Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Great Price of Adoption

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:14-17)

A big thing in our day is the statement: God is love. This is so true yet thrown out by people who are clueless to the depth of this great truth. God’s love is so great no pen could ever write the greatness of his love. To describe his love the Bible uses a term called adoption. Everyone loves an adoption story. Everyone loves to see a child brought into a new family and loved. This is a great picture of what Christ has done for us.

Normally in the case of an adoption a child is brought into a family to be nurtured and taken of. We love the redemption of a child who was abandoned or put into a foster home or maybe the parents have a drug problem or they just don’t want the child. These scenarios are true for most of the cases of children who have been adopted. Then at a great price a family comes in to rescue them and takes them into their own family. I’m sure most people get the impression that everything is perfect after that but the truth is adoption is not easy. The adopted child has to adjust to a new family. They need to adjust to the authority of parents and the rules of a new house. Maybe there are disabilities to overcome or language barriers that will take time. Maybe there are violent issues in the child who has never been loved before in a lifetime. Going from being reckless and abandoned to a house full of love doesn’t equal happily ever after right away. Work takes place on both sides of the relationship. Parents are working on grace and patience and the new child is working on obedience and being loved. Adoption comes with a great price.

Do you see the beautiful picture of the gospel painted in adoption?

Adoption starts with sin. Kids are not being adopted from good backgrounds but they are being taken out of a broken and messed up situation. An adoption story does not start with a happy beginning. Likewise the gospel starts with realizing we are sinners. We have broken the perfect law of God. We have rebelled against his perfect love. Sin is the start of the gospel. But like earthly adoption we have a heavenly Father who loves us so much he was willing to the pay the price to adopt us into his family. God the Father paid the price of his Son. Our broken and messed up background of sin had to be dealt with because God the Father is perfect therefore the price of adopting sinners was so great the only possible way to redeem us was through the sacrifice of his sinless Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus paid the great price by bearing our sin on the cross. The Bible says as his children we were “bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20). This is amazing love!

Just like in adoption the parents have paid the price to bring a new child into their home so God the Father has paid the full price to bring us into his kingdom. This does not mean things are perfectly restored yet. Yes we are given the complete and perfect righteousness of Christ but while we are on earth we will wage war against sin and the devil. Life is not perfect yet but our hope rests in the day when Christ will return to take us home with him forever. Until then we are being made more and more into the image of Christ through the work of his Spirit which he has left us to empower us to fight the battle in this present world. What a gracious and loving Father. “For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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