Program Air Date - 5-16-04



Thank you for joining us this morning, let me welcome you to the program. The Living Word is a work of our Lord, dedicated to doing God's Will in His Way! As always, it will be our privilege today to sing songs of praise and to study from His Word. In these acts of worship, may we all be encouraged, but ultimately may we each praise God according to the sacrifices to offer toward His Throne. It will also be our honor this morning to speak with God through prayer. Will you bow with me as we talk to our creator?


Before we begin with our first song of the morning, I would like to thank all those who joined with us on April 25, for the taping of song for this program. We had over 300 present and what a great time of praise and devotion it was to the glory of God. The new songs which were taped will begin to be used in just a few weeks, beginning on May 30. So please keep watching and we hope these new songs will be a great encouragement to us all in the near future.

I would also like to take a moment and thank another good supporter of this television program. Do you live in the Oldfield, Missouri area or have you ever been in that area. If so, I would like to encourage you to visit with the Oldfield Church of Christ - even this morning. These brethren meet today, and every Sunday morning beginning at 10:00 o'clock for Bible class. This is followed by a main worship at 11:00 a.m. Once again on Sunday evening at 6:00 there is provided an opportunity to assemble before God in Oldfield, Missouri. The congregation also has a mid-week service on Wednesday, in which they meet at 7:30 p.m. So, Please take time to visit with these good brethren if you have the opportunity. If you need further information or would like to contact this congregation please do so by calling their minister Chuck Eakins at (417)634-4639. Or you could contact us and we will assist in any way we can.

Now it's time to praise our God through song. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Our God He Is Alive."

(SONG # 1)


What a beautiful song we just sung! Truly our God is alive! The sad part is that many in our world today, either by word or deed, prove that they really don't believe and respect all that this REAL God has done, is doing and promises to do for those who follow Him. But let me ask you, "have you confessed the name of God," "do you believe that He is real?" Or as one who has already responded to the gospel, are you now a "proclaimer," of the Savior. Do you profess to all that God is real and that He is the only way unto eternal life? May we all strive more every day to show forth our faith that God is a reality in life. As Paul said, "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

As far as our study this day - we will be continuing our new series which is entitled, "Important Doctrines Of God!" Our specific lesson of the morning deals with: "The Doctrine of Adoption!"

Today we are happy to have brother Kevin Patterson with us as our guest speaker. Brother Patterson is the minister for the Bolivar Church of Christ, right here in Missouri. So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Kevin will lead us in our main thoughts of the day. Now it's time to join in our second song of the morning, the name of this hymn, "When All Of God's Singers Get Home."

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Kevin Patterson

Good morning. As always, I appreciate you being here with us this morning and staying with us for this portion of our program. For the past several weeks, we have been talking about a series of lessons on "The Important Doctrines of God." We have established in our lessons that a doctrine is a teaching. So when we talk about the doctrines of God, we are simply talking about God's teachings on a given subject.

This morning we are going to talk about "The Important Doctrine of Adoption" and what the Bible says concerning us potentially being adopted children of God.

The first question I want us to ask is, "What is adoption?" I'm going to read for three definitions that I got out of Webster's Dictionary concerning adoption. The first definition concerns "the taking of the child of another as one's own." The second definition is "the act of taking the child of another in affection and law." And the third definition is "to choose and receive into a relationship as a friend, heir, or citizen."

First off, I want us to take a look at that first definition and I want us to expound on that a little bit and see what the Bible has to say concerning our adoption as children of God. The definition that I read to you just a moment ago was "the taking and treating of the child of another as one's own." I might perhaps be somewhat qualified to talk about this subject. Not because I have children, but because some of my children are adopted. My wife, Sherry, and I have been married nearly twelve years, but we have two of our four children who came to us other than the normal way children usually come to their parents. Even though we have two children of biological means and two children of adopted means, we still have four children. We don't look at them as being distinguished one from another. Our youngest, Mary, the only girl is 5 years old, and Connor, after that is 7 years old. But then we have two older ones, Michael who is 20 and John who is 16 who came to us because we accepted into our family, these young men who are not originally born to us but became children of ours through the legal process.

Well when we talk about the Bible, is there any similarity between that story that I just shared with you and God's view concerning us? I suggest, "Yes." And I want to remind you that passages like Romans chapter 3 and verse 23 teaches us that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." I would also remind you that if we have sin in our lives that we are very much alien to God because passages like 1 John chapter 1 and verse 5 teaches us that "God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all." If I could describe God for us, I would probably try to use words like "perfect" and "perfectly good and absolutely pure."

Whereas God is in that particular category, when we have sin in our lives, we are in this category that is quite the opposite of God and as such we are alien from God. We don't have a relationship with Him because of that sin. The consequence of our sin, Romans chapter 6 and verse 23, is death. That is the price that we pay for our sin. Not only death in this life, but eternal separation from God. But that is where adoption comes in because at one point in time, I would not have had four children. I would have only had two children if I and my wife had not taken the steps necessary to bring two other children into our family. And God has done the very same thing for us.

