Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Adoption: pure and faultless religion

Since my wife and I adopted two beautiful girls several years ago into our family, I know something about being an adoptive parent. As a Christian, I know something about being an adopted child. Put the two together, and I know something about love.

What does that have to do with pure and faultless religion?

Think about the greatest command there is, to love. From the perspective of an adoptive parent, it is exciting to equate the love I have for my children (both my biological and adopted kids, of course) to the love God has for his children. I know the love I have for my wife and kids is beyond measure--I would gladly lay down my life to protect them. What an amazing thing to realize that this is exactly what Jesus Christ did for us.

We are sons of God through our faith in Jesus Christ, and are adopted into Him when we become children of the promise; when we are clothed with him.

    Galatians 3:26-29 - You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (NIV)
Because of our adoption (or rebirth) into the family of God, He has made us heirs, receiving the full rights of sons:
    Galatians 4:4-7 - But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are 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 a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. (NIV)
It is interesting that the New Testament scriptures speak of being born again as identical to being adopted--something I, as an adoptive parent, understand well. There is no difference in the love I have for my biological and adopted children, or the rights I bestow on them. The privileges of one are the privileges of the other.

(What's interesting is that none of my children got to choose which family they were added to. They have to accept that their siblings are their siblings, whether they like it or not. When they disagree with each other about something, what do I say? "You're all brothers and sisters, and there's nothing you can do about it. So get along and love each other.")

So take a look at James' description of "pure and faultless religion:"

    James 1:27 - Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (NIV)
There are many thousands of children that are in need of adoption into stable Christian families. Can you imagine if that entire generation could be loved and cared for in obedience to the command to love and care for the fatherless? I'm not talking about putting them into some group home. I'm talking about individual believers taking the initiative to adopt these kids out of the public agencies, where the most needy children are, into loving Christ-centered families. What an awesome way to share God's love that he showed to us with the next generation.

If you are interested in doing for a needy kid through adoption what God did for you and for me, please consider it prayerfully and don't hesitate to ask me questions about it. I've done it and I've been blessed by it. You can post questions and thoughts on the "Comments" link below, or contact me directly at kevinAT8harpers.com.

Subscribe to site updates here.