The Holy Spirit's Role in Adoption: Calling God Our Father

Pastor Jeff Struecker

We’ve been discussing theology, particularly the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. Many Christians often struggle to understand the identity and purpose of the Holy Spirit. Through months of study, we have explored how the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of those who surrender their souls to Jesus, leading to our adoption into God’s family and the privilege of calling Him our Father. Today, we focus on how the Holy Spirit makes us Children of God and enables us to be adopted into His family.

If we are followers of Jesus, this means we are all adopted into God’s family, making us brothers and sisters in Christ. The Holy Spirit plays a crucial role in bringing about this adoption, acting as God’s earnest or down payment on our salvation. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit within us that serves as proof of our Christian identity, assuring us of our eternal destiny with God in heaven.

This adoption into God’s family allows us to call Him Father, a significant concept that some people in the past found offensive. In various religions, there was a belief that God was so perfect and distant from humanity that any familiarity with Him would be considered blasphemous. Even in the Old Testament, some Jews viewed their relationship with God as distant and awe-inspiring, emphasizing His holiness and human unworthiness.

However, Jesus challenged this perspective by referring to God as His Father, expressing an intimate and loving connection. The religious leaders at that time were deeply angered by this language, feeling it equated Jesus with God and challenging the traditional hierarchy. This divine familial language was so provocative that it contributed to the tension between Jesus and the religious authorities, leading to their hostility and eventual desire to kill Him.

Despite the opposition, Jesus taught His followers to address God as Father, exemplifying the closeness and depth of the relationship we can have with the Creator. In the Lord’s prayer, He encouraged them to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven,” reinforcing the idea that our connection to God is one of loving intimacy and not distant reverence.

To emphasize this point further, we find a powerful verse in 1 John 3:1: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called Children of God.” This verse serves as a reminder of the profound love God has bestowed upon us, allowing us to be part of His family through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Memory Verse

The first part of that verse emphasizes love as the reason the Father can call us His children. When John wrote this in his first letter to the church, his intent was to make them aware that this relationship is undeserved. We have no inherent right to call Him Father. It is only because of His immense love that He took the necessary steps for us to have this privilege.

Regardless of the upbringing or experiences we had with our earthly fathers, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be with us as a Helper, Counselor, and Comforter until the day we reunite with Him and the Father in heaven. Jesus emphasized the significance of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, providing guidance and assistance.

Consider this question without feeling guilty: Have you ever explained to someone how they can become a Christian and be adopted into God’s family, calling Him Father? According to statistics, some might not have shared this message even once in their lifetime. Others might find it natural and share it frequently. So, I want you to ponder this: Will you introduce someone to your Father this week?

A Challenge

Let me take a moment to clarify the word “introduce” as seen in the question. By “introduce,” I don’t mean you should force someone to read the Bible or show them specific passages to explain God. Instead, I’m suggesting that you speak naturally to people about your personal transformation through Jesus, and how God has become your Father. When you hear someone using offensive language, like cursing using the Lord’s name, it might upset you because they are speaking about your Father. I encourage you to view your relationship with God as a loving Father.

All I’m asking is, would you be willing to have a simple conversation with one person this week, sharing how Jesus has changed your life and how God is now your Father? Express your gratitude for what He has done for you. My prayer is that through this conversation, that person may also be adopted into God’s family and come to call Him Father, just as you do because you introduced them to your Father.