of the Gospel, in the power of God’s Spirit, can lead them to true freedom.

May God’s children never get tired of evangelizing! It’s necessary to show everyone that freedom has dawned. This is what most pleases the Father’s heart. This is the biggest mission He has commissioned us to accomplish. Even the feet of those who dedicate themselves to the service of the Lord are beautiful: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15b).

SPIRIT OF ADOPTION

See what beautiful revelation the Word of God has for us. It says: “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). Therefore, we

can conclude that no one, absolutely no one, needs to conform to the whims of the evil one, who uses the most diverse doctrines to keep humans under bondage.

Because mankind once received the spirit of bondage, we need to shout to the top of our lungs that this is a thing of the past. Let’s announce to everyone that they don’t have to undergo the treatment of the evil one. Now we have the adoption institution waiting for us in Christ Jesus.

Since we’ve been presented with a New Treatment, which allows us to be adopted as children of God, we urgently need to understand what spirit of adoption means. What can we obtain from this divine institution that was placed at our disposal? The complete and perfect God that we have would not pay such a high price by sending His Son to die in our place if the work did not include all the blessings we need now or will need in the future. The act of the Lord in adopting us as children implicitly includes everything individuals might need to live with dignity, having the Lord as their Father.

This message will transform the lives of millions of people. We have the obligation to shout to everyone that no one else needs to surrender to any type of slavery anymore. At the same time, we must keep an eye out to make sure that our freedom is a living reality: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5.1).

It seems ironic, but those who have subjected to the enemy are extremely religious and zealous of their doctrines; however, they lack the knowledge of the Gospel. It’s heart-wrenching to see those lives being dominated by all kinds of suffering, while they are still kept as preys of the wiles of the enemy. We have to say to all people: “It’s time to wake up; nobody received the spirit of bondage.” If we have been delivered, why live under the yoke of slavery in which we have no part and that prevents us from enjoying the good things that our Father created for the happiness of His children? It’s time to embrace our freedom, right?

The Word of God declares that we have received the spirit of adoption as children, which enables us to call Him Father. This means we have full access to Him. Calling Him father means that we can assume the position of heirs and successors: “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:17).

Now we have access to all Our Father’s assets; nothing is withheld from us. God’s Word assures that everything is ours: “…whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours (I Corinthians 3:22).

If there still remains any doubts as to the fact that God wants His children to enjoy the best things in life, all you have to do is reason: if human parents are happy to indulge the wishes of their children, how much more shall your heavenly Father, who is perfection and love, be pleased to answer those who come to Him: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11)

We can believe that the institution of adoption, by allowing us to have the Lord as our Father, also gives us the right to enjoy everything He has: power, skill, holiness, health, prosperity and other blessings. This is awesome! We are heirs of the One who created all things and has all power in heaven and on earth. Everything is ours.

If this understanding has impacted you, don’t just stand there! Move! Take your place in this new position! God wants His children to be undaunted. We no longer have to cower before the attacks of the evil one. Meditate on your situation in Christ and become a winner in all circumstances: “But in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

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