Last night as my wife and I hosted our small group for fellowship, something struck me about the passage preached on Sunday, Galatians 4:1-7. The Lord brought to my attention that the action verbs in the passage were all performed by God (see portions in bold), with the result being the blessing of our identity -- notice the verb "to be" in italics -- as adopted children of God.
The one action verb undertaken by those of us in Christ (shown in bold and italics) is that of receiving God's gift!:
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but [you are] a son, and if [you are] a son, then [you are] an heir through God.Praise be to God! Salvation, and our adoption as sons, are gifts from God, to be received by faith in the work of His Son, and this is only possible because He has changed our hearts and sealed them with His Holy Spirit, who cries for us and with us, "Abba, Father!" [Rom. 8:15]