Redemption is the key theme of the gospel. It is the very essence of what Christ’s death and resurrection bring to our lives. We are redeemed. The lost become found. Broken lives are redeemed and set on a course of restoration and transformation.
As our family has set out on this journey of adoption, the truth of the gospel has become an even greater reality in our hearts. Adoption in the natural mirrors so beautifully what adoption means to each of us in the spirit.
Paul chose to use adoption to illustrate the power of the gospel. In Jewish culture, it is unlawful to disinherit a child who has been adopted. A man may disinherit his biological children, but never one who has been adopted. Perhaps Paul chose adoption as a tool to communicate the power of salvation for this reason.
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which has freely given us in the One he loves.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made know to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment- to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under on head, even Christ.”
It was the Father’s plan from the beginning to adopt us as his sons and daughter, to give us his name, and to give us the full inheritance of his son Jesus Christ.
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
When we took Emma and Aiden into our home they had each been orphaned for nearly 3 years. The effects of that were seen in their lives in so many ways.
Aiden had anxiety attacks every evening as I would start dinner in complete panic that there wouldn’t be enough. He would wake up in the night crying, frightened by what appeared to be dreams of a past we would never understand.
Emma had shut her heart down and was just a shell of the little girl that God had intended her to be. Her only coping mechanism for stress, pain, fear, or worry was to rock on the floor and moan. Her eyes were dark. She pushed away at all of our attempts to love her.
We said yes to these broken ones. We gave them our name. We called them our son and our daughter, and we chose to love them as our very own.
We all come to Him broken and wounded. Many of us, though not orphaned, have suffered the effects of fatherlessness through absence or neglect. He takes each of us in, calls us His own and patiently waits as we learn to love Him and receive His love.
Salvation sets us on the course for a life time of receiving the transforming work of God.
I want to show you some images that will reflect in the natural what happens in the spiritual as we surrender to the redemptive power of the cross and allow total transformation to begin it’s work in our lives.
This is Aiden just a year and a half ago. He was blessed to have a nurse at the orphanage that had taken a special liking to him. She truly loved him, but he had still never know the love of family and had never know the love of a Father. If you have spent even a minute with John and Aiden you will know that he is the apple of his daddy’s eye. Aiden has thrived under the love of a Father, under the love and care of a family that adores him.
This is transformation. This is the is result of the power of love. It is a miracle.
This is Emma just a year and a half ago. She was hurt and broken. She had no idea how to give or receive love. Her eyes were empty and cold. She resisted our love in every possible way, but a LOVE WON out. She was not speaking, she could hardly walk with out falling over, and she had no control over her emotions.
This is Emma now. See the life in those eyes? See the glimmer and sparkle of a little girl who knows she is loved. This is what transformation looks like. This is the power of redemption.
This is just a reflection of what the Father offers each of us…..