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.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.
Zinnia is adopted. Her parents did not give birth to her. But legally, they are her parents, and she is their daughter. In fact, she is as much her parents’ daughter as any of her parents’ other children are. And even though she shares no genes with any of the other children in her family, she is their sister, and they are her siblings. Legally, there is no difference between Zinnia and any of her siblings. She has the same rights as any of her parents’ other children. Her parents love her the same as they love all their other children. And when her parents die, she will be just as much an heir as any of her siblings will be.
Zinnia’s adoption beautifully illustrates the relationship that all who believe in Jesus have with their triune God. When we were born, we were not God’s children. Instead, we were children of the devil. That meant we were outside of God’s family. We were separated from all the blessings that come from being a member of God’s family. And on our own, we had no hope of ever becoming members of God’s family.
But all that changes when God the Holy Spirit brings a person to faith in Jesus. When the Holy Spirit leads someone to trust in Jesus as their Savior, God adopts that person into his family. Through faith in Jesus, they become God’s children, and God becomes their Father. As God’s children, they now have Jesus as their brother. And as Jesus’ siblings, they are now just as much heirs of God as Jesus himself is.
What a wonderful promise the Bible makes. Rejoice and take comfort in it this day.
O triune God, help me always appreciate your willingness to adopt sinful children like myself into your family. Amen.