The one great yearning of the heart of God is to be a Father and this was His great and earnest desire since the beginning of time. God as a Father is one of the most amazing truths in the entire Bible as the whole purpose of God restoring the earth after the fall of Lucifer from heaven was to have children that He could cherish and be their Father. E.W. Kenyon, in The Father and His Family, says:
What is the reason for the earth? …The heart of the
great Creator God had a yearning, deep, mighty,
eternal. It was the primordial passion for children.
The Father heart of the Creator God longed for
sons and daughters. The yearning passion took form
and God planned a universe for His Man, and in the
heart of that universe He purposed a Home…When
love laid the foundations of this mighty universe,
He planned, He purposed it all to be the Home of
His Man. It was to be Man’s birthplace, Man’s Garden
of Delight, Man’s university where he would learn
to know his Father God…He filled Earth’s bosom
with deposits of iron, copper, silver, and gold, with
uncounted varieties of metals, chemicals, and resources
that would respond to the touch of His Man. He
covered the face of the Earth with mountains, valleys,
ravines, plateaus, and prairies, lovely rivulets and
mighty rivers, and a garment of green intermingled
with many colored flowers and thrilled with joy the
heart of His Man. The mountain sides are covered with
giant forests, whose trees are filled with singing birds
and droning insects, whose dainty wings beat against
the genial wind and make a melody for His Man. Fruit
and vegetables abound in profusion, spelling out in
nature’s language the love of the great Father heart of
God for his Man…God’s heart yearned for children,
craved for sons and daughters. He had angels to minister
to Him as servants, but He wanted children…What a
place that Man must hold in His heart, in his dream,
in His Eternity!
Adam and Eve were formed, made, and created to live in the fullness of the presence of God and to worship Him. This is what God always wanted. This was God’s dream. God wanted to be with His children; He wanted to delight in them and treasure them; He wanted to be close to them; He wanted His children to delight in Him and come running with joy into His presence. He put Adam and Eve at the pinnacle of His creation and set them apart from all the birds, fish, cattle, and animals on the earth, for they were created in the image of God. Adam and Eve were designed to have a personal, vital, and living relationship with God as their Father.
God also ordained the family unit in Genesis 1:28 and wanted every child to have a father and mother that loved them and walked with God. God wants each child not only to have a spiritual father, but wants them to have a physical father also that protects, cherishes, loves and instructs them. God never wants any child to be fatherless. Yet in the turmoil of this world there are millions of children without a spiritual or physical father and God wants us to reach out and rescue them bringing them not only into a physical family, but into God’s spiritual family where they can enjoy all the blessings of having God as their Father and being a part of the family of God.
We see in the Bible God’s incredible heart for the orphan which in the Hebrew means “fatherless.” God has great compassion and concern for the fatherless and commands His children to have that same heart. God sees the wonderful potential and possibility of the life of each orphan and longs for them to fulfill their divine destiny. When God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt, God wanted them still to remember the poor, needy, and fatherless in their midst. God specifically told them to not gather in the harvest from the fields. Why? Because the poor, who had no harvest fields of their own, or the widow, who had no husband to provide for the home, or the fatherless, who had no dad to bring them home food, could go into the fields themselves, and gather food for free. God NEVER wants people to go hungry. God NEVER wants the poor to not be cared for. God ALWAYS is concerned for the family, and when the family is without a father, God wants the wife and the children to be cared for. And for those who are kind and tenderhearted towards the poor, God will bless them too. This is how blessings work. One man blesses another man, then, because the man showed kindness to another, God blesses him. Everyone gets a blessing, and God is honored and people are taken care of. God knows the cries of the oppressed, and God knows that the poor and fatherless can be oppressed because of their low station in life.
Psalm 146:8: The Lord preserves the strangers; he relieves the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.
Psalm 27:9: When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up
Exodus 22:22: You shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.
Psalms 10:14 …the poor commits himself unto you (God); you are a helper of the fatherless.
Psalms 68:5: A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.
Psalms 82:3: Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Isaiah 1:17: Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Jeremiah 49:11: Leave your fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let your widows trust in me.
