What it Means to be Adopted by God: 6 Amazing Privileges
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What does it mean to be adopted into God’s family? I believe it means enjoying an unconditional love that’s forever. As a Christian, sometimes, I can still take on the mindset of someone who thinks I’m accepted into God’s family as long as I don’t mess up. I can forget that adoption into God’s family is permanent- and solely by His grace, not my works. I’m still learning, but as I’ve grown to more fully accept God’s grace. I've become better at trusting in his unconditional love, and I have a much greater peace.
Here’s a story to illustrate:
A year after I graduated from high school I left everything I knew and traveled to Texas, far from my home in Washington State, to work as a live-in nanny for a family that I had never met before.
It was an act of trust for everyone. The family was warm, gracious, and welcoming. I was treated well, so well, that the line sometimes felt blurred between whether I was a family member or an employee.
As good as the circumstances were, there was still a line. I wasn't really part of the family. I was paid to be there. The home I lived in and the relationships with the people who lived there were contingent upon my employment. As much as I loved the family I worked for; I wasn't going to be a nanny forever. It was just a college job.
That experience was wonderful, sometimes- but it was also one of the loneliest times of my life. I didn't have my own family or friends around- and my place in this new family was meant to make their life easier, so if I needed help, I didn't feel like I could freely ask for it. I didn't want to impose on them. Not having anyone else around to ask for help, I became quite fearful of anything going wrong. I didn't feel secure. I learned something about myself: I would rather be a real family member than a hired one.
Adoption by God means he makes us members of His family.
"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 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: 14-17 (ESV)
The gospel of Christ means that we have been offered the gift of salvation. When we accept that gift and become followers of Christ, we are given a new spirit. This is called regeneration. We are forgiven of our sins and made right before God (justification). But God didn't stop there. He adopted us. We become his children- with all the privileges it entails. We’re NOT the hired help. We’re full on family members, and we can ask for His help whenever we need.
Adoption is the heart of the gospel. It's all about the relationship that God wants to have with us. Your security is not dependent upon anything other than God's everlasting, unconditional, arms-wide-open love that he has for you as his child. You can call on him anytime. He will be there for you. You're not imposing because He wants to help you!
"If anybody understands God's ardor for his children, it's someone who has rescued an orphan from despair, for that is what God has done for us. God has adopted you. God sought you, found you, signed the papers, and took you home. "-Max Lucado
Abba is a Greek word that is more intimate than the word Father. It means 'Daddy.' An intimate relationship with the God of the universe is what you are invited into.
What does this mean? Let's look at some of the privileges of adoption into God's family:
6 Privileges of Adoption into God's Family
1. We can relate to God as a good and loving Father
"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him." 1 John 3:1 (ESV)
2. God takes care of our needs
"For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all." Matthew 6:32 (ESV)
3. God gives us many good gifts
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11 (ESV)
4. The Holy Spirit leads us
"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." Romans 8:14 (ESV)
5. God disciplines us as his children
"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines, the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." Hebrews 12:5-6 (ESV)
6. We are members of one family with other Christians
"For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." Matthew 12:50
How then can we respond?
We are to imitate our Father in heaven. This is how we bring honor to our Father in heaven, and it is how we show him our love.
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children." Ephesians 5:1 (ESV)
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16 (ESV)
Friend, God already loves you, whether you know Him yet, or not- but if you accept His son Jesus as your personal savior, then you are brought into the family of God. You are adopted and you get to enjoy all these wonderful privileges I’ve written about today (and many more). What an amazing gift it is.
If you have any questions or if you would like me to pray for you, please feel free to contact me HERE.