Summary: Adoption is often seen, by those who have been adopted - as a mark of rejection or abandonment. But God sees it as an opportunity and an adventure.
OPEN: One woman shared a story of her childhood as a victim of polio. She said, “When my mother left me in Sunday School I always asked to wear her locket. She thought I liked the locket, but that wasn’t it at all. I knew I wasn’t worth coming back for, but
I knew she would come back for her locket.”
APPLY: What was that little girl’s afraid of? She was afraid that she wasn’t wanted. BUT, she felt that if she had something with her that was valuable… that her mother would always come back for her.
What Paul is telling us in Ephesians 1 is this:
God believes we are valuable.
God believes we are worth coming back for.
And so God has used some very specific and very emotional language to describe how valuable we really are to Him.
Look again at vs. 4 & 5
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy & blameless in his sight.
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
We’ve been chosen
We’ve been pre-destined
And we’ve been chosen and pre-destined to be adopted
I. We’ve been adopted…
I was adopted when I was 11 years old. I lived with my biological parents from the day of my birth until I left for College… but I was adopted when I was buried with Christ at the age of 11.
But, did you know that there are men and women - who were adopted when they were younger - who can’t seem to get beyond the feeling that they weren’t wanted. That they’d been rejected and abandoned. God doesn’t look on adoption that way, however. In fact, throughout Scripture some of the greatest men and women of all time were not raised by their birth parents…
Moses - wasn’t raised by his parents… he was adopted by the daughter of Pharaoh and raised in the courts of Egypt.
Samuel – he was a miracle baby. His mother was barren and she promised God that (if He gave her a son) she would give him to the Lord all of his days. And so Samuel was raised by the priest Eli.
Esther – when her parents died, she was raised by her uncle Mordecai. And because of the faithfulness of her uncle she became one of the great queens of her day.
Jesus – raised by his step-father Joseph.
Every individual who was raised by people other than their biological parents were successful. In fact, we NEVER hear of a man or woman in Scripture who was “adopted” who grew up to be a loser.
That’s because God never looks on adoption as a curse… it’s an opportunity. It’s a declaration that we are wanted – we’ve been chosen. That there can be a direction and a PURPOSE for our lives.
This is particularly true when it comes to our adoption as the children of God.
John declared: “HOW GREAT is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! ...” 1 John 3:1
How did we become adopted as children?
“… to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” John 1:12
In Galatians 4:7 We’re told:
“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.”
II. Now… being adopted by God has one major difference from secular adoptions
If you or I were to adopt a child WE WOULD be MAKING the choice.
Most of the time, it’s not until later that the child gets to decide to choose you.
But in order for us become Children of God – we MUST accept God’s choice. We MUST choose Him. That’s what John meant when he wrote:
“… to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12-13
You cannot become a child of God because you were born into it.
Jews were Jews because they were born of Jewish parents. That’s natural descent. But to become a Christian… we had to make a choice. We had to believe… we had to receive’
AND you couldn’t become a Christian because you just decided you were good enough.
That’s the “human decision” part of the equation. You’ll never be good enough to become a child of God. But… if you’re willing to BELIEVE/ REPENT/ ACCEPT Jesus as your Lord and be BURIED in the waters of baptism… then God simply gives you what you didn’t deserve… a place in His family.