This sermon is an overview of the doctrines of sonship and adoption across the bible. It explains the marks of sonship, the privileges of sonship, and the source of sonship.
True Christianity is costly, and will require personal sacrifice, and the things we must be willing to sacrifice are the most important things in this life: houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and father, farms and land. Yet at the same time, according to the words of Christ, we can know that the things which we sacrifice and give away will come back to us a hundredfold, not only in this life, but in the life to come. It is this truth that frees us to meet the needs of others, especially orphans.
In this portion of Luke 14, Jesus has been invited to the home of a ruling Pharisee for dinner. As He observes power-mongering and selfishness on display, He takes the opportunity to teach the people and the host about the priorities of God. As believers, we are to see our homes and our tables as instruments for displaying the love of God to needy people. As we are faithful to put God and then others before ourselves, we will realize amazing opportunities to share the gospel of Christ.
At first glance, this text seems to support the idea that if we do good things for people in need, we will go to heaven, but that is far from the truth. Christ does indeed encourage us to manifest righteous behavior and to do good works, but our labors are not what saves us; they are evidences of the fact that Christ has saved us by His work on our behalf. As we are in Christ, we will bear out the fruit of Christ, and one of the most significant fruits of Christianity is our compassion for those in need, particularly our compassion for the fatherless.
The Mercy that God Displayed to His Once Orphaned Children Impacts the Mercy that His Adopted Children Display to Orphans
The more Christians understand their former position as an orphan, the greater burden they will have for orphans. The more Christians worship the God who displayed mercy to them, the more they will show mercy to orphans. Orphan care is a visible picture of the gospel.
Though Paul speaks earlier of us either being slaves to sin or slaves of Christ, God means for His children to look far beyond that metaphor and understand that He has brought us, not merely to a new master, but into a new family relationship. As adopted children of Almighty God, we know Him as our “Abba” Father. Thus, His love for us and our love for Him, as testified to by His indwelling Spirit, is our motive for killing sin, the ground of our assurance, and our hope in suffering.
Exodus is a story of Adoption. God set His heart on a people, He delivered them out of their slavery, He gave them His identity, and He called them his own. As the people of God, we are called to serve Him, love Him, fear Him, and represent Him by following His example. And from Deuteronomy 10, we understand that we are to care for the alien, the orphan and the widow.