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  • Shawn Thornton

An Adopted Child of God

Sunday - January 16th

Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 1:3-14


He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

Ephesians 1:5

In ancient Rome, adoption carried a powerful meaning and significance. Parents had the option of disowning or disinheriting their biological children. Parents may not have valued the relationship and could choose to bring it to a legal and formal end. A biological child's relationship with their parents would never be permanent.

Not so, however, if a child was adopted. In Rome, adopting a child meant:

1. Parents freely chose which child they wanted to adopt - the parents desired to have the child.

2. That child would be a permanent part of the family; parents couldn't disown or disinherit their adopted child.

An adopted child received a new identity. Any prior commitments, responsibilities, and debts were no longer valid. The child took on new rights and responsibilities. Also, in ancient Rome, inheritance began while alive, not something that started at death. Being adopted made someone an immediate heir to their father that began with adoption, not at death.

Think about what that means for us as Christians. Paul says, God “predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:5). Rather than minimize our status as children of God through creation, Paul's theology of the spirit of adoption doubles up on the significance of God being our adoptive Father.

Adoption through redemption constantly reminds us that God fully desired and loved us. We have taken on a new identity through Jesus. We are "co-heirs with Christ" (Rom 8:17).

For this reason, we can cry out, "Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15, from the core of our being. As a complete reading of Romans 8 indicates, our nature as adopted sons and daughters of God is deeply bound up in the salvation Jesus won for us. We are brought into an adoptive relationship with our Heavenly Father through His Son.

As an adopted child of God, your Heavenly Father will never disown or disinherit you!


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