February 8, 2018

By April Fry

Note: This is the second of a 2 part series that looks at a personal adoption story and how that story reflects a much bigger story: the story of God the Father adopting a multitude of children into his family through the Son and by the Spirit. Click here for part 1 of the series.

It’s been seven years since we brought our precious little girl home from China. Throughout these years there have been many ups and a few downs, loads of growing together as a family and some amazing personal growth. One of the most challenging and beautiful things God has been revealing to me over the years has been His heart toward adoption and how, in Christ, I have my own messy and amazing adoption story.

If you are in Christ, you have an adoption story too. You didn’t come into the saving grace of Jesus Christ because you were born into the right family. Nor did you earn your salvation by perfectly keeping the law. You didn’t persuade God to accept and you certainly did not trick Him. He chose you, pursued you, and brought you into His family. You were adopted.

Chosen

Your life began in ashes! Before the Father intervened in your life you were lost, alone and in great need. Romans 5:12 says that “sin entered the world through one man”. When Adam chose to disobey God, siding with the Serpent and his wife in the Garden, he chose rebellion over communion with God. Adam messed things up in the Garden and you inherited the consequences of his choice. You were born dead, an enemy of God. In fact you were so lost, and in such need that you couldn’t even imagine a life of security and abundance, let alone attain it. Yet before you were born, even before He created anything at all, your Father chose you.

“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 - to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.” Ephesians 1:4-6.

God, the Creator of all things, the beginning and end, Eternal One, chose you before time, to become His child. He knew you would be born hating Him, knowing nothing but rebellion and selfish ambition, but He loved you anyway. It gives Him great pleasure, joy even, to pour out His grace for you. You are an image of God’s glorious grace.

Pursued          

Not only did God choose you to be His child, He also worked to meet all the requirements of the Law to secure you. Adam’s sin violated God’s Law and broke the relationship. The Law requires perfection, anything less is sin and “the wages of sin is death.” The cost of Adam’s inheritance is a standard you cannot meet and a debt that you cannot pay. Despite your best efforts you cannot earn God’s favor.

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” Ephesians 1:7.

You were lost, far from God and completely unable to meet the requirements of the Law. But God, for His glory alone chose to send Jesus to be a sin offering, a substitutionary payment.  Jesus Christ was holy and blameless and in His perfection He paid the debt that you could not and gave you a place at the Father’s table that you didn’t deserve. It is in Christ that all the requirements of your adoption were met. In Christ you are secured.

God Makes Family

The Father chose you Jesus secured you and through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit you are a child of God with all the rights and privileges of sonship. God does not merely take pity on you, or purchase you as a slave, though that too would be more than you deserve, He loves you and adopted you into His family.  

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).”

Being part of God’s family is different than being a servant or guest in His house. While a servant earns their keep and a guest has limited access, as a child you are secure and have complete and bold access to the Father. There is no longer fear and condemnation, but forgiveness and freedom. You are no longer alone and in need but seated at the family table, surrounded by the beloved, overflowing with abundance. The privileges of adoption are incomparable.

And so are the responsibilities. You are no longer a slave to sin. You are called to a life of holiness and are empowered to do so. God gives you the grace that you need to learn and obey the new family rules. This doesn't happen perfectly in this life, but it happens in truth and in power and we continue to demonstrate the glory of our new family by how we live our new lives. 

“For those who he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” Romans 8:29.

Jesus is now your older brother who shows you what it looks like to be God's child, but a role model isn’t enough. The Father and the Son sent you the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a guarantee of your inheritance and the power to conform into the likeness of Christ Jesus. For sure there are times when you will act in rebellion, as an enemy of God, it takes time and effort to fully absorb a completely new identity. Your Father is good and patient, He will discipline you, and He will restore you, but He will never let go of you. You are His precious child.

Your adoption story is complex. It might feel messy, even ugly at times, but you were chosen by your good and loving Creator to be His precious child. He pursued you while you were yet His enemy. He fulfilled all the requirements that you could never have met so that He could secure you, not as a servant but as His child. Your Father brought you into His home, gave you a seat at His table and bestowed on you all the privileges of sonship, and empowered you to bear the responsibilities.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God; and so we are” 1 John 3:1.