Summary: We don’t talk much about our spiritual adoption, but it is a pretty big doctrine of the Bible.
A. Adoption: Last week we began a two week series on discussing the doctrine of Adoption. In light of my adoption of TJ, Stephen Cross and David Mark into the Magee family, I thought it might be wise to share some adoption principles that very much apply to our spiritual adoption into the Family of God!
B. Major Theme: When God wanted to describe the type of relationship he wanted to share with us, he used the illustration of adoption. We don’t talk much about our spiritual adoption, but it is a pretty big doctrine of the Bible.
((Adoption is explained in 2 Co 6:18; Is the result of God’s promise Romans 9:8; it is by faith (Gal 3:26-27; Is of God’s grace–Eze 16:3-6; Is through Christ— 1ohn 1:12; Gal 4:4; It confers a new name–Acts 15:17; It entitles to an inheritance–Galatians 3:29; It was predicted in Ho 2:2-3; It was God’s plan all along– Eph 1:5, 11; ))
C. Legal Action: Adoption is the legal action by which a person takes into his family a child not his own with the purpose of treating him as and giving him all the privileges of his own natural child. An adopted child is legally entitled to all rights and privileges of a natural-born child.
D. In Mommy’s Heart: Dr. Jean Garton writes of how a first-grade teacher was discussing a picture of a family with her class. One of the children in the picture had a different hair color than did the other family members. A little girl in the class said maybe that was because the boy had been adopted. “I know all about adoptions,” she said, “because I was adopted.” Another little boy asked her, “What does it mean that you’re adopted?” “It means,” said the little girl, “that you grew in your mommy’s heart instead of her tummy.” Spiritually speaking our adoption began in the heart of God. It is the result of Grace! We do not deserve a thing and it’s not a bad thing to be reminded of that fact! Adopted by the Grace of God!
E. I think it is interesting that some of the Bible’s greatest leaders were adopted..... Moses, Ester, Jesus– were all adopted.
F. Today, I want to talk again about our spiritual adoption into the Family of God. And I want to confess that it is not with out struggles. In fact, whenever there is an adoption, it’s pretty safe to assume that things aren’t the way they were designed to be. Adoption often happens because of death, abuse, or neglect. And those traumatic events often leave adopted children with emotional “issues” that must be overcome.
I. Issues often concerning Adopted Children:
A. Problems: Statistics show that adopted children face special challenges. Many deal with concern over abandonment, and they face crises over identity and intimacy. Adopted children have an above-average rate of seeking therapy. Four to 5 percent of adopted children are referred to outpatient mental health facilities. (I know that is true about adoptive parents).... Ten to 15 percent are referred to residential care facilities. Adopted children have higher rates of delinquent behavior, learning disorders, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder than their non-adopted peers. For some reason drug abuse is prevalent. (See The Psychology of Adoption, Oxford University Press.). Adopted children often have major “issues” to overcome.
B. In a class that Angel and I took in order to prepare for the coming of our new children, we spent considerable time preparing for the “issues of adopted children.” There are four disorders often experienced by adopted children that I thought had an interesting spiritual parallel.
1. One issue is Attachment Disorder– the inability to bond or make strong relationships. Due to the neglect and abuse in the past, which resulted in insecurity and a lack of trust, new relationships are hard to form. In fact, it is very common for adopted children to struggle with love, trust, relationships, security, permanence, interdependence and consistency. Well, We were created for community. We were created to live life in relationship with God and others. But sin, not only makes us guilty, it also ruins those relationships and often makes it hard for us to relate to others. Spiritually speaking, a healthy relationship with our Lord and with His people is sometimes a difficult thing. But it is essential in Christianity.
2. A second issue to overcome is Adjustment Disorder– the inability to change. A person with adjustment disorder often experiences feelings of depression or anxiety that results in acting out behaviorally against the “rules of the family.” Well, repentance is always expected of God’s children. Change is always expected of healthy living organisms.
3. A third issue is often A. D. D.– “Attention Deficit Disorder”– the inability to focus. Often the insecurities of the past make it very difficult to focus in the present. How many of you think you have this spiritually? Too many of us do have spiritual A.D.D. and that shows up in our personal Bible study and prayer time (or should I say, “The lack of it!)