One of the most glorious truths in the universe is that God is a loving, compassionate, gracious, and merciful Father who went down to slums of the world and adopted the most spiritually orphaned babies he could find. We find a glimpse of this in the old covenant, for it says in Romans 9:11 that God chose Jacob over Esau “though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad.” The same is true for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord.
But the truth of adoption is greater than God’s choosing Jacob. Why? Because it is grounded in Christ! Galatians 4:4-5 says, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Without Christ’s redemption on the cross, none of us would have been adopted. As adopted children into God’s family, we are given the Spirit, so that we might not be slaves to sin but heirs in Christ (Gal. 4:6-7).
But right now, we are still in our dirty, torn, thin clothing that the orphanage provided. At times, God’s adoption of us seems incomplete. That’s because it is. Romans 8:23 says, “We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” In Roman society, a man would adopt a child and could keep it private for a long time. The “second adoption” happened when the child was brought before the authorities and his old clothes were taken off and he was given royal garments to show his new condition of life.
In the same way for us, we will one day be rid of the dirty garments of the flesh and will be clothed with glory as the full adoption is revealed in heaven with Christ. Charles Spurgeon wrote, “We are waiting till we shall put on our proper garments, and shall be manifested as the children of God. We are young nobles, and have not yet worn our coronets. We are young brides, and the marriage day is not yet come, and by the love our Spouse bears us, we are led to long and sigh for hte bridal morning.” O, that we would faint for the day when we will be joined to our great King! On that day we will be finally and fully adopted as heirs to his kingdom.
This should result in worship, praise, adoration, joy, and satisfaction. Aside from those, what is our application? Should our adoption as sons and daughters simply be a spiritual reservoir that we keep to ourselves without spreading it to others? Should the truth of adoption simply be head knowledge that never changes our hearts, minds, and actions as believers? No! What better way to spread the gospel of Jesus and the great truth of adoption than to adopt an orphan? I used to be opposed to this idea, thinking that I wanted my own kids, but if the Lord went so far as to come to earth to suffer and die for me, then I know that it’s a challenge worth considering.
I’m not married yet, and won’t be for a while, but I can pray about it. I hope all the married couples who read this will pray about it too. You can find out more about adoption from the LYDIA Fund, Bethany Christian Services, and Shaohannah’s Hope.