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The Holy Spirit makes us God’s adopted children

March 9, 2024

Daily Scripture

Galatians 4:3-7, Romans 8:15, Ephesians 1:5

Galatians 4
3 In the same way, when we were minors, we were also enslaved by this world’s system. 4 But when the fulfillment of the time came, God sent his Son, born through a woman, and born under the Law. 5 This was so he could redeem those under the Law so that we could be adopted. 6 Because you are sons and daughters, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son or daughter, and if you are his child, then you are also an heir through God.

Romans 8
15 You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Ephesians 1
5 God destined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ because of his love. This was according to his goodwill and plan.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Resurrection’s purpose is “To build a Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians.” In the ancient world, Jesus’ followers stood out: “Only a minority of groups even claimed to surmount ethnic and class divides…. Early Christians… proved distinctive in challenging class (slave vs. free) and often gender prejudice.” * One distinctive way the apostle Paul shared this in his letters was by reminding converts that God “adopted” them into heaven’s family. “By Roman law, adopted children, unlike slaves, were full heirs of the father’s estate. The inheritance Paul refers to is the glory, or eternal life in God’s presence, that God intended for humanity (Romans 2:7, 10; 3:23; 5:2) and that Christ has already received.” * As in the best human cases, God’s adoption is not tentative—you only leave God’s family if you choose to.

  • The adoption image linked, of course, to thinking of God as father. In the Bible story, God planted the seed for that in Exodus 4:22, calling Israel “my son.” Paul, trained as a rabbi, often used the Hebrew Scriptures. Isaiah 64:8 said, “Now, Lord, you are our father,” and Psalm 68:5 described God as a “father of orphans.” But Paul followed Jesus’ example (cf. Mark 14:36) and taught believers that the Holy Spirit teaches us to address God with the Aramaic word abba. Abba was “a respectful but intimate way to address one’s father…. it does not appear in Jewish prayers (unlike “Father”). To our knowledge, this way of directly addressing God seems to have been unique to Jesus (until adopted by his followers; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6).” ** Your adoption invites you to address God, not stiffly and formally, but with the intimate family word Jesus used. How did this change God from distant and intimidating into someone whose love you can always trust?


Dear God, you are always worthy of awe and respect. You are also my abba, loving, caring—and worthy of trust because you are Creator and Lord. Help me to always trust that you are “for” me. Amen.

GPS Insights

Megan DelGrosso

Megan DelGrosso

Megan DelGrosso serves as the rezlife Student Ministry Director for Resurrection's Leawood location. She is a Pennsylvania native who moved to Kansas City with her husband and two children when she joined the Resurrection staff in 2021, after 10 years of student ministry and non-profit work in Pittsburgh. Megan loves spending time with her family, beach life, Marvel movies, and exploring new places.

Family can be such a complex thing. For some people, our biological family is challenging, for some, amazing. Some people lean into chosen family as their family. As I reflected on today’s passage, I wanted to know what really defined “family” for people. When people think about family, what characteristics are people looking for? So, naturally, I reached out to my social media community and asked what family means to them. Here is just a fragment of what they shared with me.

“DNA doesn’t make a family, LOVE does”“Love, safety, laughter”“Love and connection”“Love and freedom to be completely yourself, and lots of shared laughter.”“Being known.”“Unconditional love”“Family are people who you trust + can be yourself around without feeling like you need to change or hide.”“No matter what”“Family is a safe harbor of love, compassion, and support.”

Love. Every phrase, every sentiment, expressed love. The words family and love were intertwined in almost every statement that was shared. Love and family seemed almost synonymous. For some, that might mean biological family, for some, it might mean chosen family. For some it might mean closest friends, church community, or coworkers. But it is always God.

That’s a reassuring sentiment for me, that I am loved, and a part of God’s family. It is even more reassuring that it is true for the people I love. I know that there are times I will fail the people I love most. Times that I will forget something, times that I won’t fully show up, times that things will steal my attention away when they need me. And in those moments, I am so grateful that we are a part of God’s family. Grateful that the people I love, are loved deeply by a God who calls them His children. Grateful that no matter how many times I fall short, and it will be many, that God will show up for, and love, my favorite humans. Grateful that no matter how many times I fall short, God will show up for, and love me.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Michael J. Gorman, study note on Romans 8:17 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 289 NT.
** NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (Kindle Locations 227320-227323). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
*** Greek insights from I-Jin Loh and Eugene A. Nida, A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. New York: United Bible Societies, 1977, pp. 59-60.