Have you ever had a change in relationship that made you think differently about yourself? I’ll never forget the privilege of introducing Natalie as my “wife” for the first time. She was no longer just my girlfriend, or even fiancee, but she was my wife! And I was her husband. This identify shift brought with it a new sense of joy and purpose in life.
Imagine how an orphan must feel when he first learns he has been adopted. When the parents arrive at the orphanage and take him home, everything changes. He no longer needs to fear being lost, alone, or forgotten. At first the change may be overwhelming. But over time, the child begins to appreciate his newfound identity and enjoy the gift of a loving family.
The Bible even uses adoption language to describe our relationship to God through Christ. By the power of the gospel, we are adopted as sons and daughters of God. No matter what trials we face, or temptations we endure, we can rest in the fact God is now our Father.
Paul describes this tender reality in Romans 8:15b-16: “You have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”
Adoption brings not only a new identity, but also a new inheritance. We are now co-heirs of Christ and will reign with him in his coming kingdom. Paul says in verse 17, “and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…”
The Scottish Pastor Robert Murray M’Cheyne explains it this way: “God is as much your Father as He is Christ’s Father, your God as Christ’s God. Oh, what a change! for an heir of hell to become an heir of God, and joint–heir with Christ; to inherit God; to have a son’s interest in God! Eternity alone will teach you what is in that word, ‘heir of God.’”
In our newest podcast, we look more in depth at this doctrine of adoption from Romans 8:12-17 and celebrate the eternal inheritance that is ours through Christ Jesus.
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