Is a person who is born of a parent adopted?

Question by Broken Alabaster Flask: Is a person who is born of a parent adopted?
We see in the book of John that we have been born again, we have been born of the Spirit of God and this Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God. Our spirit has been born of God. There is a part of our being that has God’s spiritual DNA, His life and this life has a divine nature and capacity to bring us all on to maturity to be the many sons of God and heirs of God as we grow in Him day by day…

We see some very good versions of the bible that render ” spirit of adoption ” as ” spirit of sonship” instead. There is a very significant difference between the two.

Why is this kind of rendering of the word something that defrauds us of who we really are to God as His Children. An adopted child, even though he is loved, still does not bear the ” Life” of the Father of whom he has been adopted by. In like manner, had we only been adopted into God’s family, we would not be those who bear God’s Life as His children. We need to see that it is this Life that we have received that develops and works to transform and conform us to the image of Christ. Our chrisitan growth is not about good outward behavior, but rather, our christian life is altogther a matter of the Life of God that we have received into our spirit, that gradually works to change us inwardly… Adoption cannot accomplish this. So tell me something, has the rendering of ” Adoption ” in some of the versions of the Bible caused us to miss the depth of our spiritual birth as children of God?

Ty for pondering these points that I raised and giving your view on it.

In Christ

Best answer:

Answer by Adziwa
Hello again beautiful sister…

Truly I sometimes wonder where you get your thoughts and questions – I would love to know you in person and not just through this site! You inspire and challenge with your questions and thoughts :o)

You are right, this issue of sonship versus adoption gives a very different meaning. A son bears the very make-up and likeness of his father just as we are being molded into the likeness of our Lord Jesus so that we reflect the characteristics of our Father in heaven.

We must always be careful when interpreting the Bible. Indeed this passage in Romans 8 which speaks of the Spirit of sonship or adoption uses the Greek word Huiothesia which according to a Greek Lexicon means:

1) adoption, adoption as sons
2) that relationship which God was pleased to establish between himself and the Israelites in preference to all other nations
3) the nature and condition of the true disciples in Christ, who by receiving the Spirit of God into their souls become sons of God
4) the blessed state looked for in the future life after the visible return of Christ from heaven

In our modern interpretation of adoption we think of a person who is not part of the family being made a part of the family by legal decision. Such a person will be considered a part of the family but will never actually bear any genetic resemblance to the father and mother who adopt. In fact there are many scholars who would agree with you on this potential mistranslation and I think you might enjoy reading the following article on the subject:…

Our reality is not just adoption as sons but being made into the very likeness of His Son. We will not be outsiders legally forged in to a family but always feeling as if we don’t belong but we will be truly integrated into the family of Christ as those who are far more than illegitimate children but sons who bear the spiritual DNA of our
Father in heaven, those who character and likeness are a representation of our Father in heaven, who cannot be seen as distinct but are forever seen as sons, identified from as distance because in spirit we are one and the same…

May God bless you richly my beautiful sister as you continue to challenge us with your thoughts!

In Him,


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Thank you for viewing our adoption video! For more information about Christine and Michael, please contact Bethany Christian Services at (803) 779-0541 or bc…
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One thought on “Is a person who is born of a parent adopted?”

  1. No, a person who is born of a parent is not adopted. It is sad that there are many good translations of the Bible that use the word “adoption” instead of “sonship”. Even my favourite NKJV Bible says, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out ‘Abba, Father’.” (Romans 8:15)

    We know in the context of this passage that it is talking about sonship, being born again with a new nature, once we believe in Jesus Christ. Hence, the Spirit Himself who indwells us bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Romans 8:16) So, the word should have been “sonship” instead of “adoption”. As you said, an adopted child does not have the life and DNA of the father; only a true child would. When we are born again, we have received His life in our spirit, as the Word also says, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)

    Similarly, Paul wrote that we “are all sons (and daughters) of God through faith in Christ Jesus” in Galatians 3:26. He went on to write, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Galatians 4:6-7)

    My pastor also once shared that Jesus did not come to earth to make bad people good. He came to make dead people live. Because we were once all dead in our transgressions. (Ephesians 2:1) We were spiritually dead because of Adam’s disobedience. (Romans 5:12) For God to save us from sin and death, He needed to give us a completely new life, not just give us an outward makeover or teach us good moral conduct by giving us laws and regulations to obey. A person may behave well outwardly, but the inner condition of his heart may remain unchanged.

    King David knew he needed a life transformation, hence after he sinned, he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalm 51:10-11) The prophet Jeremiah also wrote that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) As if to top it all, the prophet Isaiah wrote, “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment.” (Isaiah 1:5-6)

    Isaiah was keenly aware of his sinful state in the presence of God when he said, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5) He also wrote, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) No matter how many good deeds we perform, as long as we are sinners without Christ, we fall short of the glory of God and are doomed to the lake of fire.

    But thanks be to God, He has not left us without a Saviour, Jesus Christ. And the rest is history – HIS story. 🙂 Haha!

    The apostle Paul preached, “Be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21) At the cross, we see the love of God, for He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be the propitiation for our sins. At the cross, He took our sins and sicknesses, that we might take His righteousness and healing. It’s a divine exchange.

    Through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, God has made us alive together with Christ, having forgiven us all trespasses. (Colossians 2:13) Hence, Paul wrote: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have been new. Now all things are of God…” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18) So, we know our old Adamic nature and all the curses that came with it have passed away, including death, sorrow, crying and pain. Instead, we have a new divine nature, and we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:3) We have a new spirit and a new heart, and God has put His Spirit within us and cause us to walk in His statutes. (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

    Finally, Hebrews 12 confirms we are legitimate children of God, whom He chastens with His words (as an aside: not with sicknesses or accidents). “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:7-8)

    Thanks for the opportunity to study the Bible, afforded by your question. God bless you, sister Sandy. 🙂


    Brother Adziwa, yes, sister Sandy has a precious heart for the word of Christ, as a grace gift from our heavenly Abba Father. 🙂

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