Jessica Albritton, NextGen Minister LHBC
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father! ”So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
I have a little brother who was adopted back in 2014. His biological mom came to our home as a foster child, 16 years old and pregnant. She had Jonathan while staying with us and my mom even got to be in the delivery room when she gave birth. Jonathan has always been with us and we tell him all the time that he was quite literally a part of the family before he was even born.
It honestly felt a little silly going to the courthouse to legally adopt him. It felt like just a formality. But in the eyes of the state it changed everything. Before July 7, 2014 my parents were nothing more than temporary guardians, but in a matter of seconds Jonathan’s custody was transferred from the state of Georgia’s Department of Family and Children’s Services to my parents. With one signature he was bestowed all the rights and privileges of our family. His name changed, his status changed, he got a new social security number, a new birth certificate, everything.
Much like Jonathans adoption into his forever earthly family we as believers are adopted into our forever spiritual family upon our salvation and it changes everything. Verse 5 states we are redeemed. The word redeemed here speaks of our bondage to sin. When we encounter Jesus the chains of sin are broken and we can live freely in Him. That doesn’t mean we are totally sinless, we are still going to mess up because we are human and live in a broken world, but we no longer live in bondage to it.
It would be enough just to be freed from the bondage of sin but God doesn’t stop there! Scripture tells us we receive sonship. Upon our salvation we are elevated to the status of sons and daughters through adoption. When we are adopted our status changes and we receive all the rights and privileges granted of the family of God. We gain access to the God of the universe and can call him Abba, Father.
Abba is an Aramaic word translated father. It’s the same word used by Jesus while praying in Gethsemane right before His crucifixion in Mark 14:36. It is not a formal word, but an affectionate title for a father. This word for father is reserved for the intimacy of the family unit.
How are you living? Do you live like you are a part of the family with all the rights and privileges that it all entails or are you still living as if you are in bondage? Do you call out to God as a child calls to his or her father or do you still view yourself as an outsider of the family?
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, thank you for the awesome privilege that it is to be called your child! I pray that I can live in freedom from the sin that you died to save me from. Help me to rest in the assurance that I am yours and am loved so deeply by you.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”