In the age of blended families, it’s pretty usual to see these phrases tossed around. It’s part of today’s culture to add labels. These qualifiers may be common to us, but in studying Romans 8, I’ve found that there are no steps and bonuses in the Kingdom.
When we put our faith in Jesus, we become engrafted into the body of Christ. God doesn’t just add us to His family. He gives us the gift of His Spirit. Verse 16 teaches that we receive the Holy Spirit as proof of our new status as a child of God. We now have His power resting within us to lead, comfort, and teach us His ways. Romans 8 is also very clear that when we believe, we gain a different relationship with God. One so close that we can cry out Abba, which is Aramaic for Father. In biblical times, when someone was adopted, they immediately received the same rights as an adult heir. That means there’s no separation based on how we made it into the family. God is our Father. We are His children.
This truth really sinks in when reading verse 17. The Bible says that we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. We all experience suffering, but we also get to experience His glory. Again, we see that there are no distinctions dependent on how we came into the body. There’s no label attached to our son or daughter status. We are all simply His children.
When we recognize this Kingdom principle, it alters how we see the body of Christ. Brothers are brothers. Sisters are sisters. There is no division. We are simply one body, joined by faith… with no labels.
It’s clear that God makes no distinction, but are we? Whether knowingly or unknowingly, we should be mindful of how we speak or think about other people. Today, I want to challenge you to slow down and be intentional about the labels you apply to God’s children.