I want you to consider for just a moment what Paul writes to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians chapter 2 and beginning in verse 1. He reminds these Christians that, "And you He made alive. You were dead in trespasses and sins. In which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air. The Spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath just as others. But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love which He loved us even when we were dead in our trespasses made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved. And raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace and His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."

I want you to understand what Paul was saying to the church at Ephesus. He is reminding them that they once were lost in their sin. They were once separated from God, but God loved them so much that He was willing to sacrifice His one and only Son on the cross so that they might be able to come back into a relationship with Him and enjoy the fruits of that relationship.

Staying in the same chapter of Ephesians chapter 2 and reading some of the last verses. Beginning in verse 19 we read, "Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundations of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone."

Now consider what he says there. He says to these Christians, people who have been brought into the family of God. He says, "You're no longer a stranger. You're no longer an alien. You're no longer outside of the body of Christ or the family of God, but rather you have been made fellow citizens in the kingdom. You have been made fellow saints in the church. You have been made members of the household of God or the family of God." So in essence, he was saying to these Christians, "You can rightfully be called children of God because of what God has done for you and because of what you did in order for Him to receive you into that family."

I also want you to consider another part of our definition that we included before. We read one definition that stated that "adoption is the act of taking a child of another in affection and law." I want you to consider those terms. To take another child in affection, but also according to the law. On April 3rd of 1995, my wife and I gathered together with two young men, Michael and John, at the Dallas County Courthouse in Dallas, Texas. We had a 9:00 meeting before a judge. Three attorneys were present representing different interests to make sure that everything was done according to the law. One of the attorneys, at one point in time, ask me a number of questions. He said, "Your name is..." and I gave him my full name. He ask me for my address. I gave him my address. He ask me what type of job I was in and how long I had been in that job. He asked me things like my social security number. He asked an extensive number of questions trying to get an overall picture of who I was and what my background was. Then he asked me, "Do you love the children?" And I said, "Yes sir, I do." That same attorney then moved to my wife. He asked my wife her full legal name. She said, "Sherry Kay Patterson." Assuming that he would ask her the same extensive list of questions that he asked me, I was a little bit surprised when he moved directly to the last question. "Sherry, do you love those boys?" After my wife choked through the tears, she finally answered, "Yes." And that was the end of the questions. My wife and I certainly have affection for our children, but there was something else that was necessary. The law had to be on our side in order for these children to be called ours.

This is the same situation that we have in the Bible. In Galatians chapter 4 and beginning in verse 1, "I say that the heir as long as He is a child is not different at all from a slave though He is a master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the Father. Even so we when we were children were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His son, born of a woman, born under the law to redeem those who were under the law, that we might see the adoption as sons, and because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of the son into your heart crying out, 'Abba Father.' Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ, but then indeed when you did not know God, you serve those which by nature are not God's."

In this passage of scripture we see that through Christ's death on the cross, we were or it was made available to us to be adopted as children of the Father and then we could rightfully call Him the Father. It's the same principle that happened in that courthouse so many years ago. The judge finally clicked her gavel and said, "They're yours."

I would also ask you to consider the third and final definition that we included earlier. Adoption is to choose and to receive into a relationship as a friend, heir or citizen. Romans chapter 8 and verses 12-17 reads, "Therefore my brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh, for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are sons of God, 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.' The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God 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."

As I mentioned before, I do not have two children and two children. I have four children. I do not see a distinction between any of my children. They are all mine and I love them very dearly. As such, when I leave this life, if I have anything left to give them, they will receive my inheritance. We won't be playing favorites. We won't give the oldest the most or give the youngest the most. Rather, we are going to divide that equally among our children because we love each of our children equally. And such is the case with God. God does not play favorites with the children that He has adopted in His family, but rather He makes the same extraordinary blessings available to each and every one of us.

What kind of inheritance do we receive? Well in this life, for instance, we receive the forgiveness of sins, the redemption that is made possible by the blood of Christ. We also see gifts like membership in the body of Christ and being a part of the family, brothers and sisters spiritually in this life to help us to make our way through this world. Then also, we certainly don't want to forget the greatest inheritance we could ever receive and that is eternal life in heave with our heavenly Father.

I want to close with Colossians chapter 1 and verses 9-14. Paul wrote to the church at Colossi and he said, "For this reason we also since the day we heard it do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His Will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all His might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long-suffering with joy." Now listen to this. "Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the son of His love in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."

Are you a child of God today? And is He your Father?

(SONG # 3 - "Why I Love The Lord")


Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I know our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!

Do you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

Many of these items are also available on our web page, that address:

Or if you prefer, you may call us at: (417)869-2284

Isn't it wonderful to know that we have been adopted by God as His dear son's and daughters? How blessed we truly are to be the children of God with all of it's rewards, blessing and promises!

(Program closing)