Sons and Daughters (Co-Heirs)
This is part one of our relationship series. In this series I will share my understanding of a Christian's relationship with God. I am doing five parts because I believe if viewing through one lense would have worked, then the writers throughout the Bible wouldn’t have used so many examples to explain our union with God. In many aspects, our relationship with him is like a lot of our earthly relationships, but every example is flawed in one way or another. At the end of the day, he is bigger than anything we can even imagine.
Alright, let’s dig in.
First, what does the Bible say about being children of God?
(Here are a few of my favorite scriptures, but for the sake of time I won’t share all of them. If you want to do a full study on being God's children, by all means, go for it!)
Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)- God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
Romans 8:15-17 (NLT)- So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Galations 4:1-7 (NLT)- Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Through Christ's death and resurrection we have become co-heirs with him. This is huge for Christians to understand. We share in Jesus’ inheritance. Because of this we are able to walk in the same freedom and miracles that Jesus did while he was on earth. He was the perfect example of how to be a son/daughter of the King. He walked with the full knowledge of his inheritance, and now he offers it to those who will receive it.
One of my favorite things to do is draw comparisons with my own life and the Bible. In my first year of being a Christian I prayed that God would reveal grace to me. I really wanted to understand it from a personal place.
Soon after praying, I had a dream that I will never forget.
In my dream I was at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. I was pumping gas and a bunch of beautiful women drove up in a convertible. (This was before I met Kayla! Chill.) They were clearly partying and they called me over to their car. I left the gas pump running and began walking toward them. As I got closer, their faces became disfigured and melted away to reveal monsters. I freaked out and ran back to my car. The gas was still pumping and I finished then walked inside the store. When I got to the counter I reached in my pockets and panicked. I didn’t have any money. Just as I began to try to explain myself to the man behind the counter my dad walked in and gave me even more than the cost of the gas. I immediately felt guilty, and he just said something like: “It’s okay. I got this” Then I woke up.
I believe the women represented the world and how the things it offers seem beautiful and fun at first, but as you continue toward them, they will destroy your life and leave you feeling empty. The gas represented my debt of sin becoming more and more expensive as I chased the world. God used my earthly father to represent himself, coming to pay my bill. I can’t explain it, but I felt zero condemnation or fear when he arrived. Like, “Oh my dad is here, everything will be okay.”
My dream represented the grace aspect of inheritance. There is so much more to inherit, but it all begins with the acceptance of grace.
Another example of inheritance comes from something my friend Aaron said during a class he was teaching. He told us to imagine heaven as our parent’s home. When we come home from school, we don’t have to ask for food from the fridge. It is there for us to eat. Then he said to imagine that our parents adopted another child. It would be really weird to tell their blood relative that they can eat from the fridge, but that the adopted child has to ask. Good parents would treat the adopted child as their own. The food is there for the entire family. God is a good father. If we ask for bread will he give us a stone? Absolutely not. All of Heaven is available because of our adoption. All we have to do is receive it.
When you understand adoption you can truly begin to grow in your relationship with God. You have to let him love you like his child in order to receive the inheritance of his Kingdom. Sometimes that requires letting him break down walls where our earthly parents failed. We have to realize that God likes us. All the time. He likes who you are. His love is unconditional. No matter what has happened in your past, he doesn’t hold grudges. He offers the freedom of love and grace that was bought by his son 2000 years ago.
I understand sonship even more now that I have a daughter. I can’t even begin to explain how much I want to give her the world. I want her to experience joy in everything she does. I want her to look at her father as someone she can always come to no matter what has happened in her life and let me love her the best I can. If I can be 0.000000001% the father that God is to his children then I will have fulfilled the goal for my role in her life. I can’t say this enough. He’s the best father. If you let him, he will break off your old notions of what a father is and heal you.
I could probably write for hours about how amazing it is to be called son by my creator, and I’m sure there is a lot that the people reading can add to this blog. My hope is that these nuggets of information will push you to seek out the truth in your own life even more. God has so much more to show you about being a son/daughter. It’s one of the most fun adventures I’ve ever been on. Every time I look deeper, I find more. God’s love is never-ending, and he wants you to know him more.
I would love to hear about the moment that you guys and gals first discovered God's adoption. Please feel free to share it in the comments below. You can also send an email if you’d rather share that way. As always, thanks for reading. Next week we will look at our relationship through the lens of being Christ’s body.