Children of God
The term Son of God refers preeminently to Jesus
Christs deity (Matt. 11:25-27; 16:16-17). He alone is one in substance and glory
with God the Father. Believers in Christ, although adopted are never on a par
with the uncreated, divine Son of God.
Adoption is the term the apostle Paul uses to
describe the act of the Holy Spirit whereby the believing sinner becomes a member of
Gods family, with all the privileges and obligations of family members.
We were children of wrath by nature (Eph. 2:3). However,
those upon whom God bestows His saving grace become the children of God.
The word adoption in the New Testament means to place as an adult
son. It was a term used in the Roman legal practice in the apostle Pauls day
referring to a legal action by which a person takes into his family a child not his own,
with the purpose of treating him as and giving him all the privileges of an own son. An
adopted child was legally entitled to all rights and privileges of a natural-born child.
Paul uses it as an illustration of the act of God giving a believing sinner, who is not
His natural child, a position as His adult son in His family. The emphasis is on the legal
position of the child of God.
It is the Holy Spirit who is called the Spirit of
adoption who performs the act of placing the believing sinner as an adult into the
family of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again,
but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, Abba!
Father! (Rom. 8:15)
The adopted child lost all rights and privileges in his old family
and gained all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family. He got a new father, and
he became the heir to his new fathers estate. He became co-heir with the other sons.
In the eyes of the law the old life was completely wiped out. All debts were completely
cancelled. He was absolutely the son of his new father. It was carried out in the presence
of seven witnesses.
What a glorious privilege is ours to be the absolute possession of
the Father! We have already as believers in Christ been placed in the family of God and
are led by the Holy Spirit as the adult sons of God. The apostle John describes our
experience as Gods children who have been born into His family by the new birth (Jn.
1:12; 1 Jn. 3:1-2).
Moreover, Romans 8:23 tells us we ourselves groan within
ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
At the Second Coming of Christ our resurrected bodies will be glorified and will then
possess all our inheritance that the sonship involves.
Galatians 4:4-6 and Ephesians 1:5 make it clear that we cannot lose
our adoption. Because Jesus Christ paid the penalty of our sin debt in full, nothing
stands in the way of a just God regenerating a believing sinner and placing him as His
child in His family. The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of adoption also places a
saved sinner in a legal standing in Gods family. The adopted son has all the rights
and privileges of Gods only begotten Son. God the Father loves the adopted child
just as much as He loves His only begotten Son.
We are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Gal.
3:26). As a result of Gods adopting us we are just as eternal and secure in our
relationship with Him as His only-begotten Son. All the security and loveliness of
Gods Son is ours as His adopted sons. The Holy Spirit imparts to us the divine
nature and places us in the family of God in accordance to His unchanging laws.
This is our new standing before the LORD God. He accepts us into His
family, who by nature do not belong to it, and places those who are not His sons
originally into a right relationship with Him with all the privileges of that new family
Jesus Christ alone is the Son of God by nature. We can never have the
same relationship He has as the unique Son of God. The word adoption
distinguishes those who are made sons of God from the only-begotten Son of God. The Holy
Spirit, however, creates in the believing sinner a new nature. We have not only the new
status as sons, but also the heart of true sons. Our adoption is the act of Gods
pure goodness and grace of His will to the praise of His glory.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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