So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 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!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:12-17 ESV)
Adoption is the taking of one as a son who is not so by birth. By the Roman law of adoption, the adopted child was entitled to the father’s name, possessions, and family rights. The father also was entitled to his son’s property, and was his absolute owner. Gratuitous love was usually the ground of the selection. Often a slave was adopted as a son. Even when the son was not a slave, the adopted son was bought from the natural father. Where you find adoption discussed, you find the word “sons” because it denotes the legal transaction that took place.
Now think about it. You and I are adopted. As adopted sons of God, we get God’s name, are entitled to His possessions, and have all the rights of a family member. He is our absolute owner–bought us from Satan through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Here are the benefits we enjoy:
- Intimacy—Abba—a term of endearment; the word that a little boy might cry when he wanted his father. The word cry is krazo in the Greek, meaning “to croak like a raven.” The raven has to make no attempt to croak. Baby ravens are born with the ability to croak, to cry for their mother’s assistance when they need food. When God adopts you, he sends his Spirit into your heart which naturally cries out to him.
- Guidance—All who are being led. You are never alone in your decision-making.
- Security—You have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again. You do not need be afraid. The slave lives in constant fear that his master, on a whim, might discard him, take his life, and sell him. As adopted children, you are secure. Once you enter into God’s family, you will never be kicked out.
- Significance—The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. Testifies with—one who tells what he has seen or heard or knows. The Spirit knows what has happened in your life. Your spirit within you also knows. When Jesus Christ has come to make your heart His home, your spirit teams up with the Spirit of God, and together they bear witness that you are a child of God. That’s “testifying with.”
Here are some Scriptures to store in your treasure chest…
Isaiah 30:18 “Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.”
Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
Psalm 139:17 “How precious also are Your thoughts toward me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”
Don’t fall back into fear. Lean on your heavenly dad today.