[Column] You Have Been Made the Children of God

The touching story of Hollywood actress Katherine Heigl adopting a Korean girl and even producing a music video featuring her daughter is rather well known.  Ms. Heigl even introduced herself recently as Seorin Kim, a Koreanization of her own name, on her facebook and twitter accounts. Adoption signifies change in status and quality of life. You and I have been adopted as the children of God through faith in Christ (John 1:12): “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father” (Romans 8:15). The doctrine of adoption is an important Christian principle we must constantly reflect on during the remainder of our lives.

Once adopted, we are to let go of our old habits and circumstances. Once upon a time in Korea, there was a lower class family with a beautiful daughter. While every man from the ruling class desired her, she was especially fond of a particular young man of noble birth. As he emotionally pleaded and convinced his mother to take her as a daughter in law, the mother consented and decided to personally educate her in etiquette and mannerisms in preparation for marriage. She said to her future daughter in law, “There is nothing much to being of noble birth. All you have to do is to add the word “please” at the end of every sentence.” Assuming that this simple instruction was all she needed to survive in a noble family, she married the noble young man. Some months into the marriage, she noticed her father in law fell asleep at the doorstep of the living room. To wake him up for lunch, she said to him, “Father.” “You’re getting in my way. Move your goddamn head for god’s sake, please.” What does this story tell us? It is difficult to learn new customs and traditions. Nevertheless, she has to learn if she were to live as a noble wife. It is same with us, the children of God. We must put aside the deeds of darkness (Romans 13:12), evil desires, greed, anger, slander, lies, and our old selves (Colossians 3:5-9).

Once adopted, our way of life changes. We must conform to their ways of our new parents and granted full legal rights as children. The Emperor Nero from the ancient Rome was originally not expected to become Emperor but he was later adopted by his great-uncle Claudius, who was Roma Emperor. In Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, there is a girl named Cosette who is subject to various physical abuses from the Thenardiers. Valjean pays the Thenardiers 1,500 Francs to set her free and takes her to Paris. With adoption come the rights and responsibilities of adoptees: “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”(Romans 8:13-14). We as saints are not to live according to the desires of the flesh. Instead, we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit and guided by Him. With the authority God has given us, we must drive out evil spirits, heal diseases, and overcome the problems in the third dimensional world.

Because adoption entitles us to inheritance, we must endure and persevere till the end. What we as the children of God will inherit from Him is an enormous blessing of the new heaven and new earth. Therefore, let us be patient and set our eyes upon God even if trials and sufferings surround us: “Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”(Romans 8:23-25). We must set our eyes upon the glory and prosperity God set aside for us in this life and the life to come (Ephesians 1:18). Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu built a pyramid with a base length of over 700 feet. It took over 100,000 slaves over 30 years to move over 2 million blocks of stone, each weighing approximately 2.5 tons, over a distance of 7 Km. We can only imagine how many people died while building this pyramid. Those who seek earthly life strive to preserve their names and their tombs like Pharaohs. However, we as the saints have our true hope not in earthly things but in heaven. There is neither peace nor hope in the tomb. On the other hand, there is unceasing blessing and joy in heaven, our eternal abode. Let us nurture a healthy self-image as the children of God and live accordingly.

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