In ancient times, when a family adopted a child, they believed that child to have equally adopted their family tree. Though there would clearly be a physical difference between the adopted child and the one blood-born based on their differing gene pools, their “spiritual genes” would be the same. In other words, the adopted child was seen as possessing the same spiritual potential, obligations and purpose as found in their adopted family’s ancestral line. And this was good thinking, since it is also what the BIBLE teaches! Adoption changes the spiritual potential, purpose and obligations of that child to the family (and ancestry) they have been adopted into. In other words, they receive the “spiritual genes” of their adopted family. The place to start (then) when assessing a person’s life and future is here, in the beginning, with their spiritual family tree (and “genes”).
- The perfect example of what I am talking about (i.e. the Bible teaching this) = Mat 1:1-17.
The genealogical list in these verses is Joseph’s – Jesus’ adopted dad (16). IOW: They are not Jesus’ biological gene pool. It is instead his “spiritual” gene pool (for further consideration see Rom 2:29-3:2).
- Why it is important to understand this distinction.
Matthew’s list also represents our adopted spiritual family tree/genes (Gal 3:26,29) and therefore communicates our spiritual potential, purpose and obligation (i.e. what our life and future could and should be).
- (3.1. – 3.1.4.) Christ’s POTENTIAL [DISCUSSED]
3.1.5. The Christian’s POTENTIAL
22.214.171.124. (1, 6) David, the great messiah king (Jer 23:5)
Our potential = To defeat the enemies of God.
One of the main reasons David is considered to be such a great king, is b/c of his victories as a committed, courageous and competent warrior for God against His enemies (1Sa 17:1-51, 18:25-27, 23:5, 30:17; 2Sa 5:17-25, 8:1-14; Psa 18:34-48, 27:1-3).
As the spiritual descendants of David, we possess the same potential for victory in re: to Christ’s enemies. It is however not the potential found in physical warfare that God has given to us, but rather spiritual. We have the potential to defeat them spiritually thru:
126.96.36.199.1. Destroying false doctrine (2Co 10:3-5)
188.8.131.52.2. Defending sound doctrine (Jud 1:3-4)
184.108.40.206.3. Demonstrating superior biblical knowledge that shuts their mouths (Tit 1:9-11; Act 6:8-10; this was Jesus – e.g. Mat 22:34-46).
In these three ways we (as God’s people, the church) have the potential to defeat God’s enemies and push back the kingdom of Darkness (Mat 16:18 w/Rev 11:15; 1Pe 5:8-9). We (iow) CAN “fight the good fight” (2Ti 4:7). Such potential however, requires the same prerequisites that made David the mighty warrior he was – commitment, courage and competency (2Ti 2:1-6; 1Co 16:13; Eph 4:11-16, 6:17 w/2Ti 2:14-21, also 1Ti 4:1-16; see again Psa 18:16-24).
220.127.116.11. (1-2) Abraham, the father/fountainhead of God’s favor (Act 3:25)
Our potential = To receive God’s blessings.
As discussed, to receive God’s favor/blessings, one needs to be in Abraham’s family (Heb 2:16). And this (too) is our place through Christ (Gal 3:26, 29). All of the promises made to him are ours b/c of our marriage to Christ (2Co 1:20). This then is also a part of our potential: to receive God’s favor/blessings. What those blessings consist of:
18.104.22.168.1. Present purpose (i.e. God’s will being done in our lives), provision, pardon and protection (Mat 6:9-13; Rom 8:28-29; Heb 13:5; 1Jo 2:1-2; Psa 37:23-28, 37-40)
22.214.171.124.2. Future glory: glorious, new bodies and eternal Paradise (Joh 14:1-3 w/Luk 23:43; 1Co 15:50-57; 2Co 4:13-5:2; Eph 1:14 – notice: it is yet future; Phi 3:20-21; Rev 2:7, 10, 3:12, 21:1-5, 26-22:5).
All these things were promised to Abraham (as his potential) just as they have been to us (as his and Jesus’ descendants). However, what else we share in common w/Abraham, is the fact that they are all conditional. If we are to realize God’s blessings, it requires that we (like Abraham) actively seek Christ/God thru holiness and faithful obedience (to all of His laws). IOW: It req’s we live LBS! (Mat 7:12-14 w/21-27 and Luk 13:22-30; Heb 5:9, 11:6, 8-10, 13-16, 12:1-4, 14, 15-17; Jam 1:25; 1Co 15:58; Rev 21:7-8). This (then) is the “rub” that has been removed from most so-called Christian messages/gospels (i.e. it is a “duty-free gospel”). Jesus explicitly condemns all such thinking as not only false, but contra Abraham (Joh 8:39-40).