by James Johnson

In the news some years ago, a pop singer wanted to adopt a child from a foreign country. It made the headlines because people wondered WHY this individual wanted to adopt the child. There are many reasons for adopting; some sincere and genuine. But sometimes they are really SELFISH reasons. Company in old age, company for an only child. To carry on the family name. To have a successor in the family business. To be like your friends. To have a fashion accessory or make a political statement.

Those are the sort of reasons some people may adopt children.

Normally, we think of children being adopted, but the law allows a person of any age to be adopted.

The number of children who were legally adopted in England and Wales in 1971 was 21,495. That number fell in 2003 to 5,354. Of that number3/4 were born outside of marriage. One of the reasons given for the drop in the number of children available for adoption was the introduction of the Abortion Act 1967. Some of the adoptions may by step- fathers on marriage to the natural mother.

Perhaps for this reason, some people feel that there is a stigma attached to being adopted. That they live in second-class families.

But is that what the Scriptures say?

It may come as a surprise to many people that every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is adopted! "I've never seen that in the Scriptures! Where is it?"

Ephesians 1:4-6, "For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and 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 - to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.

But WHY does God adopt children? We have already read Ephesians 1:5-6, "... in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given to us in the One He loves."

A parent of an adopted child may say, "You are special. We chose you. We didn't just accept what we were given."

How much more thrilling it is to KNOW that GOD Himself chose US before the creation of the world. How intelligent or good-looking or rich or talented we are didn't come into it.

GOD chose US before we were born or before we even sinned. It pleased God and it was His will. That is why we have been adopted. Thanks be to God to the praise of His glorious name!

What effect does being adopted have?

We receive the FULL RIGHTS of sons, as it says in Galatians 4:5. Verse six continues, "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."

An heir to what?

To everything which Christ enjoys as God's son.

Let's see that in Ephesians 3:6, "This mystery is that through the gospel, the Gentiles are HEIRS together with Israel, members together in ONE body and SHARERS together in the promise in Christ Jesus."

WE are the body of Christ. The promise is in Christ Jesus - not Jesus Christ. The phrase Christ Jesus emphasizes MESSIAH Jesus, the anointed One now in glory in heaven. The King of the Universe. We share in THAT.

That puts into perspective our petty worries, pains and sorrows. We receive the FULL rights of sons. Paul makes an important distinction between children and sons. An heir who is a child is no different to a slave.

Paul told the Galatians, "You are ALL sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for ALL of you who were BAPTISED into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28).

"Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and how inscrutable are His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counsellor? Or who has given a gift to Him that he might be repaid?' For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory for ever. AMEN."

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© James Johnson

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