The Family Name

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters”, says the Lord Almighty. – 2 Corinthians 6:18

Parents who adopt look for a child they think will fit into their family – someone they can love, nurture, and provide for. Once they find the child, they can’t wait to welcome him into their home.

God is building a family, too! His first adoption was the Jewish people. Here’s what he said to them, “. . . the Lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth (Deuteronomy 14:2). Scripture often refers to Israel as God’s son.

God wasn’t done yet. Now, he we hear about other peoples of the world – those who are not Jews: “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:4b-5).

We are not born into God’s family with our physical birth. We have to be adopted in. The good news, though, is that anyone who wants to be in God’s family can be. He’s still in the adoption business.

Being adopted means our name changes. As we read above, we are brought into God’s family through Jesus Christ and, thus, we take the name Christian. It’s up to us now to carry that name with dignity, to bring honor to the family of God, to look to God as Father, and to follow Jesus as an older brother.

In all that, we never, never forget that God saw us, loved us, and chose to adopt us as his own. With that, we should wake up every morning smiling!

By God’s mercy, wretched paupers are made royal heirs together with Christ. By God’s mercy, wayward sinners are embraced as righteous sons.” – Jan Verbruggen

3 thoughts on “The Family Name

  1. Pingback: The Family Name — Walking Together on Holy Ground – QuietMomentsWithGod

  2. Thank you for this vital biblical concept, Bev. The Greek word for adoption is huiothesia. It comes from two Greek words meaning “placing as a son,” and it occurs only five times. In every case, it describes what God has done for His people. I would like to add to this idea that there are rights, relationships and responsibilities. The child clearly is in a sphere of entitlement to care, nurture and protection. But he or she also is in a lasting connection with the family as if they had been physically born into the family. Finally, the adopted child also has duties of mutual respect, loyalty and honoring the family name. For the Christian, the ultimate Father in the adoption is God who has: “predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” Ephesians 1:5 — Dennis Fisher


  3. Thank you, Dennis, for providing some good theological support for this concept – and I love that the only use of the word in Scripture has to do with God’s relationship to his people. I had a prof tell me once that, in 1st Century Roman culture, a biological child could be disowned, but an adopted child was adopted forever – could never be removed from the family. I don’t know if that can be substantiated, but, as I think about our adoption into God’s family, it is reassuring. Again, I do appreciate your contributions to these posts.


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