The Spirit will Confirm Our Adoption

Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parent or parents. Unlike guardianship or other systems designed for the care of the young, adoption is intended to effect a permanent change in status and as such requires societal recognition, either through legal or religious sanction. (Wikipedia) If you have or ever known anyone who has participated in the adoption process, the time for the adoption to be confirmed can be long and heart-wrenching.

Likewise, Paul shares draws on the analogy of adoption in Romans 8 to share another important role of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will Confirm Our Adoption as sons of God as well as all of creation. In Romans 8, we see this fact.

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (ESV)

The Word says that creation is waiting on the sons of God, that is those who have surrendered their lives to Christ in hope of eternal life, to be revealed. Their revelation is predicated on the resurrection, the redemption of our bodies. As believers in Christ, our spirits have already been redeemed; however, the adoption process will not be completed until we take our place in our rightful home with our adopting parent, God Almighty.

How will this take place? Once more, we return to the Word of God for our answer. Verse 23 says, “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Commentary from the Reformation Study Bible states it as such, “The entire creation has a destiny planned by God, and longs to be fulfilled, much as believers do (vv. 23, 26). Our salvation has begun—we have the Holy Spirit as a down payment—but it will not be consummated until the resurrection (the full realization of adoption in Christ, v. 23). Inevitably, therefore, the Christian life involves patient waiting in hope.”

The waiting in hope involves the consummation of our adoption. Matthew Henry wrote, “It is the adoption manifested before all the world, angels and men. Now are we the sons of God, but it does not yet appear, the honour is now clouded; but then God will publicly own all his children. The deed of adoption, which is now written, signed, and sealed, will then be recognized, proclaimed, and published. As Christ was, so the saints will be, declared to be the sons of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead, Rom. 1:4.” The Spirit will Confirm Our Adoption. The Spirit himself is our deposit guaranteeing what is to come: our resurrection and inheritance as heirs and sons of God.

Disclaimer: I could not possibly capture the depth and glory of what God is doing in terms of adoption in these few lines. Please read Romans 8 and associated passages to deepen your understanding of what we have in Christ and the Spirit.


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