Adoption graphically and intimately describes the family character of Pauline Christianity, and is a basic description for Paul of what it means to be a Christian.
Time and experience have taught me a priceless lesson: Any child you take for your own becomes your own if you give of yourself to that child. I have born two children and had seven others by adoption, and they are all my children, equally beloved and precious.
Before orphans can enjoy the love and care of a new family, they must be legally adopted. Adoption, like justification, is simultaneously legal and relational”
The image of “adoption” tells us that our relationship with God is based completely on a legal act by the Father. You don’t “win” a father, and you don’t “negotiate” for a parent. Adoption is a legal act on the part of the father — it is very expensive and costly only for him. There is nothing the son does to win or earn the status. It is simply received.
If anybody understands God’s ardor for his children, it’s someone who has rescued an orphan from despair, for that is what God has done for us. God has adopted you. God sought you, found you, signed the papers and took you home.
Do you want to do something beautiful for God? There is a person who needs you. This is your chance.
The spirit of prayer is the fruit and token of the Spirit of adoption.
In Scripture, adoption meddles with genealogies, subverts oppressive empires, secures imperial inheritances, and opens new possibilities for who can be family.
What is a Christian? The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father.
The Gospel is not a picture of adoption, adoption is a picture of the Gospel.
It is important to realize we adopt not because we are rescuers. No. We adopt because we are rescued.
Nobody is born into this world a child of the family of God. We are born as children of wrath. The only way we enter into the family of God is by adoption, and that adoption occurs when we are united to God’s only begotten Son by faith. When by faith we are united with Christ, we are then adopted into that family of whom Christ is the firstborn.
Adoption is a greater mercy than Adam had in paradise.
Properly understood, adoption is one of the most precious, heartwarming, and practical of all our theological beliefs… [It] focuses our attention on a relational image and points us to the joy and assurance that comes from receiving a father who loves us and a family with whom we can enjoy our new freedom in Christ.
The Family of God, Tabletalk, March 2007, p. 8. Ligonier Ministries.
The term ‘adoption’ (used here in older English versions [of Romans 12:15] may have a somewhat artificial sound in our ears; but in the Roman world of the first century AD an adopted son was a son deliberately chosen by his adoptive father to perpetuate his name and inherit his estate; he was no whit inferior in status to a son born in the ordinary course of nature, and might well enjoy the father’s affection more fully and reproduce the father’s character more worthily.
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