Romans 8:14-17 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons (children) of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
The believer is both born of the spirit and adopted by the Father. This is double assurance that we have become God’s children, by both birth and adoption.
Adoption – huiothesia – ‘to place as a son’.
Adoption carried with it a number of extraordinary benefits – one could be adopted at any age, all previous debts were cancelled, all previous relationships were cancelled, the adopted person lost all rights in his old family and gained all the rights of a legitimate child in his new family. He became a full heir to his new father’s estate. An adopted child was guaranteed all legal rights to his father’s property, even if he was formerly a slave. He was not a second-class son; he was equal to all other sons, biological or adopted, in his father’s family. The motive and initiative of adoption always lay with the adoptive father.
Paul is the only New Testament writer to employ the word adoption. This term in itself applies equally well to the slave who is redeemed from bondage, and the Roman son whose adoptive father buys him out of the authority of his natural father, or adoption from conditions of slavery into the status of sonship.
Galatians 4:5-7 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your heart, crying out, “Abba, Father!”. Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Believers are chosen in Christ and predestined to this adoption by God’s will before the foundation of the world. Adoption for Paul was; God’s love and grace in accepting believers as His children, intimate members of His family. Adoption is the work of God’s Spirit. This drives out the fear we could experience in the presence of our holy God and provides power to pray trustingly to God as our “Abba,” or “Daddy.”
Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
The Spirit living in the believer gives confident assurance that one is accepted fully as a child into God’s family.
The definition of inheritance is a legal transmission of property after death.
Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Sonship is virtually always mentioned alongside inheritance. As soon as Paul announces sonship he moves immediately to the thought of what that has secured for us in the way of inheritance. In ancient Israel possessions were passed on to the living sons of a father, but the eldest son received a double portion.
My first ever personal revelation of God after coming to Christ happened sitting in a small Fiat Bambina car, silver rain falling all around me as I opened the Scripture;
Proverbs 4:20 My Son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
I found myself weeping with the impact of those words. Firstly that He was saying he was my Father and I was now his, and secondly that I was his son, born of and adopted by God. We must never underestimate the power of a father’s embrace.
See you in church!