You’ve been adopted!
When you become a child of God, your whole future changes.
My mum is half-Japanese and my Dad is Caucasian. In my family, we often joke that my brother Mike took all the Asian, while I got stuck with all the white! We also have polar-opposite personalities, which has led to many jokes about how one or other of us is adopted.
Funnily enough, this isn’t too different to the picture painted in the book of Romans (8:12-17).
We were cut off from God
In the book of Romans, we see that although we reject God and deserve his anger and punishment, he has worked in those who trust him to unite us with his Son, Jesus Christ. In doing this, Jesus’ death counts as our death – the death we deserve for our sin. And because of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, we can have the hope of new, eternal life with God (Romans 8:1-11).
Now we see something that’s perhaps even more amazing.
Got brought us back ... and blessed us!
We are adopted as God’s sons (8:14-17). We who had completely rejected God and lived like we were our own “gods”, we who had always done wrong to God and each other; we who deserve nothing more than being cut off from God’s love forever – we, by God’s Spirit, are given a status like Jesus, God’s Son, the King of the universe.
In the time Paul was writing, a father’s inheritance was divided up between his sons. So, as he writes in verse 17, because we are adopted as God’s sons, we get to share in Jesus’ inheritance – his reward and his glory. We get to be friends with God. We get to enjoy a perfect relationship with him and each other forever, along with all the good things he will provide when he fixes this broken world once and for all (for a taste, see Revelation 21:3-4).
Living as a child of God
How are we adopted as God’s children?
It's by trusting in Jesus as our saviour and King, who took our punishment in our place and who rules all things for all time (Romans 1:17, 3:24-25, 4:1-25, 5:17-21).
We who trust God—and are now his children—should take on the family identity. That will mean leaving behind what Paul calls “the deeds of the body” – that is, the actions that are against God and his loving commands (8:13). We should instead, live with obedience to God as our father, following him even if it leads to suffering or difficulty, because we know we will rise again with Christ.
Will you live in obedience to your heavenly Father, knowing what he has in store for you?