“In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:4c-6 NASB
November marks national adoption awareness month. Around this time last year, we learned about embryo adoption after dealing with a sobering ministry situation that opened our eyes to the hidden culture of death found in most IVF (in vitro fertilization) cases. As Christians we believe what the Bible says in Psalm 139 holds true and life begins at conception, and thus an embryo or fetus is an unborn child made in the image of God. The dreadful curse of IVF is that typically a dozen embryos are created at a time and 93% of them are never given their rights to life—many are frozen till they die, discarded or used for research like lab rats. It’s daunting to think about how many unwanted children around the world, and now embryos are in a holding tank. If abortion reeks of the culture of death; in contrast, adoption gives off the fragrant aroma of life and love embraced.
God uses the illustration of adoption for how he embraces us into His family while being in dire need for salvation from the destruction of our souls as children of wrath. We all are born into the curse of sin and death. We are condemned by the law of God and His holy standards that we cannot keep. We are held in bondage as slaves of sin because of the law. Yet, not only does God’s promise frees us; it adopts us into a glorious intimate son-ship with God through the Son Jesus. “So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that he might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Gal 4:3-5. Pastor John used a bold illustration Sunday morning. He said when parents conceive a child they do not get to choose him or her specifically, but in adoption they pick, and God also chooses whom he wills.
God’s choosing of us is not based on our good deeds or merits, but solely on His grace. No matter how heinous the crimes against God we’ve committed, He accomplished redemption by reaching out his hand to us while we were dead in our trespasses & sins; bringing us into the position of being sons and even hires of his majestic kingdom. As children of God, we can cry out to him “Daddy, Abba, Papa!” and he hears us! It’s such a relief to be able to run to our Father’s arms in a world filled with the tragic effects of sin. Sometimes even just the sorrow of being in the flesh. As we humble ourselves and mourn over our sin, God grants us grace. We are also comforted by the promise that because of what Jesus did, God can look at us and see His perfect righteousness. Our adoption was realized because of God’s abounding love and choosing of us. “Biblical agape love is not an emotion but a disposition of the heart to seek the welfare and meet the needs of others. (John 15:13) And that is exactly what Jesus Himself did on behalf of those God has chosen to be saved.” MacArthur goes on to say, “God lovingly draws redeemed sinners into the intimacy of His own family.” Praise God that He takes pleasure in adopting us as His children while so underserving!
Father most high, you are what our hearts long for and desperately need, in a time where sin runs wild and tempts us to compromise with the enemy’s cunning lies. Oh, God, please forgive us and hold us near as our dear daddy. Help us to be in awe of the wonder of your redemptive plan of salvation and your great love for us. May we give You praise in all that we are called to bear in this life, knowing that Jesus willingly gave up His life in perfect obedience to you and won our right to be called your children… That all you would see how blessed it is to be a part of your forever family and by your grace be drawn in as well. In Jesus’ name.
Citizen Magazine from Focus on the Family wrote a feature article on embryo adoption November, 2016 called Frozen in Limbo: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/citizen-magazine/frozen-in-limbo