The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that approximately 120,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. To be adopted is to be accepted, claimed, and raised as a child of promise. Last week Lisa helped us understand the difference between a Roman slave child and a family child and how adoption points back to the Father. Millions of children around the globe long for a father to accept them, claim them, and raise them as a beloved son.
Sonship happens for all those “in Christ Jesus,” who become “sons of God, through faith” (Galatians 3:26). The action of all three members of the Trinity has the power to move us from the position of the father-less to that of a secure son. As all three take part as One adoptive parent in a joint effort, something new and wonderful is born.
The Father Initiates
Slave children and adopted children of Roman culture lived side by side for their childhood years, but when the time was right, the adopted child realized the benefits of his adoption. The timing was not random or haphazard, but carefully planned. In the same way, “when the fullness of time had come,” (Galatians 4:4a) the Father initiated our adoption. Like many parents save and sacrifice today in order to bring home a child from places like Ethiopia, China, and Guatemala, the Heavenly Father paid a high price for the redemption of His cherished ones who long to be accepted into His forever family.
The Son Provides
The Son acted in our adoption by becoming the payment for our transfer from slave child to adopted child. “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:5). Jesus did once and for all what we could never do on our own; He bought our permanent place in God’s family as sons of promise.
The Spirit Guarantees
The Father initiated our adoption, and the Son provided for it, but the Spirit was sent as our guarantee of a coming inheritance. “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father’” (Galatians 4:6) At just the right time, all members of the Trinity acted in union to make us children of God. We’re so loved.
New Benefits with Adoption
With our adoption comes a new relationship, expressed when we cry out the familiar and intimate words of a child to their daddy: “Abba!” In today’s world, this change merits a new status update: “I’m a son now, not a slave!” (Galatians 4:7) If we become a son, then we become an heir through God (Galatians 4:7).
God the Father, Son, and Spirit act in a joint effort to make us their own, to give us a new relationship, to declare our new status, and to guarantee our new future. We leave scraps of bread to sit at a banquet table. We escape our dirty stone bed to nestle in the lap of our Abba. We erase the fear of tonight with the expectation of eternity. We “are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
In many countries, children “age out” of the foster care and adoption system at the age of 16 or 18. Time runs out to find a family. But there’s no aging out of God’s divine plan for adoption and no limit on His love for those who want to come home.
How old were you when God brought you into a new relationship with Him?
How does it make you feel to know the Father, Son, and Spirit made a joint effort to make you their own?