Ephesians 1:5-6, “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”
Adoption is the gospel. Seems like a pretty bold claim to make, but it’s entirely true. Now, of course, the gospel fleshed out is the life, death, burial, resurrection, and glorification of Jesus Christ who all of mankind finds redemption of their sins and reconciliation with God. The gospel though, in summary, is adoption. It’s God the Father welcoming us into his family by the blood of his son Jesus. It’s God the Father grafting us onto the family tree of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob due to the great exchange of Jesus’ righteousness for our sins. It’s God the Father choosing us before the foundations of the world were laid when we weren’t even remotely cognizant of our need for Christ redemption, much less a “twinkle in our mothers’ eye.”
It’s God the Father working with the Holy Spirit and Jesus the Son in quite literally raising us up from an eternal state of spiritual deadness and making us alive once more as if we had always been in a perfectly alive relationship with the Godhead. Being adopted by God means that we’re afforded all the rights, privileges, and blessings that come with being in his family. We’re afforded forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, justice, righteousness, an inheritance, eternal life, redemption, restoration, and reconciliation. As an adopted son or daughter of God no longer are you viewed as a sinful enemy of God, but rather you are viewed as a blood bought, blood saved, a beloved child who is being conformed to the image of his only begotten son, Jesus Christ. No longer are you a stranger, exile, or alien. You are now and forevermore an heir to the Kingdom of God.
So, now that that’s settled, I want to go back to what all adoption entails in a person’s life when God adopts them. In the United States alone there are more than 400,000 children in foster care. What this means is that there are more than 400,000 children waiting to be chosen — waiting to find there forever family. They’re waiting to hear their very own mother and father call out and rescue them from a life of loneliness, fear, uncertainty, and hopelessness.
The beauty of adoption is that children are rescued and redeemed to a new life. Children are chosen by loving parents every single day. Children are given a new name, an inheritance, and all the rights and privileges that come from being apart of a family.
In the Bible, there is a constant theme of adoption throughout all of Scripture that ultimately points to the greatest adoption movement this side of Heaven. Like adoption in the United States, God has chosen us and set his affection on us for no reason other than out of love. Just as new parents set their affection and love on a child in need, so too does God. In fact, this has been his plan all along. He demonstrated this first when he “adopted” Abraham into his own family and chose him out of all the men on the face of the Earth to establish a people whom he would covenant with. He chose Israel over all peoples because he loved them. He chose the tribe of Judah from where great and mighty kings would descend. His only begotten son, Jesus, was in fact adopted by his earthly father. Joseph, who could have divorced Mary quietly and walked away forever, loved Jesus like he was his own and adopted him into his family and called him his son.
God has moved throughout all of human history by way of adoption. He still works in this way today. In love he has chosen us, predestined us, and hand-picked us to be his sons and daughters. It’s out of his overflowing love for us that he opened up his big arms and spread them as far apart as the East is from the West to welcome us into his family. It’s his will that we’re chosen and it’s his plan that we’re saved by the interposing of his sons’ precious blood. Because God has adopted us, we’re given a new name. We’re no longer called a sinner, but rather a saint. We’re no longer called enemy, but rather a friend. We’re no longer called rebel, but rather redeemed. We’re orphans no more.
Our response to this incredible act of God is but to praise him. Praise him for saving us. Praise him for choosing us. Praise him for adopting us. Praise him for loving us. Praise him for redeeming us. Praise him for every good and perfect gift that descends from Heaven above. We are to praise him for he has fearfully and wonderfully made us and in doing so, he knows us better than anyone ever could, can, or will. We were once lost, but now we’re found. We were once orphans without a home, but now we’re heirs of a beautiful country waiting for the Lord Jesus to take us there.