God's Holy Fire: 'Adoption as Sons'

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
— Romans 8:22-23 ESV

Key Thought

At first glance, the phrase "adoption as sons" may sound sexist. Exactly the opposite is true. In many places in Paul's day, daughters didn't have the same rights of inheritance as sons. Not so with God and his children. There is no distinction in his kingdom based on gender, social position, or race (Galatians 3:26-29). We are all God's true heirs, with all the same privileges of inheritance as our first-born older brother, Christ (Romans 8:14-17). Such a statement about adoption for all Christians was generally unthinkable in a first-century world divided by so many distinctions. This break from the norms of the day was especially significant given the widespread devaluation of women and their importance. With the coming of the Holy Spirit, God makes clear that those distinctions are inappropriate. And so together, we all join with the whole of creation crying out for the day Jesus returns, and everything is changed with our full adoption and the complete redemption of our bodies. The Holy Spirit is our promise, "guaranteeing what is to come" (2 Corinthians 5:5). The Spirit's indwelling within each of us is the firstfruit assurance that the full blessing of the Spirit will come.

Today's Prayer

We cry out, O Father, for the full realization and experience of our redemption and adoption. We trust, O almighty God, that you will indeed answer our prayer because of the presence of your Holy Spirit within each of us. We thank you and give you glory in the name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.


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Illustration of Romans 8:22-23 ESV —  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

About This Devotional

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.