Bible Society of South Africa

Child and Heir – 14 May 2021

By Carina Francke

Bible text(s)

6To show that you are his sons and daughters, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who cries out, “Father, my Father.” 7So then, you are no longer a slave but a son or daughter. And since that is what you are, God will give you all that he has for his heirs.

Galatians 4:6-7GNBOpen in Bible reader

14Those who are led by God's Spirit are God's children. 15For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's children, and by the Spirit's power we cry out to God, “Father! my Father!” 16God's Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God's children. 17Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ's suffering, we will also share his glory.

Romans 8:14-17GNBOpen in Bible reader

I received the phone call shortly after breakfast. A welfare worker inquired about temporary foster care for two sisters, toddlers found in a rented room, dressed only in short-sleeved vests and nappies in mid-July. I had my childless friend and her husband in mind as they were considering adoption. Perhaps the foster care idea would be met with approval? Late that afternoon she informed me, ”We will gladly take care of them until the parents’ circumstances change for the better.” Sadly though, circumstances never got better and both the biological parents died a year or two apart. The two temporary foster parents legally adopted the little girls. Together, as a family, they learned about parenthood, discipline respect and forgiveness. But love, the deeper, binding quality was the God-given bond that tied together parents and children. They would never be left in the lurch again. In fact, the father passed away recently, having left the two girls an inheritance.

Galatians 4:5-7 also has something to say about adoption, an adoption that could only be realised through the payment of a ransom. After all, we were slaves of sin! Jesus was the ransom, and he had to die for you, me and every man on earth so that we, by our faith in Jesus Christ could be adopted as children of God. In addition, we received a gift, a godly gift! God sends the Spirit of his Son to make a home in our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:6) Do you hear? “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” (Galatians 4:7)

Someone who neither knows whom he belongs to, nor where he comes from, very often struggles to decide on the way forward in the future. The reborn believer though, need not struggle with these issues. The Holy Spirit that brought about your rebirth, and now also lives in you, can confirm your filiation. “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:16) You need not have to wonder about your now, nor your tomorrow; you have been stripped of your slave mentality; you are a King’s kid – a child of the one and only God!

Maybe you are as inquisitive as I am: What am I going to inherit as a co-heir with Jesus? In the words of Peter: “and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you.” (1 Peter1:4) Think kingdom (Matthew 25:34; James 2:5), a new heaven and a new earth where God will reign (2 Peter 3:13), and the resurrection from the death and eternal life (John 6:39-40). And that is but a mere drop in the bucket.

Prayer: Abba Father, what a privilege to get to know you better every day. Thank you for your indescribable mercy to change an enslaved wretch into a child in the King’s palace. And if this is not enough, you have made me a co-heir with your Son. Indeed, I am blessed! Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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