When you think about what a Christian is, what comes to your mind?… Theologian J. I. Packer says, “The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father.”[1]That’s a beautiful answer, and it goes right along with Scripture. In Ephesians 1:5 Paul tells us that in love, God, “predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ…” Now, if you’re a woman reading this, don’t get caught up on the word sons. He’s not saying we’re all male in the kingdom of heaven, but that we’re all children of God with the same rights and inheritance as a first-born son—as the Son, Jesus Christ… We’re adopted through Jesus, because by faith, we’re united with Him, and thus become fellow heirs with Him (Romans 8:17). When we’re born again, and repent and believe in the gospel, we’re sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14)… He’s the guarantee of our sonship, with Christ. In Romans 8:15, Paul tells us, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’”

What this tells us is that salvation is fundamentally about being adopted into the family of God; it’s about being able to call God Father… That’s why we know it’s all of grace… We might be able to make ourselves slaves, but we could never make ourselves sons; we can’t earn our way into a family.Salvation only comes through the sovereign grace and adoptive love of the triune God. The Father, in His love, chooses us and makes a plan to save us; the Son, in His love, accomplishes that plan and lives, dies, and rises again to redeem us; and the Holy Spirit, in His love, applies that redemption, causing us to be born again, and seals us for eternity in the family of God… The love of the Trinity works to adopt us into the family of God…

Because the triune God of the universe is love, Christians are beloved children of God… He did everything necessary to get us into His family because He loves us… We get to call God Father… And He calls us His children… This is truly amazing grace…

I am nothing; Christ is all!

Pastor Nick

[1]J. I Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1973), 200.