We are no longer slaves but sons and heirs with Christ. As we suffer with Christ we will also be made glorious with him.
Romans 8:14-17a (ESV)
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs…
“We are all God’s children!” Have you ever heard this statement? It sounds good, it seems right, it feels good, but there is absolutely no Biblical truth to it.
This is a belief that has come out of the west and sadly is held by many even here in Romanian today. The belief that everyone is in the family of God. People will get angry if you say otherwise, I am pretty sure that some reading this are already getting annoyed, maybe annoyed enough to write to me.
We are all God’s creation but not necessarily God’s Children. As John tells us in John 1:12
John 1:12 (ESV)
12 But to all who did receive him [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
There exists only two ways to become a part of anyone’s family, you can be born or adopted. Some argue that we are born into God’s world so we are automatically His. But Jesus said, “You must be born again.” By the way, when I am born again, into the family of God, I am immediately adopted by God the Father.
In the time when this passage was written to the Romans the custom was that to be an heir you had to be adopted, even a birth child had to be adopted to become an heir. This is important because we are God’s child by our new birth and we are also adopted as sons Therefore, as the passage says in verse 17… “if children, then heirs”
When Abraham Lincoln signed the “Emancipation Proclamation” setting the slaves free. Some of them did not leave their masters and plantations but stayed on and signed on as slaves. Why? They were freed by and from the law of slavery, yet they chose to continue to live as a slave. Well this is the same with us when we became part of God’s family, we are set free! We are set free from the law of sin and death. We are set from the power and penalty of sin and we look forward to the day we are free from the presence of sin. If we are indeed free and are God’s child, then why not live like it. (See also Exodus 21:5 onwards concerning the slave that did not want to go free but had his earlobe pierced through as a symbol that he would forever hear only his masters voice.)
How do we live like it?
Live a life where your mind is set on what is to come, not on this world. Live a life of thankfulness for what Christ has achieved. Because, when we are led by God’s Spirit and we are in God’s family an incredible thing happens: we become “heirs” and “joint-heirs” with Christ to the Kingdom of God. Consider this, in Christ we have access to the Father and are included in God’s will and testament. God’s will is not written for when He dies, but when this world is dead and gone. You want something for which to be thankful? Read the Revelation. The only person the Revelation frightens is the one who has no relationship with God, no internal hope of Heaven, and no inheritance awaiting. For the true believer, they know that this world and all her wealth pale in comparison to the glories yet to be revealed in Heaven.
- We are now part of a family, we have somewhere we belong, somewhere that can never be taken from us. Are we truly thankful to God for making us His children?
- Not only are we children of God, part of His family, we are also co-heirs with Christ. Our father is the King of kings and Lord of lords. We have an inheritance greater than any fortune but do we still live like paupers? Do we truly trust our Father in everything?
Listen to the song and reaffirm in your heart the inheritance you have in Christ.
The last verse of this song is…
This my inheritance
That none can take away
Not even death, with my last breath
I’ll see my Saviour’s face
Spend some time thanking God for adopting you as a son and live your life knowing that you have an inheritance that can not be taken from you, whatever is going on in the world around you or even in your life.