God's overflowing grace and love for his believers who are united with his own Son Jesus Christ causes him to shower his children with good gifts. Here are just a few of the ways God spoils his children.
A New Family Name
God loves to extravagantly shower his family with good gifts, starting with officially adopting them into his family. In the Greco-Roman world, adoption was always connected to inheritance and therefore had to be done in the courts as a legal transfer. Thus the context for our understanding of adoption must begin with the forensic, or legal, aspect.
Before an inheritance can be legally claimed, a persons legal family status must be transferred. God accomplished this through redemption in Christ, adopting us into his family. Slaves must be freed before they can be adopted. So Christ, by his death on the cross, purchased a people from sin and death and condemnation (Rom. 8:1). God did not merely free us but he directly thereafter adopted all who are freed to be his sons and daughters. Adoption, therefore, has a legal aspect to it. God redeemed a people for himself and changed their family name to his own.
In the Greco-Roman world, slaves would never be adopted but rather a distant relative would inherit the estate. God, however, adopted foreigners, even people once his enemies, and put them into his family to inherit his heavenly estate, his kingdom (Eph. 2:3; Eph. 5:6, 8; 1 Cor. 1:26-30, Rom. 5:6-10). God also does not restrict this adoption to Jews or males but instead freely adopts any who turn to him in repentance and believe (Gal. 3:25-29).
Communion with God
Ephesians 1:5 says,
In love he [God] predestined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ.
Through two words, in love, God tells us his whole motive behind adopting a people to be not just friends or acquaintances, but family. God could have simply freed us from sin and left it at that, but instead, he lavishly poured on us grace after grace. Through adoption, Christians benefit from familial fellowship with the Trinity. God loves us like a father and no longer condemns us as a judge (1 Jn. 3:2-3; Ps. 103:10-14). This is accomplished through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, uniting us to Christ and his divine sonship. Through this indwelling by the Holy Spirit, Jesus is our brother (Heb. 2:11). God decided all of this before the world began before any of his future family existed. Before they were born, God knew the names of his sons and daughters.
Although founded upon legal terms, adoption is profoundly personal. Our relationship to God changes completely when we are adopted. This wonderful aspect of our salvation brings us into an intimate relationship with God, allowing us to call him Abba, Father. We have the privilege of having the most intimate familial relationship with the Creator of the universe. God the Father loves to give everything his children need and more (Lk. 11:13), loves them enough to discipline them so they do not harm themselves (Heb. 12:6), and loves them enough to give them a place where they will find everlasting rest and belonging (Eph. 1:11). If we ever doubt Gods love for us, we need only consider our adoption to see how much God cares for our lives, both present, and future (1 Jn. 3:1).
Today, many children never know the love of a father or the intimate fellowship of a family. Too many people have never known a true sense of belonging or had a safe and trustworthy home. In Christ both those things are yours! Psalm 91 expresses this great love of the Father,
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night. (Ps. 91:4-5)
God has provided us with a heavenly inheritance, a place to call home, where we will dwell with God in safety forever (Rev. 21:1-4). Until then, God gives us his church, the gathering of our brothers and sisters to be a family here on earth so that we might find grace and encourage one another while we wait for our inheritance (1 Thess. 5:11). Dear reader, if you have never known the love of a father, know that you can come find it in the arms of a God who gave his own Son to redeem you for adoption as children.