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, it is the struggle between doing what is hurtful or loving. Truly, all the desires that do harm are considered carnality, a state of mind that knows evil. This is what is called the fall of humanity when we first partook in evil desires and separated ourselves from God’s person. Defined more simply, carnality is anything that is not in the likeness of God’s ways of being (Genesis 2-3).
We all have a mind that is an enmity and blinded to God’s ways of thinking because most of the time our minds are focused on own thoughts, emotions, and knowledge for the sake of ourselves (Romans 8:7), and yet we are also created for fellowship with God. Love and communication, workmanship, family dynamics, are all a part of having spirituality with our creator. Having a mind that knows and partakes in carnality means that we are sometimes rebellious, destructive, tyrant, disobedient, stubborn, self-willed children. Children, who God, our creator, parent, and best friend- loves. A way had to be made for connection and restoration for fellowship and unison with God without the hindrances of carnality. This was the atonement of Christ. Salvation.
Humans have always had the choice to choose their direction, 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, and yet so close and intertwined they exist in our lives. We are people of conflict, contradiction, and duality as if torn between ourselves, but always growing. We often separate ourselves from the concept, or the reality of God. Within an environment or lifestyle are many ways of living that are not pure, good, or beneficial to life. We separate ourselves from full fellowship and relationship with God when we don’t want anything else, but ourselves. 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.
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, abuse, death, 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 inter-braided with life. God sent his Son Jesus, who became human, and then gave us his own 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 re-birthing because accepting Jesus into our lives does change our mind and heart. The Holy Spirit leads us into understanding about God’s reasoning and persona. When we have the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are living in Christ as adopted children of God. People who believe in Jesus live inside God actively working with the Holy Spirit. 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, the blood that was shed to cover sin and bring forgiveness for each individual. Through the resurrection, God’s power is stronger than what brings harm and death to the individual and in the individual, and so made a way to escape the condemnation of death and suffering by living a life in God.
God sees his Son and the sacrifice he 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 spiritual transitions that happen 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 wants to do things their own way, the way they think best. Everyone is self serving, just as everyone’s self service serves others at some time or another, 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. There is a way out by living in God’s spirit, 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 sees all people as the same and 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 though 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.