Monday, April 26, 2021

Our Adoption by God (Romans 8)

"Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" (Romans 8:23).

When God justifies us, He also adopts us as His children. There is a true sense in which God is the father of all humanity, and “all men are brothers.” Acts 17:29 says that all men are to be considered as the “offspring” of God. Sadly, because of sin, human beings don’t want to be God’s children and have run away from home. Being cast out of the Garden of Eden, they have already been officially disinherited, and they will experience progressively more disinheritance in this life until they experience total disinheritance in hell.

God has adopted believers as His children in Christ. Adoption concerns our honors and privileges as sons and daughters of God. We are princes and princesses. (In a sense, in union with Christ we are all princes, and as members of His bride we are all princesses.) We begin to experience this adoption as soon as we are saved. God sends His Spirit so that we recognize Him as our Father, and the Bible as His Word (Romans 8:14–15).

Part of being a prince for God is to suffer for Him. David suffered for many years after he was anointed to be the eventual king of Israel. As we saw earlier in this month, since David was anointed as a prince, he was a “son” in a messianic sense. Being a son meant that he had the privilege of fighting as a knight for God’s kingdom and suffering for it. Thus, Romans 8:17–22 says that adoption leads to suffering service for the King of Kings.

Adoption, however, also implies glory. Romans 8:23 speaks of the fullness of our adoption as the redemption of our physical body. The resurrection and our glorification is going to be a glorious aspect of our adoption. To the extent that God grants us health and life and prosperity in this world, it is only a foretaste of the glorious adoption to come.

Thus, adoption has to do with dominion. Adam forfeited his dominion, in a sense, by giving the world to Satan. Jesus took it back, and God has adopted us as children and given it to us. The parables speak of the master’s giving talents into the hands of his servants to work with. So it is with those who have been adopted as sons of the King.

Consider your employment or your calling. Can you see your job as a privilege, a sign of your adoption by God as His child? If you are experiencing suffering in your role as a wife, husband, mother, worker, how can you turn that suffering into encouragement? Let today’s lesson help you get through the day.