“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:14-15
Recently my wife and I bumped into a friend and his son whom we had not seen for a year. In that time, the teenager had grown from boy to young man, from thin and wiry to broad-shouldered and tall — and his voice was lower, too.
In addition to growing up physically, the young man was ever more like his dad — upbeat and positive, brimming with good. The boy seemed a “chip off the old block.”
And he’s adopted.
If you were to see father and son side-by-side, you would probably know it; the boy’s dark hair and eyes stand out in contrast to his dad’s Scandinavian complexion. But they are family.
The Apostle Paul says that when we are led by the Spirit of God, we become His children, His offspring through adoption. We may be in body and He may be in Spirit, but at the core, we are family. We have been freed from spiritual slavery and fear. Within the body of Christ we differ in race and nation, but deep down we’re family, born of God. We call Him “Daddy” (the affectionate meaning of “Abba”).
As a child adopted by God, I need to ask myself if people can tell I’m carrying the family name, if I’m living by the Spirit. John reminds us of the telling sign: “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” John 13:35.
Can others tell that we belong to God’s family? Do they see us bearing His complexion?
God, thank You for adopting me into Your family. May my life honor Your reputation as a loving and caring Father. Amen.
Read Trevor J. Burke’s Adopted into God’s Family: Exploring a Pauline Metaphor