We are secure in our position as sons and daughters in God's family.
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! Romans 8:15-17 MSG
God has adopted us.
What an astonishing truth!
It’s difficult for us to understand the full impact of these powerful words. In ancient Roman times, a person’s rights and responsibilities, their present and their future were all determined by the family they belonged to. If you belonged to the wrong family many opportunities were closed to you, and nothing you did could change that. If you belonged to the right family you were protected and supported by powerful laws. If you were in need or in trouble, your family was there to care for you and pick you up, and the right family had a lot of resources to help you out. You also had the ability and resources to carry out your father’s wishes in the world around you.
In this verse, Paul uses a special legal term, hyiothesia. It describes the process of a powerful Roman family adopting a new heir. It didn’t matter what family the adoptee belonged to before; he became a fully functioning part of his new family from that time on.
Hyiothesia could change a slave into a prince in a single day. It means God has chosen us. He has given us an irrevocable position as His sons and daughters. He paid a high price for the right to adopt us, assumed responsibility for all of our old debts and gave us access to His resources to carry out His will. In exchange, we have given Him the right to set our agenda and we choose to live according to His wishes and values.
Hyiothesia means that we aren’t slaves, trying to follow God’s orders because it’s our job. It means we are sons and daughters with whom He shares His heart. It means that everything we are, everything we have and everything we do bears the mark of our Father, who says that we are His forever children.
Lord God, we come to you today with a new confidence. Thank you for adopting us into Your forever family! Encourage us with your love and empower us to live as Your legitimate sons and daughters.