Part 2 of 5 – Unshakeable… Series
The Bible presents God as our father. This rich metaphor can help us understand how it changes our lives to be considered children of God.
You Can Have a Close Relationship with God as Your Father
When you consider human nature, along with our individual sin, it’s surprising that God would want to welcome us into His family. Yet He does.
Romans 8:14-16 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you have received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
No one is born into God’s family. We only become His children by adoption. When we place our faith in Jesus and His saving work, we receive the Holy Spirit, who confirms our standing as children of God. As sons and daughters of God, the door is now open to a close, intimate relationship with our Father in heaven. We can approach God on familiar, affectionate terms, as our “Abba” (an ancient word for “Daddy”). We can share everything with Him – our thoughts, needs, desires, and more – with no shame. And we can get to know Him deeply as well.
Yet many Christians approach God as servants instead of children. We do what we’re supposed to do in order to get what we’re supposed to get but without any emotional attachment or real sharing of life. Romans 8:15 says that we did not receive a spirit that makes us slaves. We are God’s children, so we have every right to come to Him in trust, confidence, and love. We have the privilege of running into His arms, sitting on His lap, and enjoying His presence and favor every day.
Our Inheritance as God’s Children Includes Suffering
This is a surprising twist in the story! If we are heirs together with Christ, our union with Him is not limited to His glory.
Romans 8:17b But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Jesus suffered before He entered into glory. He endured the cross first, and only then was He raised from the dead and enthroned in heaven (Hebrews 12:2). This pattern also applies to us: first the cross, then the crown. Suffering usually makes us doubt God’s love or our status as His daughters and sons. The problem is that we don’t understand the value of suffering. God uses adversity to train us, just like an earthly father disciplines his children for their good (Hebrews 12:7-11). Suffering is not punitive. As a loving father, God can use adversity to help us grow. In fact, sometimes pain is the only teacher we will listen to. Unlike human parents, God always gets it right. We can trust Him with our trials.
God is a good father. We are privileged to be adopted as His children, through no merit of our own. We have a glorious future inheritance in store. But our inheritance also includes suffering. You have the privilege of a close, personal relationship with God. Don’t let suffering push you away from Him.
Talk About It…
- What are your first thoughts regarding today’s topic? Please share with the group.
- Have you ever received an inheritance? What happened?
- Read Romans 8:14-16. How does this describe our relationship with God?
- When you consider God as our father, what does that relationship look like to you in practice?
- Read Romans 8:17. What does this say about our inheritance as God’s children?
- Read 1 Peter 1:3-4. How is our inheritance described here? What might this involve?
- Read Philippians 3:10. How does this add to our understanding of Romans 8:17?
- Read Hebrews 12:7-11. Why does God, as our father, allow hardship in our lives?
- Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?
- Is there anything in today’s topic that you would be excited to share with a friend?
Adapted from PursueGod.org