Most people have heard that Jesus went to the cross to save them from their sins. This is a very confusing statement and can be insulting. Let’s expand this one liner with the meaning of salvation, and how salvation is spiritual adoption in Christ.
God shared a physical walking, talking daily life with the first humans, until they decided to partake in the knowledge of good and evil, that knowledge brought on what is called carnality. This is labeled as our sinful nature, the part of a human that knows evil, acting in destructive and harmful patterns verses loving oneself and others. Truly, all the desires that do harm are considered carnality, a state of mind that knows evil, defined as the fall of humanity. We partook in evil desires and separated ourselves from God’s person and ways and still do (Genesis 2-3).
We all have a mind that rejects the idea of a God, or rejects God. Most of the time, our minds are focused on our own thoughts, emotions, and knowledge for the sake of ourselves; yet, we are also created for fellowship with God (Romans 8:7). Love, communication, workmanship. It’s all a part of having a relationship with our creator. We are sometimes rebellious, destructive, uncooperative￼, self-willed children. Children, who God created and loves, which is why an opening had to be made for connection and fellowship with God. This was the atonement of Christ, he made a way possible to live in his person and presence and not carnality; hence, Salvation.
We have always had the choice to choose our path, to choose to be givers or takers, winners or losers, lairs or truth tellers, good or bad, so to speak. We compare these extremes all the time no matter how intertwined they exist in our lives. We are people of conflict, contradiction, and duality. We often separate ourselves from the concept, or the reality of God. God, being love, a pure essence of love does not coincide in ways that divide and destroy humanity. God coincides with us through the Holy Spirit. In this way, we choose how involved and surrendered to God’s Spirit we want to be.
Of Course, the Christian faith doesn’t sound practical to the intelligent person. The things of God are foolishness to humanity (1 Corinthians 1: 8 & Isaiah 55:8,9). Often, it is the encounter and the knowledge of the circumstance that creates a memory. In the same way, understanding Christ is in the spirit not the mind. Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Being close with God is accepting that we have these tendencies to cause harm, and knowing that we cannot abstain or conquer all negativity in ourselves, nor try. If we were able to do so then the Jewish law would have been sufficient and no atonement necessary to bridge the gap between our carnality and God. Suffering is a part of life. God sent his Son Jesus, who became human, and then gave us the Holy Spirit, a piece of himself as God’s agent on earth to help us. The Holy Spirit is given to us creating a new heart and mind, a heart that was stone, but now as clay. This is a re-birthing because accepting Jesus into our lives changes the way we feel because we feel God. The Holy Spirit leads us into understanding God’s reasoning and persona. When we have the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are living in Christ, as adopted children of God. Ephesians 2:19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.
1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that is did not know him.
Accepting Jesus is like a written adoption paper that reads, this human being has accepted my Son and Spirit, and is my own family. This is because Jesus went to the cross taking on the consequences of humanity’s sins. Dying, was to pay the wage of death because sin brings death. Life was given in the blood shed to cover sin and bring forgiveness for each individual. Through the resurrection, God’s power is stronger than death, harm, sin and destruction. We experience this power when we actively allow ourselves to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. God made a way to escape the condemnation of death and suffering by living a life in God through the power of God.
God sees the sacrifice his son, Jesus made on the cross to make a way for each individual to partake in a new life inside the Spirit of God. Love vouched for us as citizens, as members, and heirs in heaven. Spiritual adoption in Christ is believing in Jesus’s sacrifice for our sins, the great adoption from death to life, and the redemption of humanity into fellowship and unison with the Trinity. When we believe in Christ, there are internal attitudes and beliefs that change because we are a part of a new spirit, a new family (Ephesians 1 & Hebrews 9:12).
A Christian still has carnality after believing. No one magically becomes good or perfect. This is not the goal of Christianity. Everyone is self serving, just as everyone’s self service serves others at times, and goodness is wrapped up in the destruction. This is why it is written to let both the weeds and the wheat grow together until the harvest. We do not aim for perfection as Christians, we aim to live inside of God, and go through the process of sanctification, which is the process of finding our authentic selves. ￼By living in God’s spirit, we are being transformed by the renewing of our minds which happens in knowing and having a relationship with God.
Galatians 4:6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
God loves each one of us equally. God reaches out every moment to connect and provide love, life, and restoration. This was God’s promise to us throughout humanity’s history, that nothing will ever separate us from the love the Creator has for creation. Our souls are protected, loved, and safe. Spiritual adoption is salvation through believing in Jesus and living in the Christian faith as a member of God’s household and kingdom. Ephesians 3: 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and shares together in the promise in Christ Jesus.