Adoption And The Gospel
By Fin Sheridan
Adoption is a family idea, conceived in terms of love, and viewing God as father. In adoption, God takes us into his family and fellowship—he establishes us as his children and heirs. Closeness, affection and generosity are at the heart of the relationship.
To be right with God the Judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is a greater.” J.I. Packer, Knowing God.
I have a number of friends who have adopted children. Some have adopted after having biological children, others have a family made up completely from adopted children. It’s a beautiful thing to watch, as children with broken and hopeless backgrounds have been brought into safe, loving and life-giving homes.
“The slate is clean, the debt is paid!”
Natural adoption gives us one of the clearest pictures of the Gospel and how God feels about us. Just like that quote above, many of us can just about get our heads around the idea that we are “right with God” because of Jesus. The slate is clean, the debt is paid. The problem is that we often stop there: whilst we’re not in debt to God anymore, the ‘balance’ is at zero. Realising the power of adoption changes that; we are not just in the clear but God has brought us close, so close that we are in the family.
One of the most powerful things about watching my friends parent their adopted kids is the great lengths that they go to in order to affirm and encourage their children that they really are loved, that they belong, that they aren’t ‘on probation’ or a lesser member of the family. They are adopted and that is that.
It’s a crazy, wonderful, profound truth that we have a God who not only wants us to call him our God but that he invites us to call him “Father”.