What Does Adoption Mean for the Christian?

Parent - child


In Romans 8:12-17, Paul discusses the doctrine of adoption. The following are inferences that can be gained form the text (in conjunction with other NT themes).

If you are adopted, then you can expect:

  • family resemblance – Christians should bear the family resemblance of holiness (1 Peter 1:16), love, joy, and peace (Galatians 5:22).
  • parental instruction – Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons [and daughters] of God.” The operative word is “led”; God leads His children.
  • discipline – the Bible reminds us regularly about God’s discipline (see Deut. 8:5; Pr. 3:11-12; and Heb. 12:7). God correctively disciplines His wayward children for their good and His glory.
  • a heart-felt relationship – Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” We should have an experiential knowledge of our relationship with the Father. It does not supersede the empirical, but both are necessary (cf. Psalm 34:8).
  • an inheritance – Finally, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Romans 8:16-17). The road to our eternal goal (our inheritance) is paved with perseverance (cf. 1 John 2:18-19).

As an adopted child of God, these are 5 things that you can expect. Remember, all of God’s promises are yes in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). Believe and enjoy.




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