What it Means to be Adopted Into God’s Family


But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, (John 1:12)

To be adopted into the family of God is a necessary part of the renewal of the relationship that takes place for those whom God calls His own.

In his writings, Paul frequently used the Greek term huiothesia, which signifies the place and condition given someone to whom it does not naturally belong (aka adoption). Although not a characteristic Jewish practice, Paul knew that Christians in Rome would get a clearer picture of their relationship with God if he used Roman law principles of adoption to explain their relationship with God.

In that era, an affluent but childless family-head seeking an heir could adopt a post-adolescent male as his son to inherit and maintain the family’s estate. Successive Roman emperors used adoption to transfer their leadership to capable men who were unrelated by blood. Claudius Caesar, for example, adopted Nero just four years before Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes of freedom that comes with adoption into the family of God.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father. (Romans 8:15)

Later, Paul refers to the fruits of adoption.

Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the deliverance of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)

The website, BibleVersesAbout.org tells us that being adopted by God means we are accepted into His family, with many of blessings and responsibilities.

We receive new rights.

We are given the name of Christ and the right to be called Christians. All the spiritual riches in Christ are ours, now and forever.

He cares for us.

Our Father accepts His responsibility to care for us, including the right to correct us when we are wrong and to discipline us when we are out of line.

Relationships change.

No longer far away, God is near and accessible.

We are loved.

As part of his loving family we have the source of power needed to do what God wants us to do — love others and tell them about the forgiveness and joy available through Jesus.

And there’s more. Listen here to Pastor Tommy speaking from a parent’s point of view (starting at about minute 6) on adoption and the beauty of what it means to be taken into the family of God.