In preparation for the Adopting for Life conference at Southern Seminary, February 26-27, 2010. various blogsters have been posting articles and anecdotes about their experiences with adoption. At the following link, Dr. Mohler shares a heart-wrenching story of a Dutch couple who traveled to Haiti to adopt an orphaned child. After having had to wait two long agonizing years for all the bureaucratic red tape to be completed, the family was at long last re-united. The family spent one glorious day together before being crushed (together) in the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12. The parents were found with arms interlaced and wrapped around their child, trying to protect him from the falling building. Dr. Mohler shares how this tragedy is both a heart-wrenching catastrophe and a picture of the adoption we have in Christ.
So what is this divine adoption we receive? The Baptist Confession of 1689 and the Baptist Catechism of 1677 define it this way:
“God has granted that, in and for his only Son Jesus Christ, all those who are justified share in the grace of adoption. By this they are numbered with and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God. They have his name put upon them, and receive the Spirit of adoption. They have access to the throne of grace with boldness, and are able to cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ They are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by him as by a father, yet they are never cast off, but are sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.” LBC 1689, Chapter 12
Q. What is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God. Keach’s catechism, #38
Some key Scriptures that outline the believer’s position before God are:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” Rom 8:14-16
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:4-6
Some helpful resources from the pulpit and pen of John Piper regarding adoption: