God Sets the Lonely in Families - A Look at Spiritual AdoptionTim Snyder, Media and R&D Director
Christian Life Resources, Nov/Dec 2007, Vol. 27, No. 6
Adopt: to take by choice into a relationship; especially: to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one's own child (The Merriam-Webster Dictionary)The thought of voluntarily taking the child of other parents as their own can be pretty profound. In fact, its so profound that God chose to use this concept to help a sinful world understand what He accomplished on their behalf. God declares the entire world of sinners righteous because of the perfect life and death of our substitute, Jesus Christ. Our adoption into Gods family finds its foundation in this message of salvation. Through Gods gift of faith, we receive this amazing grace. We truly become part of Gods family.
Part of the FamilyYet to all who received [Christ], to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12) An earthly couple chooses to take someone elses child and make them a member of their family. They voluntarily enter into a parent-child relationship. God, in His love and mercy, voluntarily chose to make us members in His family. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will. (Ephesians 1:4,5)
The intent of adoptive parents is to bring a child into their home and love and care for that child as their own. With our Heavenly Father it is more than an intention. It is a fact that He treats His children as heirs and gives to us all that we need for this life and the next.
Now if we are children, then we are heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory (Romans 8:17).
Have you noticed that newly-adopted children elicit the same oohs and aahs as newly-born biological children? Folks immediately crowd around to see the new family member and share in the parents joy. It doesnt take long before we forget about the adopted part and simply think of these children as full-fledged members of the family, because that is what they are. They become a true son or daughter, brother or sister, grandson or granddaughter, and nephew or niece. It is just as if they had been born into the family. Dear Christian, we have been born into Gods family. We were born again through the waters of baptism.
Jesus answered, I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit (John 3:5,6).
Different But the SameThe television show Sesame Street featured a game that began with the song, One of these things is not like the other... You may have noticed that about families with adopted children. Perhaps you know a family that traveled to far off Ukraine or South Korea and came home with a child. You might be acquainted with a family that has adopted a child whose skin is a different color. Maybe youre aware of a family that has adopted a child with physical or mental disabilities. Maybe you are one of those families. Once again it doesnt take long for family and friends to forget the differences and simply see that child as one of the family. Our Heavenly Father doesnt differentiate between His children. We enjoy a true kinship -- a fellowship based on Christs righteousness.
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)
Adopted TwiceEarthly adoption is a temporal state. Spiritual adoption into Gods family is divine and eternal. Both are blessings of our Heavenly Father. Earthly adoption is tainted by sin and never perfect, but it can give us a fleeting glimpse of the divine. Its an example of faith in action when Christian families adopt. Gods love accomplishes amazing things in the hearts and lives of His people. A child who has no blood ties to the parents is taken in and embraced as family. A child who was alone, and in some cases unloved and unwanted, is now a member of a household. In spiritual adoption the unlovable, sinners like you and me, become members of Gods household. The impossible was made possible by the blood of the Lamb.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household (Ephesians 2:19).
What a child gains through adoption is amazing. What we gain, as children adopted by God, is nothing short of miraculous.
God sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6).
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