November 19, 2016 was a day to recognize the importance of adoption and the families that decided to accept a child into their family. According to Washington Top News, during the National Adoption Day event at Washington D.C., 21 children were adopted into new families. The children’s faces expressed jubilation as they are reborn into a new family. Jalonnie, one of the 21 children, said in an interview, “I get a new life, I get new parents.” Jalonnie and his brother Jonathan are now looking forward to a new step into their life, and are more than willing to call their adopted parents ‘mom’ and ‘dad’.
It is always a joy to see parents take on a challenge of raising a child, and an even greater challenge of taking a child from different circumstances than their own, out of selfless sacrifice and a compassionate love, and making them a part of their household. The most beautiful thing concerning adoption is that it reflects the gospel. The gospel teaches us of the loving grace that God had for the sinners of the world, and out of compassion did the most incredible thing ever recorded. No other religious text presents an idea quite like what is found in the Bible concerning God’s adoption of children gone astray.
In Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV) Paul describes the state we were in before His salvation, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” According to this text, we were children of wrath and disobedience! We followed after wickedness, immorality, and sin and our source of inspiration was the prince of the power of the air (Satan).
The worst part: we didn’t want to repent or to become children of God. According to Romans 8:7 (ESV), our minds are naturally hostile to God and we cannot submit to His law. It would be impossible to repent of our wrongdoing before God out of our own strength and will. Mankind has been eternally separated from God in our disobedience to His commands and because of this we possess a desire to rebel against Him in our lawlessness. This is why adoption was so important, for without it no one could be saved into God’s kingdom. God had to adopt a portion of mankind to salvation, otherwise we all would be worthy of damnation in the presence of our Creator, and He would not have been glorified. Throughout the Bible we see evidence that God chose people unto adoption. The Bible clearly displays by using the words adoption, election, and predestination.
Paul wrote of this (too clearly) in Ephesians 1:4-5 (ESV), “Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.” We are adopted into the body of Christ; we are chosen and taken out of the world to be in union with Christ. Salvation occurs not by works or by words, but the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit that only God can send to an individual. Romans 9:11 (ESV) clearly indicates that election is not because of good works of the individual, but because of His glory to show the world of His great mercy through election.
In his great mercy, God has allowed believers to become His children, through means of election, so that we might become righteous in His eyes. Jesus came to ‘seal the deal’ of adoption. The power of His atonement has now made sufficient for the elect of God to save them from their sins, thereby making God’s plan without fail. The reason why anyone is a Christian, the reason why the world was created, and the reason why the world sees any ounce of morality is because of God’s divine election and sovereign grace that He has bestowed on the world. God, in His glory, made it His top priority to save us from our fallen nature that His mercy would be known to the whole world, and so that the children of God would not boast in what a wonderful decision they had made, but that they would boast in the power, grace, and love of the Triune God.
Now it has become our mission to make God’s glory know by proclaiming the good news that the world needs: God adopts children into His family. Paul wrote that he experienced troubles and suffering “for the sake of the elect” in 2 Timothy 2:10 (ESV). We must do the same. It is our mission to bring those who are elected by God to the realization of His grace in election. God wills for all who are predestined to become saved, and the beauty of that is that only the Father knows who the predestined are. Not even the Son knows the names of the sons and daughters that God the Father has predestined (at least not until He opens the book of life as instructed by the Father). It is not for us to know who God planned to adopt, but we are to carry out His will in adoption through the preaching of the gospel. Charles Spurgeon once said, “I preach not out of my own benefit or reward, but rather I preach so that the power of the Holy Spirit would lead a man to new life.”
Let the message of God’s adoption in Christ be our joy, our peace, and our message to others. That is the gospel: that the Holy Spirit regenerates the hearts of the lost children of God and brings them to faith. As Christ said in John 6:44 (ESV), “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” We are waiting for the great day of hope when we shall rise to be with our creator; may no one spare this message from any relative, friend, or stranger. May God draw near those whom He has elected, and may the adopted children of God praise Him for His saving grace, so undeserved and beautiful.
Soli Deo Gloria.