Zechariah 7:10: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.
James 1:27: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
One of the greatest examples of the godly potential and importance of every orphan is Esther who was an orphan that Mordecai loved and raised as his own daughter.
Esther 2:7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
Esther is one of the most important figures in Jewish history as she saved the nation of Israel from extinction and preserved the Christ-line so that our Savior could be born. She became queen of Persia and this beautiful woman fulfilled the divine calling on her life even though she was an orphan.
We were all spiritual orphans at one time, dead in sin, spiritually fatherless and wandering outside of the family of God, but God rescued us through Jesus Christ and became our Father and brought us into His family.
I John 3:1,2 (Amplified): SEE WHAT [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.
Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is.
(Behold – KJV) (idete – verb = horao) means to discern clearly (physical or mental), and does not call for the reader to merely “see”, but also to have an actual perception of the object.
Stop everything else!
Look at this!
Think about it!
Ponder its significance!
John also uses the plural (of behold/see) which calls for all of his readers to take a “heart moving look at the amazing love which gave them membership in God’s family” (Hiebert)
Barnes: Even God could bestow upon us no more valuable token of affection than that we should be adopted into his family and permitted to regard Him as our Father.
Before we ever knew His name, God was with us in all of our moments. Imagine the joy in the heart of the Father when you first called His name, when you sought out the Lord Jesus and took God at His Word. Did they call out their joy to the angels of heaven? Scripture paints just such a picture. In Luke 15:8 Jesus tells the parable of a woman who, after much searching and despair, finds her priceless lost silver coin. She calls together all of her friends and neighbors to share in her joy. Luke 15:10 says, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Can’t you almost hear the Father’s joyous exclamation when you turned to Him? “Did you hear? She called out my name, and she’s turned her face to me and she is listening for my voice!” A spiritual orphan has been reconciled to His Father; never be forsaken; never to be forgotten; never to be let go; never to be turned away; and never to be left astray. We are in the bosom of our Father, warm with the glow of His presence, safe in His mighty protection, comforted by his fathomless love.
God calls us His children. Think about what that means, and what God would have us learn from it. Everything we have, we have from Him.
As a loving parent, God is right there with us through the milestones and the mundane. You will see Him if you look, His arms outstretched and His face looking into yours. Let us take every opportunity to look to Him and to fall into those arms. Let us praise Him when we wake up and when we lie down, in our work and in our play, in our songs and in our hearts. He is our Father. Let us invite Him into every part of our lives and let us develop a relationship that endures.
Steven Cole makes the point that it is sad but true of our human nature that…
Some things grow commonplace over time. We’ve heard about them and known them for years. Maybe at first, when it was new, an idea or experience affected us. But over the years, the effect grows weaker and weaker, until finally it’s just a far-distant memory. But the Father’s great love for us is the kind of experience that should grow stronger and stronger over the years, until it totally dominates every aspect of our lives. It should consume our thoughts and control our behavior (cp 2Co 5:14). It should motivate us to serve God and to live holy lives. It should give us comfort in all our trials. It should fill us with the eager hope of being with Him in heaven. It should fill us with awe and worship, that He, the holy sovereign of the universe, would set His love on a sinful, self-willed rebel like me! “Amazing love, how can it be…!” Don’t let yourself ever hear of the Father’s great love and think, “Ho hum!” It ought always to amaze you.
How great (potapos) When potapos is used (as in the present passage) in an exclamation, the context conveys the sense of admiration = “how great!”; “how wonderful!”, “how glorious!” (cp Mk 13:1) John Stott says potapos always implies astonishment.
Steven Cole adds: It’s as if John thinks about the Father’s great love and says, “Where does this come from? It must be from heaven, because there’s nothing like it in this world!” (The Father’s Great Love).
Hiebert notes that potapos…
implies a reaction of astonishment, and usually of admiration, upon viewing some person or thing. The expression conveys both a qualitative and quantitative force, “what glorious, measureless love!”
