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-The Adoption-


To realize that God wants more that just to save us from the results of our own sin, he wants to adopt us as sons and daughters.

Scripture Basis:

Gal 4:1-7 ,I John 1:3, 5:1 , John 1:11-13, John 12:32, John 16:26 & 17:24, Rom 8:23, Rom 9:4,

Eph 1:4-5, Eph 1:10, Rom 8:15-16


Packers "Knowing God", chapter 19

The Back Door:

Have you ever considered adopting a child? For a few minutes I would like you to consider what it would be like to adopt an orphan child from Mexico or another poor country. Pretend for a moment that you are going down to Mexico to a orphanage to adopt a child. Try and answer the following questions.
  1. What do you see when you get there? In all likelihood you would find lonely children living in poverty. Children who know what it is like to go to bed hungry and perhaps frightened as well
  2. How would you choose a child adopt? What type of child would you consider? You would likely have some preconceived idea of what kind of child you were looking for. You might look for one that needed you most, or perhaps you would select one that you believed would be capable of loving you.
  3. After you selected a child what will you do while you visit with them? You would probably try to get to know the child and convince he or she that they should go with you. You would tell them that they will be safe and loved and that with you they will have a better life.
  4. Will the child want to go with you ? If so why? What will you tell them to convince them to go? In all likelihood the will if they have come to believe you and are convinced they will have a better life if they go. You would tell them about what their new life would be like, what they can have and what they will be able to do.
  5. Once they have agreed, would you get to take them home right away? Usually not, you would have to go back to the US and prepare for them. You would have to file adoption papers, work out arrangements for immigration, perhaps add onto your home, and register maybe even them in special schools.
  6. While you were gone, what will they be doing? They would probably be excited and would certainly be telling others about you and their new home. They would also be preparing, learning English and about the US. They might also be writing you letters and calling you on the phone. However while you are gone there could be some jealousy among the other children. Some might even try an discourage your adopted child by telling them that you will never return or that you are really going to hurt them rather than love them.
  7. When you return to take them with you what will happen to the one who follows through and goes with you? He or she would gain a better life. They would receive the things you promised them. Their life of poverty would end in a day. Ultimately they might also inherit your estate.
  8. But what happens if your adopted child becomes convinced that you did not mean what you said? What if he or she decides not to go with you? He or she would continue in their poverty. They would stay behind as you left and their world would not change.
  9. How would you feel if they abandoned you after putting in so much effort and emotion? Would you try again? Would you go look for another?

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So what does adoption have to do with understanding God? Well as we move through the Bible we find God acting as the "Father" of Israel. (ex. Isa 63:16 & 64:8) In the New testament we see Christ referring to God as his Heavenly Father. (ex. Matt 5:48, 6:14, 6:26). And in the book of John we find something even more wonderful. We find that that the privileged state of being a "son of God" is now available to others besides Jesus Christ. John and Paul both tell us that this state of "son ship" is not a natural state but one of "adoption".

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. John 1:11-13 (NIV)
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies . Rom 8:23 (NIV)
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-- Eph 1:4 -5 (NIV)

In Knowing God , Packer suggests we can sum up the whole of the new testament in one single concept - That we can be adopted children of God and the creator can be our father. It is this concept that I would like to explore further.

Students Teach Students:

Before we can understand our position as adopted children of God we must first understand the relationship of the natural son, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, to his Father.

-> Look up the following verses and recognize the relationships described between God the Father and God the Son.

  1. The Father has authority over the Son. (John 5:19, 6:38, 17:4)
  2. The Father loves the Son (John 5:20, 15:9)
  3. The Father is with (attends) the Son (John 8:29,16:32)
  4. The Father honors the Son (John 17:1, 5:22)
  5. The Father does things with the Son (John 1:1-3)

Key message: Now scripture also tells us that these relationships also extend to "adopted" children. (ref. I John 1:3, 5:1, John 12:32, John 16:26 and John 17:24) . While salvation is most often focused on by the church today as the most significant gift of God, adoption by God is actually the highest privilege offered by the gospel. It is true that without salvation there could be no adoption. But when we speak of gifts we must realize that adoption is the goal of salvation. It was to enable this state to be possible for some that Christ came and died.

Paul says it so well in Galations ...

What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

Gal 4:1-7 (NIV)

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. Rom 8:17 (NIV)

Think of it. I can be adopted by the creator! What a future waits for me! Say it out loud.

Now Packer also comments that when we sees feelings of hopelessness in Christians, we can only wonder if they have learned the joy giving habit of dwelling on this thought. Dwelling on the ramifications of being adopted by God.

Adoption Test:

Now as in all books of study there are tests. Lets take a short one now to see if we value being an adopted son of God. Take a few minutes to answer the following questions. They are though provoking and finding a quiet place to think on them is best.

  1. Do I know where I came from (my real identity)?
  2. Do I understand my adoption? (when, how and why it happened)
  3. Do I value it? (my adoption)
  4. Do I remind myself of it?
  5. Do I treat God as my new Father?
  6. Have I learned to love the things my new Father loves?
  7. Have I learned to hate the things my new Father hates?
  8. Do I still love the things that displease my new Father?
  9. Do my choices and actions still disappoint my new Father?
  10. Do I look forward to my new family's reunion and my new home?
  11. Do I look forward to my inheritance?
  12. Do I love my new brothers and sisters?
  13. Am I proud of my new family in public?
  14. Would anyone recognize me as one of Gods family?
  15. Do you realize that the life you are now living now is specially designed to prepare you for your inheritance from God?

Well how did you do? If you had to answer no to a few of these perhaps you should consider looking into these areas of your life. Yes, we have been adopted, but Christ has not yet returned for us. Why you might ask. The answer is simple. We are not yet fully prepared.

Lets look now at how we can help prepare ourselves to be that new sons of God.

Funny, but this is not unlike how we prepare for marriage. Often in scripture we find another analogy. The analogy of the Church being the "Bride of Christ". Once we meet someone we like we usually begin to date and .get to know the other. Throughout the courting process we learn to love and to please the spouse to be. The most successful marriages are based on learning this lesson so well, that we continue to please the spouse even after we are married. So it is in our relationship to God.


Next time you feel hurt or lost try reminding yourself of your real life. Say - I am a child of God. God is my father and He at this moment is building my home. Every day that goes by brings me one day nearer to it.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me.In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:1-3(NIV)

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, Phil 3:20 (NIV)

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