Tuesday, August 29

You received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: “Abba, Father!”Rom. 8:15.

Those who have received this special invitation from God do not need another witness from any other source. They do not need someone else to verify what has happened to them. Jehovah leaves no doubt whatsoever in their minds and hearts. The apostle John tells such anointed Christians: “You have an anointing from the holy one, and all of you have knowledge.” He further states: “As for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to be teaching you; but the anointing from him is teaching you about all things and is true and is no lie. Just as it has taught you, remain in union with him.” (1 John 2:20, 27) These ones need spiritual instruction just like everyone else. But they do not need anyone to validate their anointing. The most powerful force in the universe has given them this conviction!

COMMENTARY

I cannot recall ever reading anything published by the Watchtower regarding why Jehovah chose to adopt. Maybe they have commented on it, I don’t know.

In any case, if we were to scour the Scriptures seeking a verse, as some people are inclined to do, which states in black and white why God has set up an adoption program, we could not find a specific statement as to why. But it is as Abraham Lincoln once said in regards to human equality: “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” Indeed, it is also self-evident why Jehovah has chosen to adopt a family of 144,000 sons and daughters.

First, though, let us rule out a few things. As we know, those called to the heavenly Kingdom are going to serve as kings and priests for 1,000 years. But are they really needed in such a capacity? Is not Christ, with myriads of angels at his command, more than capable of ruling as king? He surely is. So, it is not as though the Kingdom cannot function without them.

What is more, the 144,000 born again sons are bestowed with life in themselves, which is to say they will become immortal and will apparently be endowed with life-imparting capacity themselves, like Christ himself possesses. Seeing that not even the holy angels of God are immortal, the question arises —Why? Why ought God bestow immortality and incorruptibility upon such lowly creatures as we sinful, dying humans?

The quick answer is, grace —or as the New World Translation words it —undeserved kindness. But again, that does not fully explain the why?

We know the issues Satan the Devil raised in Eden, which he expounded upon in the case of Job. Basically, he slandered Jehovah by calling into question God’s character and motives. But those issues were essentially resolved when Christ sacrificed his life in obedience to God’s will. And as a result of Jesus’ unswerving godly devotion God exalted Jesus to the highest place possible —disproving the Devil’s contention that God dare not entrust his creatures with ultimate power and knowledge. (“God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and bad.”)

But in the case of Christ no forgiveness was necessary. His resurrection was not an act of undeserved kindness on God’s part. It was an act of justice, undoing the terrible injustice that had taken place. Nor was his exaltation back to heaven an act of grace. After all, Jesus resided in heaven from the earliest times and all he asked was for his Father to glorify him with the glory he had alongside Jehovah in the beginning. (John 17:5) But, of course, Jehovah showed his appreciation and gave his firstborn son much more than what he asked.

But since God had always shown favor to his favorite son, his only-begotten, and Jesus himself said that the Son always does what is pleasing to the Father, perhaps some might not fully appreciate God’s magnanimous nature. After all, natural born sons tend to be favored over those who are adopted. So, God purposed to extend the same blessings bestowed upon his firstborn to all of the 144,000 adoptees. That is why Jesus is called the Firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29) Not one of these could ask to be given their former glory. They possessed none. Nor could they appeal to God for favor on the basis of their righteous standing before him. They have no standing. Only condemnation. Nor have they always done what is pleasing to the Father.

But, Jehovah willed that they be declared righteous by their faith in Christ —even though by all accounts they are not righteous. And by virtue of their being begotten by the spirit and being brought into union with the firstborn, and Jesus’ mediation in their behalf, they will be made to stand before God himself in the highest heaven.

Still, though, the question lingers —why? Since Christ’s death purchased all of humanity anyway, and in time Adamic death will be totally abolished, it is not as though ransomed humans will not be completely happy and content living forever in paradise on earth. Why are the chosen few called to heaven?

One clue is found in Paul’s writings, where he states: “For you see his calling of you, brothers, that there are not many wise in a fleshly way, not many powerful, not many of noble birth, but God chose the foolish things of the world to put the wise men to shame; and God chose the weak things of the world to put the strong things to shame; and God chose the insignificant things of the world and the things looked down on, the things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, so that no one might boast in the sight of God. But it is due to him that you are in union with Christ Jesus, who has become to us wisdom from God, also righteousness and sanctification and release by ransom, so that it may be just as it is written: “The one who boasts, let him boast in Jehovah.” —1 Cor 1:26-31

If God intentionally adopts the weak and foolish and ignoble in order to put the proud and mighty of this world to shame, we must also conclude that ultimately the god of this world, the haughty cherub who presumed to become God, will be humiliated foremost.

Obviously, if the angel that became Satan would have remained loyal to God there would have been no cause for Jesus to give his life. Consequently, there would be no 144,000 in union with Jesus. So, it is self-evident that the purpose of the adoption is to fully demonstrate the falsity of the Devil’s accusations against God, so that for all eternity he will forever be regarded as the wicked liar. The angel that presumed to become God will forever be remembered in ignominy.

By bestowing immortality upon those adopted as sons —many of whom are dredged up from the dregs of human society —and by exalting them far above the angels, so that they are a new creation, something that has never existed before, Jehovah demonstrates the depth of his love and the trust he has in his sons —contrary to the Devil’s insinuation that God withholds certain privileges from his creation. Ironically, what the Devil tried to gain through slander and murder, Jehovah freely gives to the most undeserving. No wonder the anointed apostle exclaimed: “O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and beyond tracing out his ways are! For ‘who has come to know Jehovah’s mind, or who has become his adviser?’ Or, ‘who has first given to him, so that it must be repaid to him?”’ —Romans 11:33-35

By giving the adopted sons life in themselves they are able to demonstrate that they do not love God merely because he gives them what they need, as the Devil charged in the case of Job —because the 144,000 will not need anything from him then in the way of life-sustaining power or protection. They will worship Jehovah forever, not because they fear him. No, perfect love throws fear outside. (1 John 4:18)They will simply love him for who he is. And only they will know him for who he truly is, even as their elder brother has explained: “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son is willing to reveal him.” —Luke 10:22

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