"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but 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, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him." (Romans 8:15-17 ESV)

As we studied the riches of salvation, purchased for us by Christ upon the cross, one topic came up that is perhaps not given the attention it deserves. That is the truth about our adoption by the Father. We are his children and heirs of the new creation.  

Through faith in Christ, we experience a new birth, are forgiven, are declared righteous, being united with Christ forever, and are being sanctified and preserved by God. But there's more. Adoption is the truth that we are brought into God's family as his very own children, with all the warmth and privilege this implies (John 1:12; Rom 8:14-17; Eph 2:1-3). 

John Murray wrote, "Adoption is an act of transfer from an alien family into the family of God himself. This is surely the apex of grace and privilege." 

Wayne Grudem in chapter 37 of his Systematic Theology (Zondervan, 1994, 2000) enumerates the privileges of adoption, as follows:

1. Being able to speak to God and relate to him as a good and loving Father

    a. He loves us (1 John 3:1)

    b. He understands us (Ps. 103:13-14)

    c. He takes care of our needs (Matt. 6:32)

    d. He gives us many good gifts, especially the Spirit (Luke 11:13)

    e. He gives us a great inheritance in heaven (Gal. 4:7)

    f. He forgives our sins (Matt. 6:9-12)

2. We are led by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14)

3. God disciplines us as his children (Heb. 12:5-6)

4. The privilege of sharing both in Jesus’ sufferings and in his subsequent glory (Rom. 8:16-17)

5. We relate to other believers as members of one family (1 Tim. 5:1-2)

6. We imitate and honor our Father in heaven (Eph. 5:1; Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-15)

Are you walking in the knowledge of God as your Father and enjoying the privileges of being his beloved child? Perhaps you could begin by thanking God for each blessing and privilege that comes from being his child, using the list above.

And think about this quote: "Since God has a Son of his own, and such a Son, how wonderful God's love in adopting us! We needed a Father, but he did not need sons." (Thomas Watson) 

Image credit: photo above by Derek Thomson on Unsplash. 


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