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.