The Bible has a lot to say about adoption. God’s heart and passion for orphans screams from page after page and book after book. It’s hard to ignore.
A little over 13 years ago, my wife and I felt certain that God wanted us to adopt one day. We didn’t know what it would look like, but we were committed to waiting and trusting. We would learn so much over the years ahead—and not only about the statistics of all the harshness and brokenness that makes adoption and foster care so needful in our world today. We would learn about all the truth and the glory that is in the gospel which saved and is saving us. God has adopted us as His own in Christ, and that makes our endeavor to adopt that much more glorious.
Thirteen years later, after several ministry changes, moves, ups and downs, raising children and growing as a family—last October it became a reality. A three-and-a-half-year-old girl was placed with our family to become our daughter. As I write this blog, the process is still not over. We await the day when the paperwork and the red tape is behind us and all is finalized. I’ll get back to that in just a minute.
Some time ago my wife and I read a book that laid out the hardships and the joys that come with adoption, not only during the process, but afterwards too. In the book, the author shared about the finalization day and standing before the judge. The judge said to this family that the boy they were about to adopt was no longer a foster child, nor even an adopted one. He was their son, with no additional qualifier. As such, he was entitled to all the same rights and benefits and affection as any biological child.
Reading this opened my mind to a spiritual truth I had never fully realized. It helped me to read the Scriptures in a new light, and see Jesus and His work on the cross a little more clearly. One of those is Ephesians 1:5–6: “He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One.”
Within this verse is a truth that, if fully believed and cherished, would solve much of the identity crisis in the Church today. It is a profound theological truth about what God has actually done for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus. He has made us His children.
The Father only has One begotten Son, and that’s Jesus. The rest of us were born into this world on the outside of God’s family. We were orphans without a Father. We were dead in our trespasses and sins. But adoption changes all of that because it tells us that God desired more than to just save us from our sins. He desired to be an adoptive Father to an untold multitude of sons and daughters—people who, at one time, were not His children at all. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, all who believe in Him are God’s children. He doesn’t see us as foster kids or adopted children. We are just children, with the full rights, privileges and benefits that identity entails.
That is my identity. That is your identity, too, if you trust in Jesus. We are children with a loving and caring Father who never changes or turns away from His children; Who is with you and for you through all of the challenges and blessings of this life. For those of us who struggle every day with their identity and acceptance, we need to remember this: Because of the cross of Jesus, because of God’s love for you, you are His kid in every way, and that will never change.
Today’s post is by Joel Littlefield, a pastor, author, and podcaster preparing to launch a church plant in Maine. Today’s post is part of our series, Beholding Jesus. Read other posts in the series here.