8th June 2015

Are You Adopted?

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”
Romans 8:14-16 (NKJV)

A lady I know was adopted when she was about 3 months old. Her adoptive parents were wonderful and she is deeply grateful to them. When the second of her adopted parents died a few years ago, she found they had left her an envelope with the details of her adoption. It included the names of her birth parents.

For some time she did nothing with the information, partly our her loyalty to the couple she regarded as her parents, partly because she is unsure of what the reaction of her birth parents would be. But, over time her desire to know who her birth parents are, what her birth family background is and why she was given up for adoption has grown. Of course she does not even know if they are still alive and whether or not either of them would be prepared to see her. So after agonising about the situation for a few years, she has decided to try to trace them and find out about one or both of them. While she fears rejection, as she approaches her 50th birthday she has decided it’s now or never.

So what has this to do with being a Christian? The vast majority of us know our birth parents and family background, we don’t need to be adopted. Or do we? In Romans 8:14-16, quoted above, the Bible tells us that God wants to adopt us as his children, to be ABBA or a Father to us.

When we understand that, it changes our relationship to God. As a father, God is not some remote, harsh, and judgmental being. When we think of God as a father we think of a human father. Not all human fathers are perfect but the ideal is a father who loves and cares for his children. If you have had that kind of father it is easier to relate to God as a father. If not, it’s a little harder but does not change the fact that God, the supreme ruler of the universe, wants a direct, personal relationship with us.

Just as that lady wants to know something about her physical parents and their background, so we should want to know about our spiritual Father and his background. His desire, His love, His concern, His plan for us and all humanity.  Because a relationship must be two way, ignoring our physical father does not build a relationship, neither does ignoring our spiritual Father.

The difference is that while a physical father may be so offended by being ignored that the relationship is permanently damaged, our spiritual Father never is. God is patiently waiting for the moment when we turn to him, however long we may have ignored him, whatever kind of life we have led.  This is perfectly illustrated by the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. Verse 20 talks about the father running to greet his son. To me that conjures up a picture of a father running with open arms to embrace his son. That is exactly God’s position as a Father to us. No matter how long we have ignored him, no matter what kind of a lifestyle we have led, He is there with open arms waiting to embrace us when we turn to him.

Your spiritual Father is waiting patiently for a relationship with you. Do you want to have a relationship with Him?

Abba, Father, who are we that You, the creator and sustainer of the entire universe, want a close personal relationship with us?  Help us to get to know you better and build an ever closer relationship with you.

Study by Keith Hartrick


keithhartrickAbout the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com