Adopted by God

Dear Friends,

Having grown up in a Christian home I was taught to know God as my Father.  I accepted this with childlike faith, but never really stopped to consider what it actually meant for me. 

I can so easily take something at face value without understanding what it really means or what the significance of it is.  So I recently decided to spend some time looking in more depth at what it means to be a son or daughter of God.

Paul says in Romans 8: 14-17 "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering." (NLT)

Because God has adopted us into his family, we have the privilege of calling him "Abba, Father".  It was how Jesus referred to God when he lived on earth.  For example, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is preparing himself for the cross and he cries out to God, "Abba, Father" (Mark 14:36).

The term expresses the close, intimate relationship we can enjoy with God.  How amazing is it that the Almighty God, Creator of all things, Sovereign God allows us to call him our Father.  And that he has made it possible for us to know him and relate to him as father. The term 'Abba, Father' also expresses the reverence and respect that a son/daughter has for their father.  In the life of Jesus we see both Jesus' close, loving, trusting, personal relationship with and his respect for God as his Father.

God has made me his daughter, he has adopted me into his family.  In Roman times when a man adopted a son the child gained all the rights of a legitimate child in his new family.  In other words, the adopted son received all the legal rights and privileges given to a natural child.  He became a full heir to his new father's estate.

In the same way, when God adopts us into his family, we receive all the privileges and rights as a son or daughter of God.  Jesus, God's own son, is heir to all of God's promises and as God's adopted children we share in the inheritance with Jesus.  We are co-heirs with him.

In his letter to the Galatians Paul writes this: "But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance." Galatians 4:4-7 (MSG)

God sent his own dear Son to earth to die for you and me, so that it was possible for us to then have a relationship with him.  He made a way for us to come to him and know him as our father.

What an amazing privilege it is to be called and chose by God to become part of his family.  To become his son or daughter.  What an incredible love he has for each one of us that he recognises us as his children and accepts us into his family.

Whatever kind of love, or lack of it, we experienced from our earthly parents, we can now experience and enjoy a close, loving and intimate relationship with God as our perfect Father.  There are no second-class sons or daughters in God's family.  God loves each one of us equally without distinction or condition.  God is good, God is love, God is perfect, and as such his love for you and me is good and perfect.

Not only does God love us with an extravagant love, he is also extremely generous towards us.  All that he has given Jesus as his heir, he also gives to you and to me as his heirs.  All that he has is for us to enjoy.

We have a glorious inheritance to enjoy.  It's not just something to look forward to when we are in heaven, it's to be enjoyed here and now.  God blesses us with the presence of his Holy Spirit, with forgiveness, new life, peace, grace, mercy, spiritual gifts and much more.

I don't know what kind of family you have grown up with.  Whether it's been one which reflected the father heart of God, or whether it's been one which couldn't have been further from mirroring God's love for you.

What I do know is, no matter what our background is, no matter what has been done and said to us, no matter what we have done, God desires to know each one of us intimately. 

God has so much love for you.  He longs to pour out his love on you.  He longs for you to know him as Father.  He has chosen to call you his son or daughter and he has so much he wants to give you.  Yet, he will never push you into this kind of relationship.  He waits for you to come to him.  He waits for you to seek him out.  He waits for you to ask for his forgiveness and to accept what Jesus did for you on the cross - when he took the punishment on himself for your sin - so that you will not just know about God, but that you will truly know God and know him as a loving, good and perfect Father.

To Think About:
If you don't yet know God as your Father, what is stopping you?  What's holding you back?

I have only just touched on the incredible love God our Father has for each of us.  What does it mean to you to be adopted and loved by your Heavenly Father?

If you are a parent, how does knowing God as your Father and having a close, intimate relationship with him, help you to be a better parent to your own children?

Take a moment to watch this video with lyrics of Chris Tomlin's song "Good Good Father":



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