In preparing for the upcoming relaunch of Sunday School, we will be taking a walk through Romans. What a rich, rich, rich set of scriptures. Yes, they all are but let’s just throw out our tent and stay a minute here, shall we?
In the Spring of 2018 my brother and sister-in-law shared with the family that they would begin a foster-to-adopt journey. Now, I know people in my church who have walked this incredible road but personally, in our immediate family, this was all new territory for us. In the United States, there are typically about 50,000 adoptions from foster care. Over 2 million Americans are adopted. For me, I grew up with a small amount of adopted friends and have enjoyed teaching a small group of students who were adopted. I would venture to say that while we’re all familiar with adoption, few of us have personal experience with it.
My brother and sister-in-law worked hard all summer taking classes and updating their home in preparation for whatever journey God was going to take them on. While the story spanned well over a year and many tears, joy, laughter and heartache–a range of emotions known to all, but only the foster community knows their own version of these things–, in August of 2020 they were able to finalize the adoption of their son, my sweet nephew.
On the day of the adoption (in the middle of Coronavirus) I was able to attend the small hearing. I donned my nicest masked, the diaper bag and my cell phone as my brother, his wife, their 1-year-old daughter and their soon-to-be-official 2-year-old son sat around a table in front of a judge in a small, country courthouse.
As romantic and ceremonious as a small courtroom can be, a judge went through a list of questions my brother and sister-in-law answered while two toddlers fought to keep their wiggles under control. Then after the long list was complete and witnesses were called the judge made sure they understood that when they left the courtroom that day, in the eyes of the law they were required and responsible for the provision of parental care of this brown-eyed boy. They agreed to see to his medical, educational, emotional..etc. needs “just as a biological child”. They agreed. Then he declared it. That’s it. He was ours and we were his. His birth certificate was changed to include my brother and sister-in-law’s names and the ages they would have been on the day of birth because in the eyes of the law, they were as fully his parents as possible. All the requirements had been fulfilled.
Back to Romans.
Romans 8:15, Ephesians 3:20, Galatians 4:5 (and many others) all deal with the doctrine of reconciliation and adoption.
You and I were born enemies of God. Orphans. And nothing in us would have ever naturally picked God as our Father when left to our own devices. (Romans 3:10)
Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!””
All the access, all the grace, all the mercy, all the love, all the hope, all the security we have in Christ is because we have been adopted.
You can say, in full confidence, “I am a child of God” because God adopted you and you now have all the blessings of being co-heirs with Christ. My nephew can no more lose his sonship than we can lose our inheritance in Christ.
Because of adoption, the saved go to heaven; not because of who we are, but because of Who holds our adoption papers.
Praise God for adoption.