Jane was born in an impoverished area of Ethiopia, which is an understatement to say the least. Children like Jane are born into conditions of extreme poverty and malnourishment, disease, danger and terrible suffering. Even with one or two loving and protective parents, many newborns don’t live very long, and many don’t live to even see their 4th birthday. Jane had an added disadvantage: her biological parents left her in a public place so that she would be found, which is often the case when parents are unable to provide for their children. She was found by a loving police officer the next day and taken to an orphanage. Eventually they discovered she had an internal cyst. This was something very treatable in the United States, but without surgery her health was quickly declining.
Jane’s story would have ended tragically like so many other children born in similar conditions, but it didn’t.
Jane’s life was forever changed in a moment.
She did nothing to help or change her situation.
She can’t look back to a decision she made or a discipline she kept that made her life better.
She was rescued: adopted by an American family that loved and welcomed her into their own lives to be one of their very own beloved daughters.
Today Jane is 4 years old and thriving! Her father Matt, a good friend of mine, doesn’t look at her as a ‘second-class citizen’ of the family. All the blessings and benefits that his biological daughter enjoys are available and provided for Jane, his adopted daughter. Her life will never be the same, and her identity is forever legally associated with her new family.
This is such an apt description of the adoption you and I have received through faith in Jesus Christ! The believer’s adoption as a child of God was determined by God from eternity: God “predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ” ( Eph 1:5 ). This adoption is not the result of any merit on the part of the believer, but solely the outworking of God’s love and grace (Ephesians 1:5 Ephesians 1:7). Romans 8:15 says “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’”.
Jesus instructed us to pray to “our Father”. He told Mary Magdalene that He was ascending to “my Father and your Father”. For our sakes Jesus was rejected by the Father and cast out of the city gates and given to “dogs” to be consumed and conquered. He knew no sin yet became sin for us. Jesus was cursed on the tree and took the curse of sin and death for us. But because Jesus rose again and conquered death, God has elected by His grace to pursue those in despair born in the family of Adam. By faith in Christ we have been adopted into the family of God and are now recipients of the promises the Father intended to bestow on His beloved Son. We are now co-heirs with Christ, our elder brother.
We have been adopted from the line of Adam to the line of Jesus. Let this wonderful truth resonate in your soul as you consider the great love of the Father in Christ.