What it means to be a Child of God

Guest Post By Theresa Miller

I did not grow up with a father who was there for me in the way a little girl needs her daddy. My parents divorced when I was eleven and my mom moved my five sisters and me two thousand miles away. I saw my dad only a couple of times between then and reaching adulthood. Although I knew Jesus, and my mom did remarry when I was thirteen, the longing for a father remained.

Yet God, by His grace, pursued me as only a perfect Father does a beloved child.

How is it that I could be so blessed? The answer is that it is God’s desire to give us his best.

In Ephesians 1:5-6 Paul says, “He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

Around AD 60, Paul wrote this to the church in Ephesus from prison reminding them of the richness of the spiritual blessings they had in Christ. Notice that he did not encourage them with temporal, physical blessings; but enduring, spiritual blessings. He did not promise they would have perfect relationships, nice things, or equal treatment by earthly standards. So, what were these spiritual blessings Paul spoke of?

One of the most significant spiritual blessings we receive when we put our trust in Christ is the right to be a child of God (Eph 1:5, John 1:12). This means:

  • We have a Heavenly Father who deeply loves and cares for us (1 John 3:1-2).
  • We have the assurance of belonging to a heavenly home (Heb 11:16).
  • We have the guarantee of a heavenly inheritance (Rom 8:17).

I love the quote in “Knowing God,” by J.I. Packer, “Adoption is the highest privilege of the gospel. The traitor is forgiven, brought in for supper, and given the family name.”

Did you hear that? Our adoption into the family of God is the highest privilege of the gospel. Not only are we pardoned from our sin and set apart for God’s purposes, but we are deeply loved and provided for by a good, intimate, and perfect Father.

How is it that I could be so blessed coming from a broken home? I had committed my life to Jesus and was given the spiritual blessings of an adopted child, in Him. But that’s not all. When I finally surrendered, not just my life, but my pain and my choices to him, I learned what it meant to receive those blessings from my perfect Father. Furthermore, knowing who I was as a beloved child freed me to love my earthly father without expectation and to seek greater intimacy with my Heavenly Father.

Friend, how good it is to be a child of God, receiving God’s very best for us. We can be bold to live out our sonship as sons and daughters in the midst of our current challenges by remaining in Christ, and trusting he has our best at heart.

Would you declare this truth with me today!

God is my phenomenal Heavenly Father. He lavishes His love upon me. He is immeasurably good to me! I am chosen and set apart to do His will, for His praise and glory. He is not distant, rather cares deeply about the details of my life. I have the family name of Jesus Christ.


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