Orphans No More – Part 1 Spirit of Adoption

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.  Ephesians 1:4-5

According to the above Scripture we have been adopted by our Heavenly Father, but are you living like a son or daughter or are you living like an orphan?

The whole idea of adoption was created by God and modeled for us in the Gospel.  I’ve been a Christian for almost 30 years and today I understand my salvation better than ever as a result of having physically adopted 5 children.  Before God adopted us – we were orphans.  We did not belong to the family of God.  When we come to Christ and receive salvation in God’s merciful love, He didn’t stop there.  It would have been enough just to have been saved from sin, but He gave us so much more.  He gave us a new name, a new family, and a new life.  We became sons and daughters with a hope, a future, and an inheritance.

God didn’t adopt us because He needed kids.  He wanted kids but He didn’t need them.  He adopted us because we needed a Father.  John 1:12 says Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.  We became His children.  And 1 John 3:1 says See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!  

When my husband Wayne and I traveled to Ukraine 7 years ago to adopt, we didn’t go because we needed kids; we already had 4.  But God put an ache in our hearts for orphans who had no family.  We adopted 3 siblings who became our children.  They had living birth parents whose parental rights had been removed due to neglect, alcoholism, and abandonment.  When we adopted our kids they got a new family – a mom and dad, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins.  They got everything our biological kids were entitled to.  To us there is no difference because there is no difference.

Spiritual adoption does the same thing.  In Christ we get a new family, a Heavenly Father, a church family – brothers and sisters in Christ.  We become joint-heirs with Christ the Son of God.  Romans 8:17 says Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ the Son of God.  

When we accept Christ as our Savior we begin using a new name – Christian.  “Christian” is the family name.  It’s our identity.  The same thing happens with physical adoption.  When we adopted our Ukrainian-born kids they became Flachs.  They literally got new birth certificates with their new names and our names as parents.  And after they arrived in the United States, they got new citizenship papers declaring them U.S. citizens.  As Christians our name gets listed in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  We get new citizenship papers too – to the Kingdom of God.

Adoption gives a child a new life.  They go from mere existence in an orphanage to living in a family.  They get freedom and new life.  As Christians we get a new life too.  We become new creations in Christ.

Adoption is the Gospel and it’s also warfare.  When Christians adopt a child they are taking that child out of the darkness and bringing him into the Light of a Christian home, a place where they can learn about their Heavenly Father and Jesus their Savior.  Our adopted kids have all accepted Christ.  That is a huge threat to the kingdom of darkness just as when a sinner becomes a son.  1 Peter 2:9 says But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s chosen possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.  

Adoption is not natural.  Adoption is divine.  We have been adopted.  Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter which is the first recorded adoption.  Esther was adopted by her cousin Mordecai.  And Jesus was adopted by Joseph the carpenter.  Adoption is the heartbeat of the Father.  He adopted us into His family.  He gave us a new name, a new identity.  He gave us a new future and an inheritance.  Physical adoption of children models the Gospel.  We are no longer orphans.  

The Lord rescues and redeems.  Physical adoption is a model of what God does for us in the spiritual.  Left in our sinful state we would be headed to death and hell.  I know what future my adopted kids would have faced if they’d remained in a Ukrainian orphanage.  Death and hell about sums it up.

Another way physical adoption reflects spiritual adoption is in the ransom paid.  Adoption is ridiculously expensive.  That’s because the enemy opposes it.  When we were in Ukraine 4 years ago for our 2nd adoption, I felt like we were being held for ransom.  We were there for 4 weeks (I know that’s short for Ukrainian adoption) and just wanted to bring our son home.  But everyday there was some document that needed to be processed and some fee that needed to be paid.  I was really struggling with the process and spent some time in prayer.  The Lord reminded me that He paid the ultimate price for me – the life of His Son.  And let’s not forget that Jesus was ransomed for 30 pieces of silver.  It’s not pretty – it’s warfare!

Adoption also requires sacrifice.  God sacrificed His only Son to adopt us.  Physical adoption also requires sacrifice.  Adoptive families sacrifice time, money, and most of all – self.  It’s true die-to-self living.

In closing, I’ll leave you with 1 John 3:16-18 – This is how we know what love is:  Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with action and in truth.  Sounds like adoption to me.

Orphans No More – Part 1:  Spirit of Adoption, by Sandra Flach.