Chosen For Adoption
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:4-6).
The fact that God predestinated a people to be adopted into his family is another display of his amazing grace. When we consider that man by nature is a fallen corrupt sinner, a lawbreaker, enmity against God — it is remarkable to consider that he would pardon such rebels. But to think that by adoption they become children in God’s family is even more amazing! They are made “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).The doctrine of adoption reveals that man is not by nature in God’s family. Some promote the idea of the “universal fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.” The theory is that since all are children of the heavenly Father, none will be lost and all will live in heaven. But the scriptures reveal a division in the human race. Some are identified as the children of God and some as the children of the devil.
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother (1 John 3:9-10).
Jesus made it very clear that not all are children of God. In speaking to the Pharisees he said, “I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father” (John 8:37-38). Although the religious leaders took comfort in the fact that they were of the natural seed of Abraham, Jesus said they could not rightly claim that God was their Father. Their natural linage, their ardent zeal, their participation in religious activities meant nothing. It was evident that the word of Christ had no place in them.Furthermore, “Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me” (John 8:42). Not only did these words by Jesus condemn the Pharisees, they confirmed that those who do not love him do not belong to the Father. Many today will argue that there is good in all religions and all are worshipping the same God. So they conclude that even those who reject Jesus and his gospel are on their way to heaven. Come contend that a person can be in such confusion that he can completely reject the claims of Jesus and still be a member of God’s family. Jesus taught just the opposite in saying, “If God were your Father you would love me.”As Jesus continued this address to the Pharisees, his words became even more explicit. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). In view of what Jesus taught, no one can successfully argue from a biblical perspective that all human beings are part of the same spiritual family.There are those who will suffer the wrath of God eternally. “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:41, 46). Some believe a loving God would never condemn anyone to suffer in hell forever. But no matter what may be considered on the basis of human reasoning, the words of Jesus settle the matter. The lost will be cast into the lake of fire. According to the gospel of John, when a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ it is then that a person becomes a child of God. “As many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of God” (John 1:12-13). This is a major transformation. A sinner was determined to go his own way and had no genuine interest in Jesus Christ, now being born of the Spirit embraces Jesus as his Savior. Paul describes it this way: “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13).Adoption is a change of families through a legal declaration. If all were in God’s family, then the concept of adoption with regard to salvation would be meaningless. But according to God’s purpose, he predestinated a people to be adopted into his family on the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. His choice was not based on human merit but according to the good pleasure of his will. It is all by grace.When we believe on Jesus Christ as our Savior, we can then call God our Father. He is not one at a distance about whom little can be known; we have a personal relationship with him. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:14-15).What a privilege to call the God of heaven our Father! “Abba” was the address of small children to their fathers. It is what a child says today when he calls his father “Daddy.” To the Jews a prayer in which God would be called “Father” or “Daddy” would have been considered irreverent. So it was something very different when Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Our Father.” What a blessing to be on such intimate terms with the sovereign God of heaven that we can say, “Abba Father,” “my Daddy.” We are in this position not because of our relationship to Adam, who fell into sin, but because we have been adopted into the family of God through Jesus Christ.We have our trials and heartaches in life. It is easy to become burdened down and lose the joy of our salvation, but if we could daily keep before us the truth of God’s love and grace and what it means to have been taken into his family there would never be any reason to be cast down.
Behold, what manner of love the father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:1-2).
What a day that will be when the family of God is safe at home with him at last! All of these adopted children there to sing the praises of Jesus Christ and to enjoy being in his presence forever.