The Gospel and adoption
by Daniel Ausbun, First Baptist Church, Moreland
Two-thirds of the children in the world don’t have a father at home.
Addictions, divorce and promiscuity have created an orphan culture on every continent. The Bible describes adoption in two ways. First, belief in Christ is illustrated using adoption terminology and second, orphan care is an outward sign of a believer’s faith.
Salvation is much more than forgiveness of sins and deliverance from condemnation. It is also a position of great blessing. The Bible declares Jesus came to save people, “so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:5).
Salvation, just like adoption, is a change in legal status, a powerful transformation. We go from being slaves to sin, to being sons of God. Our salvation is just like a child being adopted -- a courtroom decision when a child leaves the judge into the security of a growing and thriving future.
God declares believers in Christ to be righteous heirs of the Kingdom. God is a Father who graciously adopts believers in Christ into His spiritual family and grants them all the privileges of heirship.
Believers are children of God. A believer’s adoption as a child of God was determined by God from eternity. God “predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ to Himself” (Ephesians 1:5). Spiritual adoption from God, wasn’t plan B, rather plan A. Spiritual adoption begins with the initiative of a Father, not the invitation of a child.
Salvation is not about reciting a superstitious prayer. It’s about receiving the position of a son.
When you’re saved, you become a son or daughter of God. This is why godly living is so important. You don’t want to misrepresent your Father’s name.
James 1:27 reminds us pure and undefiled religion looks after orphans and widows. The United States has Social Security and a foster care system. The world’s greatest needs aren’t always in our country. Jesus gave His disciples a global mission. The United States doesn’t have orphanages. As many challenges the foster care system in the U.S. has, orphan care in other countries is at best, terrible.
The world’s most vulnerable children are found in African and Asian orphanages.
Christians should all be doing something for the Fatherless. Christians outnumber orphans 7-to-1. Non-believers are Fatherless, spiritual orphans. God is the Father to the fatherless. Politicians aren’t going to advocate orphans. They can’t vote nor make campaign contributions.
In Matthew 25:40 Jesus spoke of “the least of these.” Orphans are at the very bottom, and followers of Christ are called to meet them there. Why? Because before you met Christ, you also were at the bottom.
It’s hard for us not to think about children without flesh and blood being involved. In adoption, all previous relationships are severed. Man made orphanages for children, but God made the family for children. Psalm 68:6 states, “He places the lonely in families.” God never intended for one child to live in an orphanage.
Adoption is the highest privilege the Gospel offers. You’re privileged to become a child of God and you can cry out, “Abba Father” (Romans 8:15).
Understanding the biblical foundation of spiritual adoption is critical for understanding the proper motivation for physical adoption. We have a tendency in our day to romanticize adoption, envisaging cute children around the world -- both domestically and internationally -- just waiting to be adopted.
Obviously, they are all cute in their own ways, but they are also needy…and many of their needs are great. A large percentage of adoptions are classified as, “special needs” children.
Adoption is not easy, and children are indeed needy. It’s important to realize, then, that we adopt not because we are rescuers. No, we adopt because we are the rescued.