Adoption is a Beautiful Thing
Paul has taught us in this chapter that believers stand uncondemned before God and as such are people who walk after the Spirit, setting their minds on heavenly things and turning their backs on worldly pursuits. But he still felt the need in verse thirteen to warn us not to fall back into living after the flesh as worldliness invariably leads to death. Now he returns to the blessings that come to those who profess faith in Christ.
Paul writes that “all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons [and, of course, daughters] of God.” That is, those who by saving faith have received Christ are in fact his sons. How have they become his sons? By adoption; that is, by being adopted into the family of God. And this adoption is a most wonderful thing. It is a common misconception that the world loves to announce, to wit, that we are all children of God. “Not so,” says God, who is the only one who has the right to determine who is and is not in His family. As sinners, as those who have rebelled against Him, the only way to become a member of His family is by His own adoption of that sinner by way of being born again of the Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ.
But what I wish to speak of now are the wonderful benefits that accrue to us through this gracious adoption. First, by adopting us as sons, God has removed us from the slavery to fear instilled in us by the law’s commands and subsequent death for transgressing those commands, and has instead transferred us into His very family. We are now sons and daughters. Let that amazing act on God’s part sink in for a minute. Second, as adopted sons and daughters, we may now pray, “Abba! Father,” “Abba” being that Aramaic personal name for “father” which Jesus used, equivalent to our, “Daddy.” In other words, our God and Father wants us to understand Him as a loving and personal father, not some far off and distant god, or worse, an angry god, which He is not. Third, by adopting us into His family, we are now heirs of God, as adopted children are made rightful heirs. Indeed, we are called “fellow heirs” with Christ as he is the Father’s natural Son; we have our sonship through him. But as adopted sons and daughters, we have been made fellow heirs with God’s natural Son and shall inherit a Kingdom with the natural Son seated on the throne. Most important, we shall inherit God Himself, the blessing of knowing Him and being with Him for all eternity. That is what we were created for and what God has graciously granted to us after our defection and treachery. And now we suffer in this world, but only that we be glorified with Him. How beautiful is our adoption!