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The Confidence of the Child in Adoption
As we established in the second article of this series, the incredible choice of love in adoption gives birth to the amazing confidence of the child in adoption.
I don’t pretend to understand all that a child goes through when they are adopted. There must be a massive and complex system of emotions swirling as they struggle with the circumstances that led to their needing to be adopted as well as the radical nature of the love of someone choosing them, and wanting them enough to make them their own. Even if the child is too young to process this at the time of their adoption, they must still go though this later in life.
It is my hope that anyone who is adopted would not stop at wondering why they needed to be adopted, but instead take confidence in the choice of love that their parents made. The fact that someone, who was under no obligation to do so, would willingly bring you into their family, name you as their own, and lavish upon you all that being their child has to offer, should give the adopted child great confidence in their newfound position, and in the love and care of their parents.
Our Confidence in Salvation
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. Romans 8:14-17
It is this same principle that gives us such confidence in our salvation. We are not left in our brokenness, or told we are saved only to wage war on our own against the body of flesh that wages war against our soul. We are given the very Spirit of God as the promise and seal of our adoption in Christ, through whom we are able to cry out to God and call Him Father. We are adopted through Christ, given the Spirit of Christ as our promise and seal, allowed to enjoy the relationship between the Son and Father and call God , “Father”, as well as having the promised inheritance of Christ when we are glorified with Him.
I don’t know where each of us are at. I have no way of knowing whether all of this is old news; maybe you already had a healthy understanding of the redemptive nature of adoption, both on this earth and in heaven. I have a suspicion, however, that most of us needed to be reminded of this; as we will have a need tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.
Salvation Mirrored in Covenant Relationships
There are a number of human relationships that God has designed to give us a living picture of the gospel. All of us who are married proclaim something of the gospel every day of our lives; whether or not we accurately display it, marriage is a showcase of the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church. Anytime you go to a Christian wedding, hopefully, you are remined of this.
Adoption showcases the gospel from a slightly different perspective, one that I think better illustrates and makes real and tangible the redemptive, restorative, nature of the gospel. The story doesn’t begin by the groom seeking out and pursuing the lovely bride, it begins with the child in a total state of frailty and need; the father deciding to give his love, his name, all that he has to that child. It is a living story of one who had lost everything receiving everything once more; restoration and redemption.
It is my hope that we would all think about adoption more; whether that simply leads us to greater celebration of the gospel, or to greater awareness of our need to support and encourage those who have needed adoption or chosen to adopt. Maybe thinking more of adoption will lead someone to considering taking part in the display of the gospel by pursuing adopting a needing child. Regardless of what action it inspires, we all would benefit by thinking more about adoption.
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Caleb Stomberg is husband to Lindsey and father to their seven children. He is pastor at Legacy Reformed Baptist Church in East Grand Forks, MN. Caleb enjoys woodworking, hunting, and anything Tolkien.