Foundational to our walk with Christ is our identity in Christ. Understanding who you are as a Christian will go a long way in helping you grow as a Christian.
In this Growing in Christ blog series I have been writing about the Biblical concept of being hidden in Christ and the benefits this brings to Christians today. Today I want to write about another of the key benefits of being hidden in Christ and that is adoption. First, we are saved and hidden in Christ because of grace. As a result of being hidden in Christ our sins are not accounted as debt to us, but Jesus’ life is given to us and we are declared “not guilty” even though we have committed sin against God. This is called justification. As a result of justification we are part of God’s family. We are united to Christ by being hidden in Him (saved), and as a result we are also united to every other person how has ever been saved by Him. We are part of God’s family (adopted) and Jesus is our elder brother and God our Father.
Author and Pastor, Tim Keller puts it like this:
The image of “adoption” tells us that our relationship with God is based completely on a legal act by the Father. You don’t “win” a father, and you don’t “negotiate” for a parent. Adoption is a legal act on the part of the father — it is very expensive and costly only for him. There is nothing the son does to win or earn the status. It is simply received.
Did you get that? Adoption is a legal act on the part of the father. It’s not based on whether we feel part of God’s family or have experienced being part of Go’d family. Adoption is what God the Father does for us and then He simply asks to belief it and live like it.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
Mark Stibbe, in his book From Orphans to Heirs (which I highly recommend by the way) says
Our acceptance by the Father is . . . the foundation of our Christian lives. Before we do anything for God, we know that we are beloved by God. By grace, we have brand new identities as sons and daughters, and we are brand new creatures. Being loved by the Father becomes the very core of our existence.
God is Your Father
for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
Just think. The Sovereign Creator of the Universe who is all-knowing and all-powerful is your good, caring, loving Father who is always looking out for you and always wants what is best for you. Now I can’t think of anything better than that, can you?
Sometimes, however, we doubt this wonderful truth don’t we? Perhaps this is because things in our lives aren’t going the way we think they should. Being adopted means that sometimes we face discipline. The author of Hebrews tells us that this should comfort us:
For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?
God is a good Father who sometimes disciplines his children to allow them to walk in freedom and holiness. Sometimes this is hard but we can be assured that it is for our good and His glory. At other times we simply doubt that God is our Father. Well here’s some fantastic news … God knew that we would, and this is one of the main reasons He sent the Holy Spirit. Paul says that:
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
At the lowest times of my life I can bear witness that the Spirit cries out on my behalf “Father, help me”.
All of this is your privilege by adoption. As a Christian, you have been adopted by God into his family and you are a child of God. Take a moment where you ar right now to thank God for this amazing blessing – be assured that you have a Father who is never too busy for you!