“To be right with God the judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is a greater… We do not fully feel the wonder of the passage from death to life which takes place in the new birth till we see it as a transition, not simply out of condemnation into acceptance, but out of bondage and destitution into the “safety, certainty, and enjoyment” of the family of God.”
J.I. Packer, Knowing God
Maybe I have been caught up in my study of theology and apologetics, but when I read this section from Knowing God, I was immediately convicted. I personally have found that it is easy to be immersed in doctrine, which is undoubtedly essential, but neglect what they point towards. That we are justified by faith alone, counted righteous by God, forgiven of all our sin, and have assurance of salvation are all great things, no Christian would deny that. But they are not the greatest.
What is ultimate? We are adopted into the family of God, who is our Heavenly Father.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1)
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18)
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:4-7)
Has my mind truly grasped this reality? Have I cherished the fact that I am no longer condemned and am judicially declared “not guilty” more than the fact that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me deeply?
As I have meditated on these verses of scripture, and marveled at the fact that this is who I am, I’m absolutely overwhelmed in awe of Gods love for me.
Who am I, but a sinner, that He would desire to adopt me into His family? That He would give His one and only Son for me?
How incredible and immeasurable are the riches of His love which He displayed in Jesus Christ, by purchasing for Himself a people through that bloody cross, in order that they could enjoy Him forever!
I am a child of God because He has declared me so; and so I am.