This post is an excerpt from our newest devotional & journal Equality: Created Equal in His Image
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“When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4-5 CSB
Everyone has a desire to fit in, be recognized, or have access to particular resources. C.S. Lewis writes in his book, The Weight of Glory, a fascinating essay on the dangers of trying to make it into the inner circle of groups or organizations, but we still find ourselves striving to be “on the inside”. Truth be told, there are few groups truly open to all people and give access to all resources for the entire group. One place you do have access to everything is in the family of God.
If we look at this passage of Scripture carefully what we notice is that God’s family is orchestrated by God according to His plan. The phrase “When the time came to completion” indicates that God had a plan for sending His son, Jesus Christ, into the world to redeem humanity. You could understand Genesis 3- Revelation 22 as God’s plan for reconciling a broken relationship with humanity. The adoption we see taking place in the above passage is a reminder that God’s plans are not always ours and nothing we do can ever thwart His plans and purposes.
We are also told that Jesus lived a life like ours. He was born the same as we were–through a woman. He experienced life in much the same way we do. However, Jesus is not like us. He obeyed the law perfectly and by obeying the law and living perfectly, dying, and rising from the dead, He provides redemption to all humanity.
Adopted into God’s Family
What is the purpose for all this? Paul answers, “So that we might receive adoption as sons.” Through the redemption that is offered and found in Christ, all people have the opportunity to be adopted into God’s family. When someone repents of their sin and places their faith and trust in Christ, they are adopted into the family just as if they were a son or daughter.
We had the privilege of adopting our first child recently. Through all the joy of having a brand-new baby in the family, the greatest day came on the day of our adoption finalization. In front of some of our friends and family, a judge declared that little girl a member of our family. The judge stated she had all the rights and privileges that any child biologically born to us would have. No matter what she does, for the rest of her life, she will be our daughter; nothing can change that. Friend, when you become a member of God’s family you are adopted into His family and nothing can change that. Sure, we will sin and fall short of God’s expectations, but He never says, “That’s it! You are out of the family!”
Adoption into the family of God should cause all Christians to understand the implications for the way that we should treat others. When I recognize that those who claim the name of Christ are adopted into our family, I should guard the way I treat them. This means that when someone puts down my brother or sister in Christ because of their ethnicity, race, or gender, I should be quick to jump in and help them. The body of Christ should look after its fellow family members and not seek to harm them because we understand they are a part of God’s family, and He has graciously adopted both of us into His family.
God, please help me to see people the way You see them. Help me to recognize the privilege of what it means to be adopted into Your family, and help me to not take the adoption I never deserved for granted.