Today we registered our new dog’s chip number, which means that he’s now officially adopted. Ben has a new home, a new life and new parents, although my son refuses to accept a dog as his little brother. He’ll be in for a shock at the reading of my will. Not really!
Adoption used to be a very common way of providing a home to a child who’d had a bad start to life, but it’s less common now due to birth control. Still, however, there are many children in the care system who would benefit from being fostered or adopted. However good the care system is it can never provide the security of a loving home.
They say that adopted children are the children you choose for yourself, and that makes them very special. I’m adopted, which makes me special, but I haven’t been adopted by people. I’ve been adopted by God, and so has every other Christian. We’ve all been adopted, given a new home, a new life and a new parent.
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a church in the city of Ephesus, which is in modern day Turkey. His heart was full of praise as he wrote,
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 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 for adoption to sonship 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. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” (1)
Among all the blessings we receive from God is this wonderful truth that we have been adopted, and it wasn’t an afterthought. As part of his awesome plan of creation God always intended to adopt those who come to him through faith in Jesus. The last sentence says that he lavishes the riches of his grace upon us. Grace is a Bible word which means unmerited favour. In other words God gives us what we don’t really deserve, and he never stops doing it. From the moment we come to faith we are adopted and blessed continually by God.
I’m sure you know what an heir is. It’s someone who receives an inheritance, so my children are my heirs and what I leave behind will be shared among them. Paul wrote another letter, this time to a group of churches in Galatia, also in Turkey. He wrote,
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” (2)
As God’s child I am now his heir, and since God will never die he allows me to enjoy already the inheritance he has given me. I share it with all other Christians, and with Jesus. In yet another letter to a church in Rome Paul wrote,
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs —heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.”
How amazing is this God I serve? All that is his, and rightfully belonging to Jesus, God shares with me. My God never ceases to amaze me.
- Ephesians 1:3-7
- Galatians 4:4-7
- Romans 8:17