Scripture Reading: Hosea 8:1-9:17 / Romans 8:1-17 / Proverbs 17:25-18:6
One of the greatest acts of love is when someone adopts a child. Birthing a child is a natural biological process but adopting a child is a willful emotional process. Adoption isn’t simply a matter of guardianship but the permanent transfer of identity and inheritance. The child receives the rights, privileges, permanence and love of adoption. Their life is forever transformed, as they are welcomed into the hearts and lives of a new family.
Paul uses this analogy to describe the process of redemption. We were born with a sinful nature but delivered from the slavery of sin through the power of Christ’s atonement and given “the Spirit of sonship.” (Romans 8:15) Earthly adoption cannot change the biological DNA of a child but God’s adoption process changes our spiritual DNA. He powerfully begins a process of discipleship and transforms us into the likeness of His Son.
God becomes our Father and His Spirit seals our adoption as God’s children. (vs.15,16) The same Spirit, who hovered over a formless, empty and dark earth giving witness to God’s creative power, hovers over and seals our spiritual adoption. Just as God created man and breathed life into him, God breathes the presence of His Spirit into our lifeless condition.
We receive the rights and privileges of adoption…heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. (vs.17) God holds nothing back from us. He opens up all the treasures of His Kingdom to us and does not hold our past against us. The things we have not earned, worked for or born into are given to us by His divine grace and mercy.
In the 1970 American Express commercial, Karl Malden popularized the phrase, “Membership has it’s privileges…don’t leave home without it.” Those who experience the powerful and transforming work of God’s redemptive adoption, have a greater story/testimony to declare. I believe we can say quite assuredly in 2013, “Adoption into the Family of God has it’s privileges…don’t live in the world or leave earth without it!” Aren’t you glad you are adopted?