The Joy and Gravity of Adoption
If you are like me, you hardly ever have to convince yourself of your sinfulness. Temptations abound and sin is ever present. But what you must convince yourself of is the extent to which your Justification reaches. You must continually think on how your Justification affects everything in which you may be involved- job, unpleasant co-workers, family life, social pressures, and self-doubt just to name a few.
How does our Justification affect how we handle our job, family life, and social pressures?
Understanding our Justification begins by striving to understand the nature of God. Within God’s Trinitarian essence, we see the Father loving the Son (John 5:20). This love with which God loves the Son is an everlasting love. In other words, there has not been a time in which the Father has not loved the Son. This is demonstrated by the Father’s full acceptance of the Son. When a person is loved, he is fully and completely accepted.
Jesus, Who is righteous, became as one who is unrighteous, yet without sin. He was born under the law in order to fulfill the law but was treated as one who broke the law, and He did this so that we might become the righteousness of God and adopted as Sons. Christ not only is righteous, but He accrued righteousness on our behalf because He fulfilled the law. Christ fulfilling the law is a complete fulfillment, in that, there is not one part of the law for us to fulfill; absolutely nothing left for us to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17; Galatians 3:10; Romans 8:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Philippians 1:11; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9; Galatians 4:5).
Jesus, Who possessed the full and complete love and acceptance of the Father did everything required to gain the full and complete love and acceptance of the Father, for us. So that, through faith in Jesus, we possess all of the righteousness He Himself accrued which is imputed to us and our sin imputed upon Him. Once we possess this love and acceptance, nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:39). We are then fully and completely loved and accepted by the Father.
Our justification is not merely a forensic declaration of being righteous. It is certainly nothing less than that, but it is not merely the declaration of being righteous. We are fully and completely loved by the Father.
We must remind ourselves of these truths particularly when we struggle with doubt, temptation, guilt, and sin.
Have you struggled with doing your devotions? consistently? Have you caught yourself thinking, “I haven’t done my devotions consistently enough, so I will read my Bible for one full hour (as punishment),” even though we may not explicitly express it that way.
Do you struggle with consistently tithing? Have you ever thought, “I need to give $20 more each week to make up for my lack of consistency” ?
Do you struggle with anger? Have you found yourself thinking, “I can’t control my anger. I might as well give up trying” ?
Do you find yourself arguing with people all the time (the subject doesn’t matter)? Do you think “I can not help it that I’m always right and they’re always wrong”?
But when we think in these ways, we say that Christ’s complete fulfillment of the whole law is not enough; Christ’s accomplishment of acquiring the Father’s full love and acceptance is incomplete. We really believe that God’s love and acceptance of us is not enough; there is something more outside of Himself.
We think our effort of reading Scripture is a means to get back God’s full and complete love and acceptance of us.
We have placed a price on God’s love at a mere $20 instead of the priceless (and all sufficient) blood of Jesus which paid for our sin and guilt.
We struggle with anger because we truly believe we are superior to others, no one else thinks properly like I do, or we simply do not see people as made in the image of God.
We find ourselves arguing over anything and everything because we simply must be right. We have failed to recognize that Christ’s finished work frees us from this self-imposed law of “being right”.
We do not see that the Father’s love and acceptance of us is all we need; we do not need to be right all the time.
We are either thinking “I must do something to gain the Father’s full and complete love and acceptance,” or “there is something more I must have outside of God”. We are not remembering that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, (nor our lack of consistency in our devotions), (nor anger), (nor being right), nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39). Oh, what love is this!
Yes, we must strive to do better in the areas of which we struggle, but our motivation must flourish from the Gospel, the Good News that we are Justified by faith in Jesus Who is our righteousness and has gained the full and complete love and acceptance of the Father for us! Let this truth pour over your soul like pure water over a parched tongue; rinse, repeat, rinse, and repeat again.
God has not called my family to pursue adoption, but God has called us to adoption. Let me explain…
My brother and his family pursued adoption because God led them to pursue it. As a result God led my family to pursue adoption– what I call extended adoption. Adoption does not happen in a historical vacuum, nor is adoption limited to the immediate family. Those of us in the extended family have been called to adoption along with them.
We support, accept, and love these children who have been adopted. In fact, I can’t help but treat the adopted children like any other child in the family. After all, they are Cruvers. They have the full rights and privileges of the Cruver household – even the extended Cruver households.
Adoption is a family affair, an extended family affair. It is a community affair.
God, Who is the eternal Community of Three in One, extended Himself in the Spirit to include all those who believe in Jesus, thereby establishing an extended community of persons. (See this video for background to what I mean). All those who believe in Jesus are included in the family of God with the full rights and privileges of being God’s sons and daughters. We are born into God’s family within the confines of community.
Likewise, those adopted in a family are also adopted into the extended family, into the confines of familial community.
God did not call us to adoption but to adoption.