“… have his name put on them, receive the spirit of adoption, have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry Abba, Father,…”
2 Corinthians 6:18
What’s in a name? Shakespeare concluded in Romeo and Juliet that a name shouldn’t have much bearing on a person. However, names have always carried significance. They speak to the history of the individual, where her ancestors came from, what influences has shaped her upbringing. Family names can carry great power and influence: someone with the last name Trump or Obama will receive much more attention than a Smith. When a woman takes the last name of her husband, she is declaring to the world that they are now one flesh. Names carry great importance, despite Shakespeare’s complaint.
Biblically, receiving a new name changes a person tremendously. When the elect receive the grace of adoption, God’s name is put upon them. Those who receive Him, who believe in His name, He gives the right to be called children of God (John 1:12). Our status is changed from being children of the devil to being God’s children. Through believing in His name, we have His name put on us! We belong to Him. We are part of the family, with all the privileges being a son of God entails.
Through the Spirit of adoption, due to our position as sons of God, we are enabled to call God “Abba, Father”. We can boldly access the throne of grace. No taking a number, no appointment necessary – our relationship with God is such that we can call upon Him at any time. We have a closeness with Him that is unattainable by anyone not in the family. This closeness is not only present in times of peace, but in our distress as well. Sinclair Ferguson writes concerning Romans 8:15:
The picture is not that of the believer resting quietly in his Father’s arms in childlike faith, but of the child who has tripped and fallen crying in pain, ‘Daddy, Daddy’. That cry is the mark of the presence of the Spirit of adoption, not least because it shows that in time of need it is towards our Father in heaven that we look. – (The Christian Life)
What’s in a name? For the Christian, there is great blessing in having His name. We need no longer fear, for we are His.
Questions to Consider
- How does knowing that the elect receive adoption as God’s sons affect your relationship with them?