Wiersbe rightly reminds us that children of God
is not simply a high-sounding name that we bear; it is a reality! We are God’s children! We do not expect the world to understand this thrilling relationship, because it does not even understand God. Only a person who knows God through Christ can fully appreciate what it means to be called a child of God. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor or Logos)
Children (teknon from tikto = to bring forth or bear children) literally refers to those who are “born ones” and in the plural (tekna) refers to descendants, posterity or children, those viewed in relation to their parents or family. Here teknon is used figuratively to refer to those who have by grace through faith been born again.
Hiebert comments that…
These words, “and such are we” (kai esmen, “and we are“), emphatically declare that we are not merely God’s children in name but in reality. They express a ringing note of assurance, encouraging and strengthening the readers. Lias notes that “the words `children of God’ were no mere title, but the expression of a fact, a fact which was to colour all their thoughts and actions, to banish superstitious fear, and to fill them with a thought of ever-present love, which should sustain them in all the trials and distresses of the world.” (The Epistles of John An Expositional Commentary by D. Edmond Hiebert)
Satan is ever on the watch to insinuate the doubt. He tried the experiment with our Lord: “If You be the Son of God.”
J. I. Packer (originally writing in Evangelical Magazine) considers one’s grasp of God’s Fatherhood and adoption as His child as of essential importance in one’s spiritual life explaining that…
If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new, and better than the Old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God. “Father” is the Christian name for God. (Packer, J: Knowing God)
Jesus Himself used Abba (Aramaic for “Father”) in addressing God, a use without parallel in the whole of Jewish literature. The explanation by some of the early Church fathers (Chrysostom, Theodore, Theodoret) was that Abba was the word used by a young child addressing his or her father. It was an everyday family word, which no one had ventured to use in addressing God. And so Jesus uses it quite naturally to address His heavenly Father in as childlike, trustful, and intimate a way as a little child to its father.
And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt.” (Mark 14:36)
Paul likewise mentions that because of our redemption and adoption into God’s family, NT believers can address God as “Abba“.
|Romans 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba ! Father !” (NASB)|
|Amplified: For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! NLT: So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family–calling him “Father, dear Father.”
Phillips: Nor are you meant to relapse into the old slavish attitude of fear – you have been adopted into the very family circle of God and you can say with a full heart, “Father, my Father”.
The combined use of the Aramaic Abba and Greek means something like “dear Father”, “Daddy” “Papa.” Remember that in the Roman Empire of the first century, adopted sons enjoyed the same privileges as natural-born sons. So, instead of cowering in slave-like fear, all sons and daughters by the new birth can confidently, boldly (and yet humbly) approach God in an intimate way, reverentially calling Him Abba, Father. Hallelujah! Amazing grace indeed!
God the Father
God is the Father of all who believe in Christ in a special sense not shared by unbelievers. God is called their Father because they have a new standing before Him. When we believe in Christ as Savior, our estate is wonderfully changed from grim condemnation to privileged sonship. This new standing grants to all believers the legal right and spiritual privileges of divine sonship: “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Ro 8:17). God is the Father of believers also in the sense that He gives them new life through the new birth.
We have this solemn promise by our Heavenly Father that He will never abandon us or leave us or forsake us as fatherless for we are His beloved children and members of His family.
Hebrews 13:5: Wuest: Let your manner of life be without love of money, being satisfied with your present circumstances. For He himself has said, and the statement is on record, I will not, I will not cease to sustain and uphold you. NLT: Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Amplified: Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!].
Desert (aniemi) has a range of meanings including to send back, to relax, to loosen, not to uphold, to let sink but in this verse in Hebrews refers to the fact that God will not abandon us. He is not going to leave us, fail to uphold us or let us sink!
Forsake (egkataleipo from en = in + kataleípo = forsake, desert; kata = intensifies or strengthens the next word + leipo = leave behind, idea of forsaking) means to abandon, desert, or leave in straits. It speaks of forsaking someone in a state of defeat or helplessness, even in midst of hostile circumstances. Paul uses this verb to describe the way Demas left him in a lurch, utterly forsaking him, letting him down and bring disappointment to the great apostle.
