Last night I had the privilege of sharing the gospel at a correctional boys home. After speaking, I had one boy motion me over toward him. We talked for a bit and he explained to me frustration he felt and loneliness he was experiencing. He told me he had been in 40 or 50 different foster homes before he was finally adopted. In talking with him, he was obviously a Christian, but he felt discouraged and alone. Knowing he had been adopted, I tried to encourage him through that picture.
The Bible tells us that we who are saved are adopted into the family of God. As sinners, we are God’s creation, but we are not His children. When we are saved, God adopts us as sons and daughters based on the once-for-all finished work of Jesus. We are brought in as family.
People seeking to adopt children want those children. They choose them and bring them into their family and call them their own. They treat them as biologically born sons and daughters even though there is no blood relation. There doesn’t have to be. There are loving parents saying, “You are wanted. You are desired. You are ours. We love you.”
Galatians 4:3-5 says, “In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”
Parents go to great lengths to adopt children. There is a lot of paperwork, a lot of money, and a lot of patience. They give a great amount to be able to bring children into their family. What these verses in Galatians tells us is that God went to the GREATEST lengths to adopt children for Himself. He gave everything to obtain us. He gave His only Son to gain more sons and daughters. Just as adopted children receive all the benefits of being in the family that the biological kids receive, so too the children of God receive all the benefits of being His sons and daughters. God has truly spared no good thing for those whom He loves!
The young man I talked with last night knew what it means to be wanted. He had been passed from home to home to home with promises of a family wanting him, but many communicating a very different picture by their actions. Until finally… one family said we want you. What joy must fill your heart when you hear those words!
I don’t know what circumstances led him to being in that correctional boys home and I didn’t ask. But he told me he was lonely and he was struggling. All I knew to do was to tell Him that as a Christian, God is with him. Not only is He with him, but He wants Him. He went to extreme lengths to obtain him as His son. If God was willing to give His only Son to purchase this young man then He most certainly would not leave him alone.
That’s what is so beautiful about adoption. Earthly adoptions are physical pictures of what God has done for us by sending His Son to give His life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28, Mk 10:45). Parents give and sacrifice to bring children who are not theirs into their family to call them their own. In giving Jesus, God gave to the utmost to bring His enemies into His family to call them sons and daughters. Adoption is beautiful. Adoption is encouraging. Adoption says, “I love you. You are wanted.”