In our last article, we looked at the reason for and the permanence of our adoption in Christ. If we have true faith in Christ, God is our Father in heaven. This week we will look briefly at some of what that means.As J. I. Packer says in Chapter Nineteen of Knowing God, The prospect before the adopted children of God is an eternity of love.” Our adoption is permanent, and it depends on the love of God for us and the grace of God to save us. God will not let us go. We are his.
We can also have hope. Christianity is “a faith that looks forward.” For Christians, “the best is always yet to be.” We have the hope of an everlasting inheritance in Christ. That was the reason children were adopted in the Roman Empire during Christ’s time: “to have an heir to whom one could bequeath one’s goods.” In just that way, our adoption as God’s children guarantees our inheritance from him (Romans 8:16-17).God’s wealth is immeasurable. We have so much to hope for.
Certain prominent atheists have ridiculed Christianity for being ‘pie in the sky by and by.’ Their idea is that Christianity is mere “wish fulfillment.” We could ask them if they wish that there were no God who would judge them. We could point out that their approach could be wish fulfillment just as they accuse ours of being. The idea cuts both ways. But Christianity is ‘pie in the sky by and by,’ and the ‘pie’ tastes great.The Holy Spirit is given to us as “the Spirit of adoption” (Romans 8:15). The Spirit comes into our lives at the moment we trust Jesus, and there is nothing more of his presence that we can expect to get in a later second blessing or acceptance of Christ as Lord.
The Spirit makes us understand and learn about our relationship with God in Christ. This realization leads to true holiness of life. We have “an abiding obligation to keep the law, as the means of pleasing [our] newfound Father.” We joy in making our Father happy.Packer tells us to think often of the facts: “I am a child of God. God is my Father; Heaven is my home; every day is one day nearer. My Savior is my brother; every Christian is my brother too.” Packer tells us to repeat these things to ourselves “over and over.”
What joy the Father has given to us! We can be sons and daughters of God.