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From Lost to Heir

After having raised four children, my wife, Darlene, and I experienced all the emotions from sorrow and frustration to pride and love.  It must be harder still to be a foster parent, especially of older children.  These children are not kin by blood or related legally but should receive the same care, discipline, and love to promote their growth and development as would a natural born son or daughter.  Sometimes these foster children are adopted and become co-heirs with their new brothers and sisters.

In the beginning God created humans in His image (Gen 1:26).  In that sense all people are God’s offspring, however, this is in the physical not the spiritual realm.  God does not disinherit humans until they totally reject His love and authority (Rom 1:21, 28) (Gen 6:5-7).  It is possible to be filled with such, “…wickedness, evil and depravity…becoming God-haters and arrogant…” (Rom 1:29-30) that God will give one over (vv 24, 26, 28), presumably to their new father, the devil (Jo 8:39-44) (Acts 13:10) (1 Jo 3:10).

Some of the Jewish leaders in Jesus’ time insisted that they were children of Abraham and thus of God (Jo 8:39, 41) but Jesus himself called them, “…children of the devil” (v 44).  “…If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ” (Rom 8:9).  Because, “…those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (v 14).  He also said, “…to those who believed in His name He gave the right to become children of God” (Jo 1:12).  John 3:16 is conditional not universal because it limits everlasting to those who believe in Him.

What is this belief and when does it allow one to become a true spiritual son of God? When one obeys (Acts 5:32) (Acts 2:38) one dies and rises anew with Jesus (Rom 6:3-6) and becomes a fellow-heir with Him (Rom 8:17).  At this point one is adopted and enjoys full rights as a son or daughter and has moved from lost child to eternal heir.  Born again of water and the Spirit (Jo 3:5).  As such we must, “grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph 6:4 KJV).  As Gentiles, we should realize that we have entered this status by grace through faith.  Like the wild branches, we were grafted into the olive root (Rom 11:11-21).         -Jim Bailey

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