Category Archives: Adoption

Our Adoption In Christ

I preached from Galatians 3:25-4:7 this morning where Paul talks about “our adoption as sons of God by faith in Jesus Christ.”  God is gracious to give us adoption as a metaphor to explain what has happened to us as a result of trusting in Jesus Christ.  It helps us to understand the new, intimate relationship we have with God as our Father.  We who were estranged from our Maker have been brought near to God through the saving work of Jesus.  We were the rebellious children of Luke 15, but God the Father ran to us, wrapped us in His arms, and brought us to the table.  In Christ, we have become sons and daughters of God.  Our name has been changed; our identity transformed.  We can now approach the Maker of heaven and earth as Abba – our Heavenly Dad.

We have talked this year as a church family about reflecting the love of Christ to others by serving them in tangible ways with no strings attached.  As the people of God, we love and care for the orphan because God loved and cared for us when we were orphans. When we foster, adopt, and help those who do, we are doing for others what God has done for us.  Understanding our adoption in Christ is not just important because it changes our view of ourselves (and thus the way we live), but also because it changes the way treat others.

I remember attending the legal adoption ceremony at the courtroom in Georgetown, TX when the chairman of our elder board and his wife adopted their daughter.  Their little girl had no concept of what was going on – she was running around laughing and smiling – while her whole life was being changed.  She now had a permanent family, a new name, and the permanent care and love of two wonderful parents.  What an awesome picture of our adoption in Christ: while we had no appreciation at the time for what Jesus was doing for us, now we see.  We are not who we used to be – our name has been changed, our inheritance guaranteed, and our relationship with God our Father restored.

May we marvel at the gracious work of God in our adoption.

This week’s sermon and study guide are available above.

God and Adoption

This Sunday will be a special day in the life of our church as we honor adoption and foster-care families.  God has continued to bless our church with an open heart toward the orphan at home and abroad.  As our church has grown in our understanding of the depths of God’s gracious adoption of us (the essence of the gospel), we’ve also grown in the number of families who are investigating and participating in foster-care and adoption.  We’ve learned another reason for good theology: adoption is ultimately about God.

Just recently, I finished reading Dan Cruver’s book (he’s the editor, not the only writer) called Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living through the Rediscovery of Abba Father. Cruver is the president of Together for Adoption, a recently created organization that is seeking to mobilize the western church in solving the global orphan crisis.  His chapters in this book back up what we have experienced in our church: adoption is deeply theological.

By saying that, I don’t mean (and Dan doesn’t mean) that adoption isn’t deeply practical.  It is.  Adoption involves every facet of an individual’s or family’s resources – financial, emotional, spiritual, physical, etc.  However, at its core, adoption has to be motivated by our understanding of God’s eternal adoption of His children as sons and daughters through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Why is this so important?  Because adoption is hard!  If adoption is only motivated by growing our individual families, then we will be tempted to make adoption about us, not about the child we are bringing into our new family.  If our deepest motive in adoption is justifying our importance as parents and not the welfare and love of the child, we will face deep despair when the child does not reciprocate the sacrificial love that we have poured out as parents.

But the current movement for adoption in the church is deeply theological – understanding the sacrificial love of God toward rebellious orphans – you and me!  The good news of the gospel is that God has come to us when we did not deserve His love and brought us into His eternal family.  Cruver’s book does a great job of showing how our adoption as sons and daughters of God is fundamentally and extension of God’s Triune love, not an effort on God’s part to meet some kind of love-deficit in Himself.  All that spiritual adoption brings into our lives (a new name, an eternal inheritance, the presence of the Spirit, etc.) comes into our lives because God the Father sent God the Son through the power of God the Spirit to freely give His life and forever satisfy God’s wrath against our sin.

Adoption is ultimately about God, because every one of us who has received the gift of rebirth in Jesus has personally experienced adoption.  Without Christ, each one of us is an orphan, separated from the eternal family of the Triune God.  We who were far away have been brought near through Christ.  And now we are ambassadors from God proclaiming to a hurting world that eternal adoption is available through faith in Jesus Christ.  Our adoption motivates us to mission of family adoption (bringing in the orphan physically) and spiritual adoption (bringing in the orphan spiritually).  Do you and I see how far our God came to rescue us?  Are we willing to go to those same lengths to see physical and spiritual orphans brought into the family of God?

God is doing a great work to awaken the church to demonstrate the love of Christ to the world through adoption and foster-care.  This Sunday, we are blessed to honor the many families who have been the hands and feet of Jesus to the most vulnerable among us.