Wuest writes that forsake…
is a compound of three Greek words, eg meaning “in,” kata meaning “down,” and leipo meaning “to leave.” Leipo has the idea of forsaking one, kata suggests rejection, defeat, helplessness, and eg refers to some place or circumstance in which a person may find himself helpless, forsaken. The meaning of the word is that of forsaking someone in a state of defeat or helplessness in the midst of hostile circumstances. The word in its totality means “to abandon, desert, leave in straits, leave helpless, leave destitute, leave in the lurch, let one down.” There are three negatives before this word, making the promise one of triple assurance. It is, “I will not, I will not, I will not let thee down, leave thee in the lurch, leave thee destitute, leave thee in straits and helpless, abandon thee.” All of which means that our God will come to our rescue when we find ourselves in difficult circumstances. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament:
The relationship Jesus Christ had with the Father is a model of the relationship we should have with the Father. He was ever conscious of his Father’s love and presence.–He lived in the present tense of his Father’s love, which was so real as to rob his life of all sense of loneliness (John 5:20; 8:29). He knew that his Father heard Him always, as his spirit rose in perpetual fellowship and communion, unhindered by the densest clouds of human unbelief (John 11:42). Yes, there was something deeper still in his habitual realization that the Father dwelt in Him; so that his words, and works, and influence, and plan of life were the perpetual working out of what his Father was working in (John 5:17; 14:10). And why should not we live in a fellowship equally hallowed and close? It was his one desire that his relationship with his Father should be the model of our relationship with Himself (John 17:21, 22, 23).
He was perpetually engaged in reading the open book of his Father’s will.–He had no will of his own to seek, no object of his own to serve (John 5:30). He had come, in his Father’s name, to do his Father’s will, and to glorify his Father’s name (John 5:30, 43; 17:4). It was the passion of his being to do God’s work on God’s plan. And his eye was thus ever kept on the movement of the cloud of his Father’s unfolding purpose. The Father showed the Son what He was doing. And the Son, having seen it, translated it into the language of daily human life (John 5:20). But what a model for ourselves! If He whom we worship as Lord took on Himself so absolutely the form of a servant, how fair would our life be if we more deeply received of his spirit; and, through obedience here, prepared ourselves to sit by his side in the glory, and reign with Him!
He waited for the Father to show Him what next He would have Him do. The pattern of his life was gradually outspread before Him, as that of the tabernacle was unfolded before the great lawgiver, shut up with God. He seemed ever a learner in his Father’s workshop, making all things on the pattern shown Him from hour to hour. This made Him so still, so calm, unmoved by difficulty, unperturbed amid a hail of murderous stones (John 8:59; 9:4). And it would bring rest, and unity, and power, into our own lives, if it were the one purpose of our being to discover and do only the good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Better do less that we may do more. Better stand still than run without being sent. Better withdraw oftener from the valley to the brow of the Transfiguration mount, than, by fussy activity, miss the radiant vision, and the bitter need which waits for us at the mountain foot.
And thus our Lord’s life-work was ever on an ascending scale. From making water wine, to making blood the ransom price of souls; from raising the daughter of Jairus, to the calling of Lazarus from a three days’ death-sleep; from cleansing the temple, to works of redemption, resurrection, and judgment. God was ever showing Him yet greater things. The plan of his life was ever becoming fuller; its stream deeper, its current swifter. Nor will it be otherwise with ourselves. Be true to the power you have, and it will increase. The limb becomes defter by use. And he who yields his ‘prentice hand to be nerved and used by the great Master Workman, shall find, as the years pass by, that he will be able to accomplish results, the mere dreams of which had never visited him in the most ecstatic moments of his youth.
“All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.“–John 6:37.
Galatians 4:4-7 (KJV): 4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Here are six blessings Paul mentions in Galatians 4 that flow to us:
1) We are redeemed (Gal 4:5a).
2) We are adopted (Gal 4:5b).
3) The gift of holy spirit now lives within us (Gal 4:6a).
4) We call God Father (Gal 4:6b).
