Bible Study Opportunities
Leaving the OrphanageBy Jon W. Quinn
Adoption has gotten some rather bad press recently. There have been cases where the adoptive parents have been sued for custody by the biological mother who changed her mind or by the biological father who never knew his child existed until learning about it second hand. Sometimes we hear the sad tales in the news of nightmare adoptions. There is always much concern expressed about the welfare of the child, and no matter what the verdict, there are always those who think it should have gone the other way.
But these are the exceptions. On the whole, adoption is very successful and works well. Legalities have made it rather expensive, and certainly improvements could be made there. Usually, the adopted child goes home with parents who show the child tremendous amounts of love, and the child becomes theirs in every sense of the word.
Children need a home, not an orphanage. In an orphanage they will get the food, clothing and shelter they need, but humans need more than that to thrive. Recently, in Romania, children have been shown who, though fed and sheltered, are practically without emotion due to the fact that they have been raised in sterile settings without love. God designed families to answer emotional needs; fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, grand parents, aunts, uncles, cousins.
This World is an Orphanage
This world reminds me in various ways of one of those Romanian orphanages. We all have the need to be adopted. Some of us have gotten tough and "don't need anyone." How sad! Others know the need to belong and that we ought to be very happy that Someone very special and loving has come looking for children to adopt and take home.
The apostle Paul, by the Holy Spirit, tells us of our new home in God's family. “He predestined us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” (Ephesians 1:5).
In our nation, certain precautions and preparations are made before adoptions can take place. We realize that children need good homes and good parents who will be loving and responsible. We won't allow children to be adopted by just anybody.
God prepared for us before time began. The Bible uses the word “predestined” to describe God's arrangements to adopt which He planned from the beginning. And, He is a parent who is qualified to adopt us. He has everything we need in Christ. “...who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3).
We also understand that we have certain responsibilities as members of our adoptive family. We are to learn the will of our Father and walk accordingly (Colossians 1:9-11).
Our Father loves us and wishes to have us as his children to share His glory with us. He wants us to share in the comforts of our new home (Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 1:12). You see, this world is our orphanage, but heaven is our home.
The child looks through the orphanage window longing for the day when he can go to his new home. Will the day ever come? Will he ever be chosen to leave this place and go to a real home? Will he ever be considered valuable to anyone? Will he ever be wanted and loved? Will he ever be redeemed from this place?
The days the child waits are incomplete, lacking the answers to the emotional needs he so dearly requires. How much will it cost someone to adopt him? Rather expensive legal work and fees are involved.
Good news! Someone has paid the price so we can have a home!
God foreordained the plan in which we would be bought back. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of His grace. (Ephesians 1:7). Of course, there are differences between this spiritual adoption in Christ and the literal adoption of children. The Lord is not redeeming innocent children; He is redeeming sinners; this called for more than an "adoption fee"; it called for payment for crimes committed.
Jesus paid it all! This purchase means we are forgiven of trespasses. This He did with abundance of grace (Ephesians 1:8; cf. Colossians 1:13-14; John 3:16-17).
The Father used wisdom and insight to work this plan to redeem us from impossible ruin and degradation. All the “paperwork” has been done. It is complete (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
We, as adopted children have all the rights to our inheritance. We are fully children of God; fully loved by Him and provided for by Him. “We also have obtained an inheritance” (Ephesians 1:11). This is according to His will, or purpose. It is not according to man's design/purpose. The New Testament also speaks of our “being clothed” in our inheritance and of our “House not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1; 4:16-18).
I have been chosen by God to be His child. God has chosen to love me and bless me. But He did not drag me kicking and screaming from the orphanage. He won't you either. But He will knock at your door. He will invite you to come. And if you respond by faith, and live by faith, then by faith you shall be saved. Home is waiting.
Reprinted From the Bradley Banner Bradley Church of Christ Bradley, Illinois November 8,1998