Vol I No. 7

Belonging to Christ: Child and Inheritor

The Revd. Fr. Gavin Dunbar

Question. Who gave you this Name? Answer. My Sponsors in Baptism; wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.


In ancient Rome it was not uncommon for wealthy, powerful but childless adults to adopt some worthy young man with all the privileges that involved, including the right to inherit, in order to perpetuate their name. Thus Julius Caesar adopted Octavian, his great-nephew, who became Augustus Caesar; and Augustus in turn adopted Tiberius, his stepson, who also became emperor. It was a terrific leg up for an able young man. His debts and other legal obligations were taken over by his adoptive father, his prospects expanded immensely, already he enjoyed something of the authority that comes with being son to such a father, with prospect of inheritance. Despite the fact that God already has a beloved Son in whom he delights – or rather, precisely because he already does! – we too may receive the Adoption of Sons, and be made the children of God, and heirs of God, for the glory of his Name, and for our salvation.


Who and what I am is something that is given, something I receive, in and through the community which God has established

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