ADOPTION INTRODUCES GOD THE FATHER
Adoption enables us to understand God as “Father.” According to Galatians 4:6, “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!'” According to Romans 8:15-16, we have “received the Spirit of adoption as sons, through whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” Surprisingly, these two texts use the Aramaic term “Abba.” Naturally, the question of why Paul did not use Greek arises. Perhaps We can find the answer in Jesus’ prayer in the garden. According to Mark 14:36, Jesus said, “All things are possible for you, Abba, Father. Take this cup away from me.”
Paul kept the Aramaic words that Jesus spoke to His Father. Consider how shocking this revelation would be in a Jewish culture where people were forbidden from speaking the name of their omnipotent God. The Holy Spirit indwells believers, testifying that the transcendent, holy Creator of the universe is also the immanent, compassionate “Abba! Father.” This was always the plan. The fall of Adam did not surprise God. God sent His Son (Galatians 4:4) to redeem us through adoption through Jesus Christ in the fullness of time. Adoption occurs “according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace” (Ephesians 1:5-6).
ORPHANS INTO HEIRS
Adoption gives us the Holy Spirit, who confirms our salvation. “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God,” says Romans 8:14. Those who the Spirit leads are adopted as sons and those adopted as sons are guided by the Spirit. As part of their salvation, believers receive the Holy Spirit, who confirms newly adopted sons as God’s children. “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” says Romans 8:16. The Holy Spirit confirms our adoption into God’s family, making us brothers and sisters in Christ. While we casually call forgotten acquaintances at church “brothers” or greet total strangers, adoption in Christ denotes our new family relationship. Adoption as brothers and sisters removes all possibility of economic, racial, or other prejudice. Orphans become heirs through adoption.
The Greek word orphanos appears in the New Testament only in James 1:27 and John 14:28. The importance of orphan ministry is emphasized in James 1:27. In John 14:18, Jesus promises not to abandon the disciples but to send the Holy Spirit instead. The Holy Spirit resurrects responsive orphans into sons, and as sons, we become heirs. The designation of heirs necessitates the imagery of adoption as sons, as opposed to sons and daughters.
Sons receive both the birthright and the blessing in the Jewish context. “And if a son, then an heir through God,” says Galatians 4:7. A radical rags-to-riches story emerges from our justification by grace: orphans are transformed into heirs. In heaven, we will receive our new birthright through adoption as we exchange dying, sin-infected vessels for resurrected, glorious bodies. Perhaps the most potent human example of adoption is Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father.
Adoption is important to God.
Joseph and Mary are referred to as Jesus’ parents in Luke 2:41 and other passages. Instead of putting Mary away, Joseph responded to God’s revelation by becoming Jesus’ father. Adoption should be essential to us because it is important to God. We fulfill the Bible’s command to care for orphans and demonstrate God’s plan of salvation through adoption. Adoption shows God’s concern for the fatherless. Adoption exemplifies pure and undefiled religion. We learn more about the divine love expressed in our spiritual adoption through adoption’s planning, cost, and pain. These and other reasons should compel everyone to consider adopting or supporting adoption.
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