Adopted through the Gospel
By Erin Bird
Last week, I shared the “facet” of how we are spiritually born through the gospel. Well, the Scriptures take this concept even further by talking about how we are also “adopted” through the gospel.
I know, I know, that’s confusing. How is someone “born” through the gospel, and yet also “adopted?”After all, if a child is born to parents, those parents don’t have to also adopt the child.
That is quite true. But on the spiritual level, God does both. The 4th chapter of Galatians tells us this: When you believe the Gospel, you are both born of Him (Galatians 4:26) and adopted by Him (Galatians 4:5). I think God intentionally uses both concepts to get across a very valuable truth.
Full Rights as a Child
I have had several friends adopt little girls from China. One of them told me that on their first evening back in Iowa, the mom put her new little 2-year-old in the high chair while making dinner, and to keep her daughter happy while waiting, Mom put a bunch of Cheerios on the tray of the high chair, just like she had with her other kids.
However, instead of picking up a Cheerio to put in her mouth, or throw them on the floor like some kids, this newly adopted little one immediately grabbed as many Cheerios into her fist as she could, stuffing them into her mouth as quickly as she possibly could. In that moment, my friend told me she was reminded that her newly adopted daughter had been poorly fed in the orphanage and had to fight for every scrap of food she could.
But then my friend told me she was also heart broken, because her daughter at 2 years of age didn’t realize the truth of her new reality. She was acting like she still lived in the orphanage. What she didn’t realize was that she was now part of a family where she did not have to fight for Cheerios. Everything that belonged to her new family was hers as well. When her new mom and dad signed the adoption papers, everything that was theirs instantly became hers as well.
I think this is what God wants us to understand by telling us that we are not just born of the gospel, but also adopted through the gospel. The imagery of adoption reminds us that while we were separated from our Heavenly Father by sin, we now have complete access to Him and that all that is His is ours as well.
If this truth still seems hard to grasp, spend some time reading slowly, thoughtfully, repeatedly, and prayerfully through Ephesians 1:3-14, seeing the truth that anyone who knows the Son is adopted as a son or daughter. And as an adopted child of God, everything that is God’s is yours. You have been given every spiritual blessing under heaven!
So enjoy your position as an adopted child of God! Let this beautiful “facet” of spiritual adoption bring you joy.