Be The Boss!

The word that is translated adoption (Greek – Huio-thesias) in Romans 8:15 (and other places) does not mean to pick a child that was not born to you and become his or her parent. While that is wonderful in bringing together children without parents, with parents who have chosen them, this human activity filled with love and compassion actually diminishes who we are and what God really did for us, when it is used as an example.

First, you have to realize that we were NOT adopted into God’s family, we were BORN into it. That’s why we call it the new birth, or being born again. (See John chapter 3, and in particular verses 3-7) We have the same spirit (Romans 8:11) and DNA as Jesus (1 John 4:17).

So what does this thing called adoption mean to us?

Paul explained in Galatians 4:1-3 that while the heirs are children they are no better than servants (doulos in the Greek, which means a bond slave), but the day comes when they enter into adulthood. There is a date, determined by the father, when the child becomes an adult. When this happens, when the heir reaches the age of adulthood, they are adopted into the position of a full-grown son; or in other words, one who now has authority over the family’s assets and business.

This differs dramatically from simply being born into the family, or even from the current practice of adopting a child birthed by another. In the Greek, the word that speaks to the action of bringing a child into a position to whom it does not naturally belong is the word tithemi. In our world today this is a wonderful action that is intended to bless both the child and the family that adopts that child, giving them a name and rights and privileges they would not have otherwise had. But even these children, though they are positioned to be heirs, are not in control of the family’s assets and business until the time set by the parents. When they are considered to be responsible adults, then they can be adopted, or placed into a position of responsibility.

An example of this today is Franklin Graham. He has always been Billy Graham’s son, but there came a day when dad Billy gave son Franklin more responsibility within his ministry. 

So, biological or modern-day adopted children can be adopted into adult responsibilities, however to compare modern day adoption to the actions expressed by Paul is to again, diminish the fact that we are born into the Family of God.

Why does this matter, you ask? Doesn’t adoption of children today give them the same rights and privileges as those born in the family? The answer to that depends on the family. There are families who, though they adopt children, never treat them as well as their biological children. But assuming that life is as one pastor asserts, exactly the same for his adopted children as for anyone’s biological children, do we believe there are not families in which all children are not dominated and controlled by their parents? Simply expressing that “my son comes in the house and eats what he wants because he’s my son,” does not give us a genuine picture of our relationship as SONS of God.

When we are born again, we are children of God. Now a child, though heir of all is no better than a servant. However, notice that the child is still heir of all. With a loving father, the child will not be purposely mistreated nor will that child go hungry if the father has the resources to provide for the child. The child may not be able to order the servants around, or fire an employee of the business, but the child benefits from the family prosperity. Being a child of the boss and owner of a successful business provides provision and rewards, but no authority.

However, as that child grows and heeds the lessons the parents provide the father takes notice. One day, at an appointed time, the father comes to the child and says, “Today you are my adult son (or daughter).” On that day, he bestows authority on the son. He ADOPTS him into a place of authority. And now that son begins to conduct affairs within the business with the same authority as the father.

In our lives, being born again is receiving the redemption offered by God through Jesus. We are crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20), we are raised from the dead with him. Our spirit man is BRAND NEW (2 Corinthians 5:17). And that is where Romans 8:15, 23, 9:4, Galatians 4:5, and Ephesians 1:5 point to. That last verse says that God “predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ.” He planned ahead of time that we would be ADOPTED as sons. As full grown, mature sons, with authority and privileges. We aren’t children depending on the good graces of our tutors and caretakers, but we are adult heirs with authority and dominion. However, there is one caveat; this is in our spirit. If we grasp all that it means at the moment of the new birth, then we can execute our authority immediately. That is our appointed time with Father God, at the new birth. Why? Because we are instantly changed, and we receive the spirit of Christ. Jesus has those rights and privileges, and we are joint-heirs with him.

Where we are children, who need tutoring, is in our soul (our mind, will, and emotions). In order for us to experience what we are in Christ, we have to renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:23). We are TRANSFORMED in our spirit, and we instantly have the same rights as Jesus (1 John 4:17b), “because as He IS, so are we in this world.” But living that requires faith, which comes from the spirit but gains access to the world we live in through our soul.

Being ADOPTED as an adult heir, with authority, is awesome, but experiencing the full benefits of this adoption comes by wisdom, knowledge, and understanding which we gain from the word and the spirit (John 6:63, Romans 12:2). But we won’t even begin to benefit if we don’t correctly understand what it is God provided. He didn’t just adopt you because he wanted more kids. He birthed you AND adopted you as a mature son or daughter, giving you authority. He trusts you! What an awesome thought, that God trusts you.

Live up to that trust, by being transformed by renewing your mind (Romans 12:2) and doing the works that Jesus did (John 8:12).


Thank you for taking the time to read this today. Remember that God loves you and so do I. We both want to see you enjoy the life God planned for you. 
To learn more about our God’s love and compassion for us check out these related posts (click the title for the link):

Always Ready!

Honest, God Is For You!

You can also get a copy of my book, a book on the liberty we have in Christ (not nutrition as the title may suggest) on Amazon (click on the title): Eat Healthy…Most of the Time!

If you would like to support my work please check out my Patreon page.

Remember, God loves you just as you are; but he loves you far too much to leave you that way!