At time of writing, many of us are still fondly remembering the Royal Wedding held in Windsor on 19th May. Talk of the wedding dress, or the cake, or the celebrity guests in their finery was overshadowed by an overwhelming sense of joy at the love which overflowing on the day. And like any wedding, it was a real family affair: many members of the British Royal Family attended, and just one of Meghan Merkle’s family (her mother) was there. If you watched the television coverage, you may have noticed how the majority of the service took place by the altar in St George’s Chapel, which is near the choir stalls, and behind a rood screen. So, the majority of the guests in the chapel actually had a fairly poor view of what was going on: only the immediate family members who were sitting in the stalls could have a good view of the couple as they made their vows.
Like most people, I was not in Windsor as I did not receive an invite, not being a member of either family, and not knowing them in any other context. But, I do actually belong to a Royal Family. Not that I am related in any way to the British aristocracy, but because I have been adopted into the family of a Greater King. Because I believe that Jesus died for me, and I live my life following Him, I am adopted by God as His child, as a co-heir with Christ. And because Jesus is the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords, and at His Name every knee shall bow, that means His Royal Family is far more powerful, far more influential, far more important than the House of Windsor, or any other monarch in this world.
And you have an invite to be part of God’s family too. If you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, if you turn to Him, and place your trust and your life in His hands, you too will be adopted as a child in His family. And those of us who believe and trust in Him receive the Holy Spirit, who gives us the assurance of our sins forgiven, and that we are children of God.
The Holy Spirit enables us to call Jesus our Lord, and enables us to call God Our Father. Nobody can declare faith in God without the Holy Spirit enabling them to do so. He also helps us draw closer to God by convicting us in all we need to think and say and do. Romans 8 verses 16 and 17 remind us that if we say ‘Abba, Father’ that is the Holy Spirit working in us. And that is the Holy Spirit at the same time reminding us that we are God’s children. If we are children of God the Father, then that automatically makes us his heirs alongside Jesus Christ – or in S.Paul’s words, we are joint heirs with Christ. That means, all that lies ahead for Christ, in His inheritance, is ours too, those of us who call ourselves Christians. That is an enormous honour, and we will be glorified with Him. But that also comes at a price: because we also are called to share with Christ in his sufferings. And that is another reason we are given the Holy Spirit, to strengthen us with God’s power, and to keep us on God’s righteous path, so we can face any trials that lie ahead.
You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry ‘Abba Father!’ it is the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ – if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8.15-17