Tag Archives: adoption

From Visitor to Resident in God’s Kingdom

He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.

Ephesians 1:5, NASB

Such a beautiful text. Paul speaks of the children of God being adopted as sons. The word Paul uses for adoption is one with deep meaning and paints a wonderful picture of the love of God. The Greek word for adoption is huiothesia. From two roots, huios, meaning son, and tithemi, meaning to set or place, huiothesia can be literally translated as “son-placing.”


During the time that Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians, the known world was heavily influenced by Rome. In Roman culture, children had no rights and no possessions. They could be considered as visitors in their father’s household. During a childs teenage years there would be a public ceremony declaring a child to be an official member of the family. At this time the child would be acknowledged as a full member of the family. After his huiothesia, or “son placing”, he had full privileges and responsibilities. He would be sure of any inheritance the father had planned for him.

Now, this was not a change in relationship. Since the moment a child was born, the father could still have a deep, loving relationship with his child. Rather, huiothesia was a change in position. The child was elevated in status, having been given rights, privileges and possessions, transforming the child from visitor into son or daughter of the father. There was a difference between being a child and being a son or daughter because of that change in position.

The Choice

In the Christian life, we have the choice between two fathers, two masters.

John 8:34 says that we are slaves to sin. In verses 42-44, Jesus says that those who do not obey God are of their father the devil. Under the devil, we are slaves to sin, sentenced to death forever. When we obey God, surrendering our will to Him, we can claim God as our Father. However, when we disobey God, we surrender our will to the opposition, claiming to be a part of the sinful household, making the devil our father, our master.


The beauty of it is that God wants to adopt us. He wants to take us into his household, out of slavery. He doesn’t want to change our relationship with him. He always wants to be our Father. He always wants us to be a part of His household. Rather, He wants to change our position. He wants to adopt us into his family. He wants to change us from being only visitors in His household into sons and daughters that will inherit His kingdom. When God adopts us, He changes our status not only on Facebook, but for eternity.

The choice, however, is up to you. Which father will you choose?

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