“Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” (Galatians 4:7)
Last week we broached the subject of normal Christianity. It begins (and proceeds) with an amazing truth: what we were is no longer what we are. What Jesus did for us, has moved us from one state of being to another… and our new state is more phenomenal than we can often fathom.
But there is nothing more essential than to apply our hearts and minds to the fullness of what Jesus has done for us… to bring us into an entirely new way of viewing life and living life.
What Jesus has done for us has given us all the opportunity to BE the children of God. His Own children. Why is this so important? And why does it change everything about living the Christian life?
First of all, it legally changes our family lineage. We have been “redeemed from” the family of mankind, and “redeemed to” the Family of God. Through the work of Jesus, the legal “paperwork” has been processed and filed (nailed to the cross) and those who receive Jesus (and what He has done) leave their old family identity behind them… and are immediately given a new Family identity. God brings us into His Own Household… and legally adopts us as His Own children.
What we were before… doesn’t matter. Who we were before… no longer matters. We are NOW God’s Own children… we now wear His Name and are the legal recipients of ALL that He is… and ALL that He has.
God brought us into His Family, seated us at His table, given us a room in His Home, welcomed us into His Presence (to know Him as “Abba Father” [intimate, personal, “Daddy”-type relationship!]) and made us the eternal objects of His attention and affection.
This is no small thing. The God Who was, and is, and is to come… has made us His very Own – and given us every right and privilege that all the members of His Household receive.
Before receiving Jesus, we were outside of the Family of God… but when we received Jesus, we were brought into God’s Family… to dwell there, and live forever in His Household. Oh, and this is not just something we WILL experience at the end of our earthly lives… this is something we can experience right NOW, because of Jesus.
This changes everything. Being IN His family means that we are no longer trying to impress God, or get into His good graces, or trying to keep ourselves from being judged (and condemned) for our sins, or trying to gain His attention, or to get Him to recognize and reward us for our “good” behavior.
Being HIS means that we have already moved beyond any need for those things…
With one act (Jesus’ death and resurrection) the Father’s House has been opened up for anyone to come and become His Own child – IF we simply receive Jesus and what He did for us.
The work of Jesus makes all our tireless work to try and gain God’s favor, irrelevant. Gone is the need to earn our way into God’s good graces. The thing we have needed all along is exactly the thing He has offered to us… to become His Own child, just simply by receiving what Jesus did for us.