Adopted Into God’s Family
Rev. Paul Prange
When I was born, my parents could not take care of my spiritual needs. They certainly had faith of their own. But they knew that they could not pass salvation on to me by being my physical parents (John 3:6).
So they brought me to the only living God to be born again (John 1:13). They brought me to baptism, which connected me to the only One who could grant me salvation (Romans 6:4).
Received by Baptism
At the moment of my baptism, angels sang. The angels in heaven shouted, “Amen,” and broke into a perfect song of rejoicing that another sinner had been brought to repentance and faith (Luke 15:7). I may have felt only a bit of moisture on my very bald head, but the heavenly reality is that I was submerged, gasping, into water of death and blood, and then raised overhead, cleansed, to be placed as a trophy on a mantle where only holy things can be displayed.
In baptism I received a new family name: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). It’s the family name of the only true God, and by baptism I became a member of God’s family (Galatians 3:26,27). In fact, I became God’s son, a brother of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2:11). Now all other Christians are members of God’s family with me.
The Lord took responsibility for our spiritual upbringing (1 Corinthians 12:3). Daily and richly he enlightens and sanctifies me and the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps us in the one true faith (Ephesians 3:16).
Entitled to an Inheritance
As an adopted member of the family (Ephesians 1:5), I receive an inheritance from my heavenly Father: forgiveness of sins, life and salvation (1 Peter 1:4). That inheritance came into effect when “Someone” died. That “Someone” was my brother, Jesus Christ (John 3:16). He made it possible for me to be a member of God’s family in every way.
When I was born, my birth mother could not take care of my physical needs. I do not know what considerations she went through or how she came to that conclusion, since I have never met her. But she came to the conclusion that she could not raise me, even though she was my physical parent. I respect that decision and give thanks for it.
She placed me with a Christian adoption organization, which in turn placed me in a wonderful Christian family. From the time I was six weeks old, I had a stable mother and a stable father in a stable Christian home.
Certainly the angels had charge over me, to guard me in all my ways. They protected me from danger and rejoiced as my parents taught me the truths of God’s Word. My parents further brought me up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
My parents named me right away, giving me their family name, and after a while, that became my legal name. At a certain legal ceremony I became their full son, a full brother to the siblings that came after me. They adopted three more children and then had one by natural birth. Yet we are all equally their children in the eyes of the law. In fact, I am the executor of my parents’ estate, and I can assure my siblings that their will states the estate is to be divided equally in five ways.
My parents took responsibility for my spiritual upbringing. We had regular church attendance, Sunday School, and home devotions after every meal. My parents used law and gospel appropriately, so clearly that I learned unconditional forgiveness from them. My parents loved all of their children, each from different birth parents, and expressed that love by teaching us above all about Jesus.
When I think about my adoption, I think about baptism. When I think about baptism, I am reminded of the wonderful thing that my birth mother did for me. I did not deserve such fine treatment; in fact, it is reasonable to guess that I caused my birth mother a lot of trouble. I did not deserve to be adopted into such a wonderful Christian family, but I am a full-fledged member of it.
Saying “Thank You”
I could have had an awful life, but by grace my life has been blessed. I look at each moment as a gift that could easily have been taken away by a selfish birth mother or unfaithful parents. When I choose to serve my Lord and pass on his gospel message in many different ways, one reason is to say thank-you to Him for these marvelous gifts of grace.
Dear Christian reader, even if you are not adopted, you are in the same condition. You could have had an awful life that ended with an awful eternity, but by grace your life has been blessed. You have come to know Jesus as your Savior. When you choose to serve Him and pass on His gospel message in many different ways, you are saying thank-you to Him for all of the marvelous gifts of grace in your own life.
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May 4, 2018