Sunday, April 15, 2012

We Are Children of God

The New Testament writers understood this distinction as well. As significant as the judicial side of our salvation of the Holy Spirit, they each chose something from either their culture or their nature that would lend itself as an accurate illustration of this unique relationship between holy God and man.

The Holy Spirit directed the apostle Paul to use the term adoption to describe the process by which God establishes a relationship with a man or woman who rusts Christ as the Savior:

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!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.—ROMANS 8:15–16, emphasis mine Notice how Paul capitalizes on the relational value of doption. We are encouraged to think of our heavenly Father in the most intimate way, as a Daddy. This relationship is ontrasted to one of fear, which commonly existed between a slave and his master. God is not simply putting up with us as a master would with slaves. God desires an intimate relationship with us. And He has taken it upon Himself to remove every possible barrier.

 Paul echoes the same idea in his letter to the Galatians: But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. —GALATIANS 4:4–5, emphasis mine Here Paul makes the connection between adoption and justification. The interesting thing is that the grammar of these verses indicates that our ustification was merely a means to an end. God’s ultimate goal in salvation was the relationship made available through our adoption. Being declared “not guilty” was simply a necessary step in that direction.