Buying your way into the family of God


world currencies

What currency is valuable enough to buy your admission to God's family?

What currency is valuable enough to buy entry into the family of God?

According to the Bible, we’re God’s adopted children … and we all know how expensive adoptions are. Plus, most adoptions these days are international. If God’s adoption of us is anything like that, then He’s gone a long distance and spent a great deal to add us to his household.

The Bible also says that we are God’s servants … an idea that’s difficult to accept at best and repugnant at worst. Servants, in our “classless” society, reference the less-than-equal who eat, not in the dining room, but in the kitchen. Who enter by the kitchen door, not the front door. Who wear not what they choose, but what their employer determines to be a fit uniform. We think of wealthy homes in Depression-era movies, or something from BBC-TV.

We also think about the trafficking in African-American lives that nearly split our nation in the 19th century. The state I live in, North Carolina, is one of the nation’s leading states for human trafficking today — for the sex trade and for labor.

But what would it mean that we are God’s slaves … brought by Jesus out of the dark kingdom where we had lived; become, by his conquering power his own possessions, his own slaves? Even if Jesus allows that he no longer calls the apostles servants but friends (John 15:15)?

What do you think could get you into God’s family?

Every way people have ever tried to buy their way into God’s family failed and continues to fail. And yet, God has opened the doors. He sent Jesus into an epic battle with the forces of darkness that had enslaved us … and the only price we now pay for membership in God’s family is accepting the ambiguous role that Jesus’ battle on our behalf created: slaves of God by his death and death-defying conquest; children of God by adoption. Expected, in either case, to follow His house rules. Empowered, by the wealth of the resources He provides to do just that. And equally liberated by these expectations, for these are the rules of a family that lives in light and life.

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About Carlene Byron

Writer, editor, publicist, communications project manager ... I've written technology and infrastructure; I used to edit New England Church Life and The New England Christian and I've freelanced to publications ranging from Commonweal to Christianity Today. I'm now living in my hometown in Maine and am speaking about global perspectives on suicide prevention.
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