09 Jul Because We Have Been Adopted
Orphans and vulnerable children are a devastating product of the broken world in which we live.
Because of sin and the fall of man, children throughout the world experience abuse and corruption everyday. People recognize this issue and realize a practical way to help is through adoption and foster care. As Christians, how should we view fostering and adopting children differently than the rest of world?
First, we need to be aware of the way that we understand the meaning of adoption. Are we approaching adoption with a man-centered view or a God-centered perspective? The scriptures clearly teach that the idea of adoption is at the very core of the gospel. Paul writes in Ephesians that, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” God’s plan for our spiritual adoption was predestined; it was not His second thought.
Are we approaching adoption with a man-centered view or a God-centered perspective?
Before the creation of the world, God decided to adopt us, who are sinners, into His family so that we can receive an eternal inheritance as His very own children. The fact that God decided in advance to adopt us proves that the idea of adoption originated from God, not from man. This should provoke us to first view adoption as it pertains to our Christian faith. This verse also shows us that we can have assurance of our new identity as a part of His family. The old has gone and the new has come as a result of God’s gracious love and mercy and His decision to become our Father.
Not only do we need to view adoption from a God-centered point of view, but we also need to understand the connection between our redemption and our adoption. Paul also writes about God’s plan of adoption in Galatians, saying, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” This verse clearly displays the connection between redemption and adoption. Our adoption is the result of our redemption, which is only made possible through Christ.
We were separated from God, who has perfect triune community, yet He chose to redeem us so that we could experience the love of His community with Christ and the Holy Spirit. In Reclaiming Adoption, Dan Cruver explains that redemption is what adoption is all about, stating, “From God’s perspective, adoption is not essentially about orphans at all. It is essentially about estrangement.” It is all about reconciliation of those who are separated from God.
For this reason, Cruver claims that,
“The ultimate purpose of human adoption by Christians, therefore, is not to give orphans parents, as important as that is. It is to place them in a Christian home that they might be positioned to receive the gospel, so that within that family, the world might witness a representation of God taking in and genuinely loving the helpless, the hopeless, and the despised.”
Have you ever considered this? Despite the tremendous amount of physical needs that vulnerable children all over the world have, those needs are nothing compared to their need for the good news that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rather than only viewing adoption through a worldly lens of caring for vulnerable children (by providing them with shelter, education, food, healthcare, etc.), as followers of Christ, we should be primarily motivated to help provide opportunities for children to be brought into loving homes where the gospel can be made known to them, and where they can visibly see God’s loving character displayed.
Despite the tremendous amount of physical needs that vulnerable children have, those needs are nothing compared to their need for the good news that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
To view fostering and adoption through a God-centered lens, we must think of it as a way in which we can live on mission for Christ. Consider the words of Jason Kovacs in Reclaiming Adoption, “Orphan care provides us with a unique opportunity to model and demonstrate the kindness of God on the horizontal plane.” We must think of orphan care as an opportunity for ministry, which can be fleshed out by the body of Christ in various ways.
Some people will adopt, others will serve through foster care. Some will financially support families who are adopting; others will give their support through prayer. Some will leave everything behind them and live as missionaries in foreign countries in order to engage orphans with the gospel. However we are living on mission for Christ, we must do it with an willing heart, striving to create a culture that has a desire to care for the fatherless, just as our loving God does.
Only by knowing the truths pertaining to our adoption by God can we begin to move forward in effectively caring for and loving orphans and vulnerable children here on earth. In doing this, may we press onward to achieve our call to live on mission for the Lord by modeling His unfailing love for the vulnerable.
-Jordyn Schirripa, Kairos Summer Intern