“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will.” Ephesians 1:3-7, ESV.
Adoption refers to the action of voluntarily and legally taking in a child of other parents, to be one’s own child. Biblically, adoption is the special blessing and privilege to become children of God, given to those who have come to Christ for salvation. “But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God,” (John 1:12), ESV. God legally takes justified and regenerate sinners and places them into His family so that now they become sons and daughters, enjoying all the rights and privileges of one who is a member of God’s family. This blessing is received after regeneration of a sinner and embracing the saving faith.
In a society such as ours, adoption follows a specific legal process that involves a lot of legal procedures that are at times complicated and cumbersome. Normally, adoption involves terminating a child’s tie with his original family and making him a permanent member of his new family, according to the laws of the land. He earns a new surname and a rightful place in the adoptive family. In the same way, the biblical process of God adopting regenerate sinners into His family, involves Him disconnecting us with our natural family that was sin and its oppression. We were by nature, children of wrath (Eph 2:3), and sons of disobedience, (Eph 2:2). Our Father was the devil himself (John 8;44) (1st John 3:8). But God showed His love towards us by terminating our relations with our natural family of sin and death, and bringing us into His own family as sons so that we may now call Him Abba, Father.
Adoption in itself is indeed a great blessing from God that in addition, brings forth many blessings and privileges with it. One such blessing is that upon adoption, we become heirs of God and Co- heirs with Christ. (Rom 8:17). Our inheritance is eternal life with Christ Jesus (Titus3:7), and this inheritance is, “imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”(1ST Peter1:4). Another blessing of adoption is that as sons, we can now call God, “Abba Father!”(Rom 8:15) and thus, we can share in the richness of the loving compassion, protection, provisions and benefits of our father. We also get to enjoy his fatherly discipline and chastisement. (Heb 12:5-6), and by that discipline, we can be certain that we are not illegitimate children.
God being our father, tells us not to be anxious about anything since he is happy to provide for the needs of his children. (Luke 11:11-13). Indeed, our heavenly father is good, and therefore, to his children, he has promised to supply everything that we might need to live a Godly life, a life that honors Him. He has given us the greatest blessing of all that is Jesus Christ; therefore how much more will he supply every other need of ours according to His will? Through adoption into God’s family, all believers become brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus himself said, that His brothers and sisters are all those who do the will of God. (Mark 3: 35). Therefore Christians enjoy the unity, fellowship and love of other believers universally. Indeed how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1). Another blessing of adoption is that we are set free and liberated from our natural family of sin that had enslaved us, (Rom 6: 17-18), into God’s glorious family.
However, the redemptive fatherhood that believers enjoy should not be confused with universal creative fatherhood that all human beings enjoy on account of being created by God. 1st John 3: 8 says that those who keep on sinning, those who have not been saved are of the devil and not of God. Adoption of believers as sons also, does not eliminate the uniqueness of Christ’s relationship to the Father as His eternal and only begotten son (John 3:16).
In conclusion, just as children imitate their fathers, Christians are now encouraged to imitate God, their heavenly father and be pursuers of holiness just as God is holy. “Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children.” (Eph 5:1) ESV.
By Clara Mwangi
Clara Mwangi is a recent graduate of University of Eldoret majoring in Economics. She is currently an intern at African Christian Outreach and enjoys writing.