Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Adoption and the Christian

Here is another excerpt from my recent writings.

Steve


Adoption and the Christian

The purpose of Christianity is redemption. The means God chose for redemption was adoption. Adoption [by God] is, in fact, the very basis of Christianity. Adoption has been described by John Piper as being “greater than the universe” and he goes even further and says “adoption is the purpose of the universe.” These are bold claims and assertions but the book of Ephesians solidly backs this up. Adoption is not only the purpose of the universe; it is a recurring theme throughout scripture.

The Hebrew people were living in Egypt and had grown so large that the Pharaoh perceived them as a threat and ordered all male babies to be killed. The mother of one young boy, unable to bear having her child killed, placed him in a basket. She then slid him into the river near where she knew the princess would bathe. The Egyptian princess was touched with compassion when she saw the infant. She took him as her adopted son, and named him Moses.

It was Moses to whom God presented Himself to mankind as "I AM." It was this same adopted son of the queen of Egypt who led the Exodus from Egypt and was given the Ten Commandments. It was Moses who wrote the first five books of the Bible.

Later, the Messianic line was preserved through adoption. The Jewish people had been led into exile. A young girl, Hadassah, lost her parents and her uncle took her in. He adopted her, and raised her as his own daughter. The Persian king Xerxes was compelled by this young woman’s stunning beauty and took her as his wife.

The king’s evil advisor, Haman, hated the Hebrews. He plotted to destroy them and wipe them off the face of the Earth. It was the courage of the adopted daughter of Mordechai, better known as Queen Esther, who "at such a time as this" rose to the occasion. It was this adopted daughter who risked her very life to approach the king to seek his favor to save her people. Through her actions not only were her people saved but also the Messianic line and eventually, through the death of Christ, all men.

Jesus, The Christ, was the adopted son of Joseph. It was the adoptive father of Jesus who refused to have Mary, the mother of God, stoned or put away privately. It was the adoptive father of the Christ who took Mary to Bethlehem fulfilling the prophecy of Micah. It was Joseph who fled to Egypt with Jesus, saving the adopted Christ Child’s life. It was the adoptive father of Jesus who brought Him "up out of Egypt.”

The adoptive father of our Great God and Savior had every reason and right under the law to refuse the responsibility of a child he had not fathered. However, Joseph knew that God’s plan was greater than his own. He raised the Son of God as his own.

As Christians it is by adoption that we cry "Abba" or "Papa" Father. Our adoption was known even before the foundation was laid for this universe. Redemption is by adoption. We were desperately "lost children." It was through the most evil and vile act in history that our adoption into God’s family was facilitated. Through adoption we have a heritage we don't deserve and a destiny forever altered. It is by adoption that we are “joint heirs” with the Messiah, Jesus.

Today there are nearly 150 million lost children worldwide. The outcomes they face are staggering. Almost 2/3 of the children who age out of foster care in the United States will end up in the prison system. In Eastern Europe estimates run as high as 1 in 10 orphaned children killing themselves before their 18th birthday. In Africa millions of lost children will die of AIDS. In South America the orphan is often conscripted into violent street gangs and militias. In Asia young girls are left wholesale on orphanage steps due to oppressive laws of tyrannical regimes only to later end up on the streets as prostitutes. Regardless of where a lost child is, he faces an almost certain untimely demise if parents never come for him.

St. James wrote “… Pure religion is to care for the orphans…” The lost child has a simple need. A family! Some say it is na├»ve to expect to find families for 150,000,000 children. However, there are an estimated TWO BILLION people worldwide who claim to be followers of the adopted Christ. If just one of every eight us were moved to action by the plight of the lost child the problem would be solved!

Without adoption we have no chance for eternal life. An orphaned child who is not adopted has virtually no chance for earthly life, much less eternal. God gave adoption to us; can we offer any less to them?

Adoption is not natural; it is supernatural!

Earthly adoption of lost children is one of the highest symbolic forms of worship one can offer a Holy and Just God.

Steve

4 comments:

Leslie said...

Amen and amen!!!

Tara said...

Wow! What a post! Thank you for being so bold. I've been following your blog for quite some time (before you got your boys). So inspiring!

tara

Mike and Christie said...

Thanks for that Steve. :)

Heidi and Felix said...

Well said, well said! I try and get the same point across on our blog. You hit the nail on the head!

Felix