ODJ: Adopted as Heirs

December 25, 2017 

READ: Galatians 4:4-7 

You are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir (v.7).

An American family welcomed the opportunity to host an Eastern-European girl for a month. As their time together came to an end, the couple decided to engage in the long and costly process of adopting her, for in a few years she would be deemed too old for her orphanage. My friends loved her and feared she would have fallen prey to human trafficking—the sad fate of a large number of young women who ‘outgrow’ the system. The couple extended the love of Christ to her and made her their daughter and heir.

Such stories of adoption hearten and encourage us, and point to the deeper truth that those who have accepted the gift of Jesus as their Saviour are fully adopted into the family of God. As we see in Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we’re no longer slaves to sin, but God’s heirs; now we can call Him “Father” (4:6). This adoption has been made possible through the coming of God’s Son as a baby, “born of a woman” (v.4). Jesus was born under the law so that He could redeem us and give us the gift of being part of God’s family—the best Christmas present ever!

In the original language, this passage refers to “adoption to sonship” (v.5 niv). But this language does not mean adoption into God’s family is discriminatory against women. In the ancient times of the Bible, sonship was a legal term that signified the rights and responsibilities of an heir. In this passage, God calls men and women His adopted children and heirs. As Paul wrote just a few lines above this passage, “there is no longer . . . male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (3:28). All who belong to Jesus are “his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you” (v.29).

—Amy Boucher Pye

365-day plan: 1 John 1:1-10

Whether or not our earthly parents have modelled God’s love to us, we can trust that the Lord will never forsake us (see Psalm 27:10). 
Who do you know who struggles to accept that they’re truly God’s children? How can you reach out to them today in His love?