The Blessed Adoption
by Brian S. Holmes
How do you see yourself? What makes you unique, special, important, and valuable? Do you identify yourself most by your gender? Your color? Nationality? Profession? Culture? Family? Marital status? Political party? Physical appearance? Past achievements? These things are actually not that important. All of them are worldly and temporary. And factors outside of your control, can burst in and negatively affect how confident and content you are about all these things later. So they’re not the best or most solid place to root your identity. Your primary identity is to be found in Christ. This is the solid, unshakeable foundation that will stand firm in every future storm. Our Primary Identity is Adopted Child of God the Father. Our position and identity in Christ is not about being“member of a religion.” It’s not even just “saved,” or “born again,” or “believer,” or “member of God’s Kingdom.” It’s so much more than that! We’re actually spiritually-adopted by God the Father. In Jesus, who is the eternal Son of God the Father, we also become sons and daughters of the Father. Let that sink in. Through faith in Jesus we become part of God’s family through this adoption. We’re not automatically God’s children. In fact, just the opposite. We’re all born in sin, in rebellion to God, following the sinful desires of our hearts, and are under God’s wrath. See John 8:44, Ephesians 2:1-3, and 1 John 3:8-10. Our sins separate us from God and it’s only through faith in Jesus we’re forgiven and cleansed of our sins. Ephesians 2:13 says, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Verse 19 says, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” When we believed the eternal Son of God became a man and died for our sins, and we put our trust in Him, we became co-heirs of the Kingdom that has been entrusted to Him. Biblical Truths about our New Birth & Adoption. John 1:12 says of those who believe in and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” And this was God’s plan all along, even before the foundation of the world! Ephesians 1:3-6 speaks about our adoption being predestined saying, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” In verses 13-14 Paul says how exactly a person receives this adoption through Jesus, saying, “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” We’re reborn as a new creation with the Holy Spirit of God now living in us. He’s our seal, our guarantee, the pledge of our inheritance until we receive our new bodies later. Galatians 4 speaks of the freedom from religious rules and rituals that we now have in Christ because of our status as children. Verses 4-7 say, “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. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Though we still live in the broken, sinful world Romans 8:23-24 talks about the inner hope that we now have saying, “we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.” Embrace Your True Identity. Do you think of God as your father? Do you think, pray, talk, act, and live as though He is your father? You don’t need special “holy,” “anointed,” or “ordained” pastors, prophets, or priests to confess your sins to, or to pray to God for you. You shouldn’t pray to Jesus’s mother Mary or other saints, for them to pray to God for you. You won’t do these things if you actually believe the gospel! These all imply God is far away and you need outside help getting close to Him. No, Jesus’s Spirit is in us, and we’re already children of the Father through Him. There’s only one mediator between God and men: Jesus! In 1 John 5:14 Jesus promises He hears whatever we ask, and in John 14:13-14 what we ask Him in His name He will do. Pray to God alone! Our Heavenly Father hears from His children directly. God desires an intimate eternal relationship with us. This is why He adopts us! It’s why He “births” us and gives us His Spirit! It’s all about relationship, connection, and intimacy. Having intermediaries in the middle as go-betweens between us and God is the exact opposite of the entire purpose of the gospel! Decide today if you will believe God’s Word and trust in the gospel: the good news that you’ve already been fully restored to God through Christ. Your closeness to God is dependent, not upon good works, or sacraments, or intermediaries, or religious rituals, but on how much time you invest into your relationship with Him! The more time you spend with God, and in His Word, and worshiping Him in spirit and in truth, the more you’ll know Him. Never let anyone rob your intimacy with God and try to enslave you again to religious systems. Pour your heart and mind into the gospel. Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for adopting me through Your Son, for welcoming me into intimate, eternal relationship with You as a member of your family. Increase my faith and trust in Jesus and in Your Word, so my confidence comes from trusting in Your promises. Help me always to fix my identity firmly on these amazing truths and let them guide my heart and life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.