“For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.”
Romans 8:16-17 NLT
Paul’s logical journey continues. He has already dropped a bombshell by saying that Christians are fellow brothers and sisters. He developed that thought by, once again, setting out the prerequisite that to be a member of the wider Christian family then we must be led by the Spirit, and not by sin. Paul then went on to declare that Christians are children of God, as we read in Romans 8:14, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God”. And then Paul made the apparently outrageous statement that we can call God, “Daddy”. The previous verse is Romans 8:15, “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father“”. “Abba” is the Aramaic word for “Daddy“, used in an intimate relationship. Jesus Himself defined who were His siblings. We read in Matthew 12:50, “Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”
So the reality is that through the Spirit who is living within us, we are children of God. Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:5, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure”. We read in John 1:12-13, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God”. We have been born again – a phrase that is repeatedly attacked and ridiculed by those who know no better – into the family of God.
Paul wrote in Romans 8:15 that we were “adopted” into God’s family. Adoption in Roman days had a particular legal importance. In some circumstances it was even more significant than for someone who was a natural child. So when Paul used the metaphor “adoption” it sent a significant message to his readers, particularly if they were of Roman birth, or knew the custom because they lived in the Roman Empire. An adopted child had specials rights and expectations.
Paul knew all about that – after all he was a Roman citizen – and his logic continues with the bold statement that if we are children of God, then we have a legacy. In fact, along with Jesus, we are heirs to all that God has. Not that, of course, one day God will die, but because right now we have the benefit of a living will. God has made available to us all that He is and all that He has. What an amazing Father!
Dear Father God. We are heirs to Your glory. It is almost impossible to get our minds around such an amazing truth. Thank You. Amen.