5) We are now God’s children (Gal 4:7a).
6) We are the heirs of God (Gal 4:7b).
Christ came “to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” The NIV uses the phrase “full rights of sons” to bring out the meaning of adoption. Christ came to redeem us and to adopt us into God’s family. To redeem means to set free from slavery by the payment of a price. You redeemed a slave by paying the purchase price and then setting him free. Now suppose that in addition to freeing that slave, you also said to him, “Come with me to my home and live with me. I want you to legally join my family, take my name, and take an equal share in my inheritance.” As amazing as it sounds, that’s what God did for us the moment we trusted Christ. He set us free (redeemed us) from the slavery of sin with the purchase price of the blood of Christ. Then he brought us into his family and gave us “full rights” as his own children. The concept of “full rights” means that no matter how badly we may have sinned before conversion, there are no second-class children in God’s family. God has no stepchildren. In the Jewish culture, young boys are considered men by going through a ritual called a Bar Mitzvah. You might say that when we come to Christ, we are “Bar Mitzvahed” into God’s family. We come in as full members of the family with rights and privileges equal to those who have been there for 40 or 50 years. We can pray and claim God’s promises on the same basis as everyone else.
The Greek word translated “adoption” is huiothesia, and it occurs only five times in the New Testament, all in the Church Epistles (Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5). According to Vine’s Lexicon it means: “the place and condition of a son given to one to whom it does not naturally belong.” Louw and Nida’s Greek Lexicon says: “to formally and legally declare that someone who is not one’s own child is henceforth to be treated and cared for as one’s own child, including complete rights of inheritance.” Huiothesia literally means, “to place as a son.”
“Adoption” clearly indicates that a Christian is a member of God’s family. In the Roman culture, the adopted son or daughter had four major changes: a change of family, a change of name, a change of home, and a change of responsibilities.
Most importantly, by using the word “adoption,” God emphasizes that salvation is permanent for the Christian, which is why it appears only in the Church Epistles. Some versions translate huiothesia as “sonship,” but we believe that is not as good as “adoption.” While it is true that someone adopted into the family attains sonship (the status of a son), “adoption” is more accurate to the Greek meaning of the word, and it correctly expresses the fact that the adopted child is permanently placed in the family.
Birth seems so much more desirable than adoption that it is fair to ask why God would even use “adoption.” The answer is that the Romans recognized that when a baby was born, “you got what you got,” whether you liked it or not. This would include the sex of the child, birthmarks, etc. Thus, according to Roman law, a naturally born baby could be disowned from the family. However, people adopting a child knew exactly what they were getting, and no one adopted a child unless that specific child was wanted as a family member, so according to law an adopted child could not be disowned. He or she was permanently added to the family. Many early believers were Roman citizens, and using the word “adoption” was one of God’s ways to let the Church know that He chose the children brought into His family, and they could not be taken from it. The Roman historian William M. Ramsay writes:
“The Roman-Syrian Law-Book…where a formerly prevalent Greek law had persisted under the Roman Empire—well illustrates this passage of the Epistle. It actually lays down the principle that a man can never put away an adopted son, and that he cannot put away a real son without good ground. It is remarkable that the adopted son should have a stronger position than the son by birth, yet it was so.”
When Paul talks about adoption, he is not referring back to the Old Testament. He is referring to the Roman law of his day. Wealthy childless couples often practiced adoption to provide a legal heir for their wealth. They would adopt a slave and bring him into their family so that their wealth could be passed on to another generation.
There are three keys to understanding Roman law regarding adoption.
1) The absolute right of the father.
Under Roman law fathers had absolute right over their entire estate. They had rights over all that they owned, and their children were considered to be their personal property. In fact, a father in ancient Rome had the power of life and death over his children and in the early days of the Roman Empire, if a father wanted to put his children to death, he could legally do it and nobody could say anything to him about it. So great was the power of a father under Roman law that the son would never be out from underneath his father’s authority as long as the father was alive. A son could be 70 years old and the father could be 93 years old, and under Roman law he was still under his father’s authority.
