We have been looking at how believers in Jesus are described in the Bible. Last week we saw we are ‘justified’ before God. Another way that we will look at today is ‘adoption’: ‘he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ’ (Ephesians 1:5). But what does it mean to be adopted by God?

Adoption is different from justification (being made right before God). Angels are right before God but are not his adopted children. Basically as adopted children we receive certain privileges that noone else does:
(i) We can call God Father: ‘…you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father”’ (Romans 8:15).
(ii) We can call Jesus our brother: ‘So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers’ (Hebrews 2:11).
(iii) We can call other Christians family: ‘Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family’ (Hebrews 2:11).
(iv) We can approach God without fear: ‘For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship’ (Romans 8:15).
(v) We are cared for: ‘As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him’ (Psalm 103:13).
(vi) We are protected: ‘He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge’ (Proverbs 14:6).
(vii) We are disciplined for our good: ‘the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son’ (Hebrews 12:6).
(viii) We receive gifts: ‘If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!’ (Matthew 7:11).
(ix) We receive an inheritance: ‘Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory’ (Romans 8:17).
(x) We can imitate him: ‘Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children’ (Ephesians 5:1).

What an honour it is to be adopted by the Living God as his children! It is incredible that any Christian could ever be angry with God or wish to not serve him with joyful obedience. If you’re not a Christian, why would you miss out on this wonderful offer to be a child of God? Repent and believe today!

Joel Radford.