During a church service I attended with my parents, according to the usual practice we held hands while saying the Lord’s Prayer together. As I stood with one hand clasped to my mother’s and the other to my father’s, I was struck by the thought that I will always be their daughter. Although I’m firmly in my middle age, I can still be called “the child of Leo and Phyllis.” I reflected that not only am I their daughter, but I will also always be a child of God.
The apostle Paul wanted the people in the church at Rome to understand that their identity was based on being adopted members of God’s family (Romans 8:15). Because they had been born of the Spirit (v. 14), no longer did they need to be enslaved to things that didn’t really matter. Rather, through the gift of the Spirit, they were “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (v. 17).
To those who follow Christ, what difference does this make? Quite simply, everything! Our identity as children of God provides our foundation and shapes how we see ourselves and the world. For instance, knowing that we are part of God’s family helps us to step out of our comfort zone as we follow Him. We can also be free from seeking the approval of others.
Today, why not ponder what it means to be God’s child?
Lord God, help me to live out of my central identity as Your child. Release me to live by Your Spirit, that I might share Your love and hope.
Before His death, Jesus said the Father would send us “another advocate to help [us] and be with [us] forever” (John 14:16). Since the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4; John 7:39), the Spirit of God now lives in every believer (Romans 8:9). As “the Spirit of truth” (John 15:26), He helps us to understand God’s Word (14:26). As the source of our new life (Romans 8:11), He guarantees our salvation (Ephesians 1:13–14), assuring us we are God’s children (Romans 8:16). He empowers us to live holy lives (vv. 5–13), making us like Christ (Galatians 5:22–23) and equipping us for ministry (1 Corinthians 12:4–7).