Updated: Oct 6
By nature we are children of disobedience and children of wrath (Eph. 2:2-3). In grace, the Father has adopted us to be his children. No longer are we slaves of the father of lies but children of the Father of mercies. We share his name and have his heaven for our home. This is not due to our works, bloodline, or decision. Our Father gives us new hearts to believe upon his Son and thus become his children (John 1:12-13).
Because our earthly circumstances never match up to our Father’s love and our future glory (1 John 3:2), he gives us the family seal: the Holy Spirit. He is the “Spirit of adoption,” a down-payment (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5) of heaven’s joy, power, and peace. He is an inner intercessor and witness-bearer in our hearts (Rom. 8:16) that we are God’s children. He gives us the confidence to cry, “Father, Father.” His witness grows in clarity by revealing to our hearts Christ’s perfect sacrifice and heavenly intercession.
Our adoption is inseparable from our Lord’s eternal sonship. We are made children of God when by faith we made the good confession, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:17). Believing in Jesus, we are made children of God. Our adoption comes with many blessings: closeness with our Father, his constant protection and guidance, provision, covenant love, unfailing mercy. When sin ravages the conscience, Christ our elder Brother pleads his blood in heaven and secures our pardon. When our soul gasps for air under affliction, our Father invites us to his throne of grace where his Son is the compassionate high priest for all his children. One day, we shall share in his glory. He will raise us as high as he is, a communion that will breed no pride. He will safely exalt us, and we will exalt him higher.
Our adoption is no second-class sonship. No child of God will enter heaven ashamed, creeping in by the back gate. We have an inheritance with our Savior. We are cleansed by his blood and clothed with his righteousness. We are “heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ.” We will enter the kingdom he has prepared for us. He will place a crown of glory upon our heads. He will serve us at the heavenly feast. We shall be incorruptible, immortal, unspeakably glorious – all because of God’s adopting grace, uniting us to his Son, and giving us in him a personal and corporate glory that will never fade. It boggles the mind what we are in Christ, what we are by adoption, what we shall be.
Adoption profoundly changes and challenges us. Because we are the children of God, we may draw near to our Father with bold confidence and assurance (Rom. 5:2; Heb. 10:22). The hope of adoption’s completion motivates purity (1 John 3:3). Because God is our Father, we live with dignity and practice holiness (1 Cor. 6:18-7:1). Our destiny is perfect likeness to Christ (Rom. 8:29). Since our lives are hidden with him, we set our affections upon him, aspire to him, desire him (Col. 3:1-4). Loving him, we identify, use, and develop our talents with zeal, young and old, improving every opportunity to serve the Lord with zeal, “for our labors are not in vain in the Lord” (Matt. 25:23; Luke 2:49; Rom. 12:11). Now we are God’s children! He is watching us with joy, indwelling us with power, and preparing us for glory. Rejoice!