For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father… And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together… And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:15, 17, 23)
A marvelous doctrine in Scripture is adoption. To fully appreciate its significance, it is important to understand what it is not. When someone tells us that he or she was adopted, we know exactly what that means. Often a husband and wife discover that they cannot have a child. An option for them is adoption. They work through an adoption agency to take a child which is not their own and bring that child into their family. Through the legal process, that child becomes theirs and takes the family name.
Adoption in Scripture is not the same as described for the human family. We do not become a child of God through adoption. We become His child through the new birth. We must be born again in the manner of Nicodemus to enter God’s family. At that moment, our RELATIONSHIP with God changes.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
What then is spiritual adoption? The word translated adoption means placing as an adult son and involves the believer’s inheritance. Following a lost person’s becoming a child of God through the new birth, he is instantly adopted by God, thereby placing him in the position of an adult son. At that moment, the believer is invested with his inheritance of spiritual blessings by becoming an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. However, the full realization of his inheritance must wait until he receives his glorified body. As an adult son, he is in a position spiritually to inherit all the glories of heaven. He is rich because of his POSITION in God’s family.
What a precious thought that you and I as believers are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ in all the glory and riches that await us in heaven and for all eternity.