2) The right of the adopted son.
If a son was adopted into a new family, he was guaranteed legal rights to his father’s property. That is always one of the questions if you have biological children as well as adopted children. How will it all work in terms of the family inheritance? Roman law made it clear that an adopted child had exactly the same rights as all other children and no one could come before the adopted child–not the biological children and not other adopted children. He gained full inheritance rights with all the other children of the family.
3) The disappearance of the old life.
Adoption not only gave you a new name and a new family, it also mean your old life was gone forever. So complete was the transformation that if you were adopted into a new family and you had old debts, at the moment of adoption all those old debts were canceled, wiped away forever. The adopted son in Rome was regarded as a new person, entering a brand-new life.
Here are the words of William Barclay:
It is Paul’s picture that when a man became a Christian he entered into the very family of God. He does nothing to deserve it. God, the great Father, in his amazing love and mercy, has taken the lost, helpless, poverty-stricken, debt-ladened sinner and adopted him into his own family, so that the debts are canceled and the glory inherited.
Adoption guarantees the following seven things to every believer:
1) You are a full member of God’s family.
2) You have full rights and privileges in heaven.
3) You have immediate access to God.
4) You belong to his family.
5) You bear his name.
6) You have a full share in the inheritance he promises his children.
7) Satan has no claim on you because you are no longer a part of his family and he is no longer your father.
Meaning of Adoption:
1) Adoption means that you have a new family. The old family is gone forever. The old master is gone forever. The old name is gone forever. God is your Father, the Lord Jesus is your Savior, and the Holy Spirit lives within you.
2) Adoption means that you have a new privilege. You have the same right as the oldest saints of God. In our world there are exclusive clubs with members dependent on who you know and how much money you have. There is a children’s membership, a family membership, associate membership, blue-level membership, green-level membership, silver-level membership and for the hoity-toity people on the top, there is a gold-level membership. But God only has one level of membership. Everyone who comes into the family of God comes in the same way because the ground is level at the foot of the cross. He only has one class. Everyone in God’s family has gold card standing. Everyone is born again. Everyone has full rights. Everyone is at the head of the class. Everyone comes in at the best possible level.
3) Adoption means you have a new responsibility. What God says to any believer he says to every believer. The same holy spirit who is given to the gray-haired Christian is given to the new Christian. No one need feel like a second class citizen. No believer can use that as an excuse. You can never say, “Well, I don’t want to read my Bible. I am just a new Christian.” That won’t wash with God. Nobody can say they can’t pray because they are just a new Christian. God will not accept that excuse. You can’t say you won’t testify for Christ because you have recently been born again and aren’t as good as those who have been saved for a long time. That is not a biblical thing to say because what God says to any of his children, he says to all his children. The responsibility that is laid on one is laid on all.
The moment you come to Jesus Christ, all the resources of heaven are put at your disposal.
Earthly adoption offers a wonderful picture of God’s gift to us because for adoption to happen, the parents must be willing to do it and they must be able to do it. They must choose to do it. To those of you who are adopted, God bless you. To those of you who have adopted children, God bless you. Thank you for modeling for us what God’s great love really looks like.
If they understand this truth, adopted children can say, “Someone must have loved me very much.” Adoption never just happens. There is no such thing as an accidental adoption. It takes trouble, time, expense, effort, sweat, heartache and tears. Somebody has to open their heart and their home for children to be adopted. In the very same way, biblical adoption is only possible because God is willing to add more children to his family. That is one of the sweetest thoughts I have ever come across.
On earth, adoption gives a child a new name, a new home, a new address, a new history and a new destiny. The same is true with God’s adoption. It gives the child of God a new name, a new home, a new address, a new history and a new destiny. The poet Robert Frost defined home as “the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in.”
Brothers and sisters, God is our true Heavenly Father because he chose to add us to his family. Because of adoption, when we go to him, he always opens the door and says, “Welcome, my child. This is your home forever.” Amen. (Adoption Plenty of Room in the Family – sermon by Dr. Ray Pritchard – January 2007)