For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “ Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
They always made a point to introduce them both as their sons. They never distinguished between their natural born child and their adopted child. Everyone they knew was aware of how their family came about, but no one ever thought much of it. The one person for whom this remained a concern was the adopted son himself. He had been told that he was loved no less than his brother. He had heard his parents’ encouragement of how they had chosen him by hand and had loved him from the moment they saw him. Yet, he could not ignore the very true fact that he was not their natural child. The issue for him was that he saw a blood relationship as the closest connection a family could have, but he never could be connected to them in that way.
We are different than Jesus Christ in that we are not begotten of God, and we have been created. Even so, the Spirit of God testifies that we are children of God nonetheless. Our mechanism of adoption is a fact, but it makes us no less children of God than Christ is his child. In fact, He is our brother. We might look at the ways in which we do not measure up to the Son without the intervention of the Father, and we might see those shortcomings as reasons why God would consider us children of a different sort. The thing is, our being born imperfect and human has nothing to do with the great connection that makes us his children. Our adoption is spiritual, and that spiritual connection is what joins us to the Father. Our natural characteristics and our sinful nature are trumped by that spiritual connection, making us unqualified children of his.
Adopted sons or daughters with siblings who are natural children of the parents might see themselves as being less than their siblings. They may see their place in the family marked by an asterisk because an exception exists there. They may feel as if they cannot identify themselves as a son or daughter without saying the word “adopted”. While we understand why someone would have these feelings, we also must understand that they carry no merit in our spiritual family with God. He has decided that we are his children without qualification, and his Spirit testifies to that truth. Father, help us to see ourselves as your children without any further explanation, without any asterisk, because You say simply that You are our Father.