For most of us this question may not seem relevant at first thought. It doesn't really apply to our lives, right? Most of us have been born into happy, solid homes; a father and mother to receive us, and other brothers and sisters. "Adoption" is for the poor and needy, the down and outcast, the baby left on the doorstep of the church or fire station. Adoption Is for those without hope, no future, and often no ability to help themselves.
As adoptive parents, God has taken us on a unique life Journey, and adoption has been very central in it. It has been through this process that my eyes have been opened in a new way to the gift that God has made available to every person on this earth! We are all in a way that poor and needy child without hope! Spiritually speaking, only death awaits us.
I would like to go further now and look into God's word and see what is there for us in regards to adoption, and our need. We will conclude by looking at some physical and spiritual adoption comparisons.
First of all, God's word and Adoption- Let's go to Eph.1:3-6- 3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ. 4.According as he hath chosen us in Him before the foundations of the world, that we should be Holy and without blame before him in Love. 5. Having predestinated us unto the Adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. 6. To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Ga1.4:4-7- 4. But When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law 5. to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father. 7. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Romans 8:14- For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry ABBA Father.
These passages are packed full of promises of hope and they show us that God had planned for and known all along that adoption, through Jesus Christ would be the answer for a fallen world... Our spiritual adoption was not second best back up plan! Friends, do we really understand the gift we have been offered? As I pondered this, I was impressed again that it is only as we come to grips with our neediness that we can begin to comprehend the life line that God has offered.
So let's look more about how hopelessly needy we are. Think about the baby who is left on the doorstep of the hospital in hopes that someone will have mercy. Can we, do we, see ourselves that helpless and needy in a spiritual sense in our standing before the Almighty God? 1 Corinthians 15: 21,22, "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Romans 7:24; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Isaiah 64: 6.
There is no creed we can follow, no amount of good works that we can do, and no lie good enough that we can tell ourselves that will somehow bring us into favor with God, or into the family of God! In the very beginning of the story of mankind in Genesis chapter 3, we can read the account of our original parent's decision to disobey their creator God. Adam and Eve gave into the deceptive suggestions of the old serpent, the devil, thinking that surely life would be better if they could take their own way. That day, our Holy, Righteous, Eternal God had to confront our parents in their disobedience and the penalty for their sin brought separation, and broke the original personal relationship mankind had with their father God. On that awful day, the curse of sin also broke the perfection of the created world, and death, hate, lust, natural disasters, and evil in all its subtle arid rampant forms have dealt there blows to each person in every generation! Dear friend, do you ever take a look around this world and wonder what is wrong with it? Do you ever feel like you are a slave to things that will destroy you It is all a result of sin, brought on by the choices of man and that terrible taskmaster, the Devil.
Again, I cannot help but direct our thoughts back to the love and mercy of our Creator God who, before the foundations of the world were even set, had a plan to redeem and bring back sinners like you and me. John 3:16 comes to mind "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life!" Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
Now I would like to continue by looking at a few physical/spiritual adoption comparisons that are near to my heart as an adoptive father.
1. God chose us before we chose or even knew Him. Ephesians 1:4 clearly points this out! "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundations of the world, that we should be Holy and without blame before him in love." Many times, in adoptions, at least in our case, children were chosen into our family before they were born or were old enough to have any part in accepting or understanding what was happening! In their helpless need, they were chosen. It is also true that an adopted child, as they mature, will come to a place of choosing to accept and be a part of the family they were adopted into. Though the comparison fall apart in some ways, every person must also accept, and choose the gift that God extends: adoption into the family of God. Does this all happen in one choice? I think that every person who has accepted Christ, understands the journey and daily choices of choosing to be a part of God's family.
2. Adoption is costly. In physical adoption, the costs are a very real factor in the whole process. The first one that comes to mind is financial. Where will the money come from? What will need to be given up to meet the need, or will it even be possible? This is only the beginning of what adoption will 'cost'. There are so many unforeseen emotional and mental costs that will come with the adoption process; and beyond that, the emotional toll of raising children who come from hard places. As I have thought about the cost of our spiritual adoption, I realized again that the costs that I have pointed out are nothing to be compared to what our adoption cost God. There is a tremendous amount of paperwork that goes into physical adoption, but our adoption was signed by the shed blood Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who came from Glory, humbled himself to be born at a man, and faced temptation without sin! He sacrificed everything, physical comforts, lit was despised of men, he was cruelly beaten, rejected, tormented and left to die on a cruel cross... All for you and me!
3. Adopted children become full heirs. This is such a beautiful thought. Standing before a judge in court at the finalization of an adoption, adoptive parents answer and agree to many things regarding the wellbeing of and adopted child. One of these is agreeing that the adoptive child takes your last name as a son or daughter and in these agreements, becomes equal to any biological son or daughter as part of the family. Spiritual comparison can easily be drawn out of this as well. If we can, by faith, accept the gift of salvation through Jesus, confess our need and sinfulness, we can be heirs with Jesus In the family of God.
If you want rest in your heart, freedom from the bondage of sin, a light to light your path, and hope for the future, it is all available, and it is only the beginning! I believe it will take all of eternity to understand what being heirs with Christ means for you and me.
I want to conclude by looking at Romans 8:22, 23. "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." While we can claim the promise of being adopted and being heirs with Christ, today, there is still a future aspect of this great adoption plan. Someday soon, if we are faithful, we will see Jesus face to face in our new eternal bodies. The curse of sin will be gone and we will experience all the glories of true son-ship in the family of God!