From Slavery to Sonship

The Christian has undergone a radical change. It is a movement from slavery to sonship (Gal. 4:7; cf. Rom. 8:16; Gal. 3:26). It is a change in status—from being children of wrath to being adopted “children of God” (1 John 3:1). It is a change of nature—from being orphaned sinners to being regenerated members of God’s family (John 1:12-13). It takes some Christians a whole lifetime to believe this. It is fitting, then, that one of the chief tasks of the “Spirit of adoption” is to persuade us of who we are and whose we are (Rom. 8:15-16). He also testifies to what we are not. We are not slaves. Paul says we did not receive a spirit of slavery from God to fall back into fear, anxiety, worry, terror, intimidation, and dread—the things that terrify people in the world (Rom. 8:15). Instead, we approach God as our Father and ask him for comfort and strength in times of sorrow, affliction, and danger. We do not come as slaves approaching our master but as a child approaching one who cares for us. We come expecting those things that fathers love to lavish on their children: acceptance, forgiveness, protection, encouragement, comfort, gifts, and repeated assurances of his love. He grants us these things and sends us away with peace and joy of the Spirit. Few things are more liberating than this fact.

A. Craig Troxel, With All Your Heart

Since receiving this book last fall, as part of the book giveaway for the ACBC conference, I’ve been reading through it with four young men in our church. Yesterday, we discussed the ninth chapter, “The King of Your Heart’s Will.” I was really blessed by our discussion of the ongoing work of sanctification that Christ is performing in our hearts as well as the profound blessings of spiritual adoption.

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