Dear Hope family,

Thought for the Week

“Children of God … ”

Galatians 4v4-6 “God sent his Son … so that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons … ” (NIV)

Not everyone is a “son of God”, but anyone can be – whether male or female, slave or free, or of any other human divide (Gal 3v28) . We struggle with the language “son of God” for two reasons: one it seems sexist, and second it can be confusing with The Son of God; so, for good reason, we tend to say “children of God”.

However, Paul had a specific reason for saying ‘sons’: firstly, we all have the privileges that sonship had in the 1st century when inheritance and authority passed through the male line, and secondly, we all receive the ‘Spirit of The Son of God’. Hence v6 continues, “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit that cries out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s son, and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.”v6-7

The thing about being an “heir” is that you receive by nature of who you are, not what you do. In the 1st century, a slave could be in the household where they had to work hard – but even with all their work, there was no inheritance. You are a son, not a slave, and a son receives God’s inheritance.

The thing about receiving the “Spirit of his Son” is that this Spirit is conforming you to the likeness of Christ. God is changing you from the inside. His Spirit is at work.

Whoever you are, whatever the situation you face, and whatever your current feelings, as a follower of Christ, you have been born again as a child of God. That means that for now you have the Spirit of love, joy and peace, and for the future you have the out-of-this-world inheritance.

Let’s give thanks and praise to God for his goodness and complete provision in our adoption.


With love and blessing,