Letter To Our Children
by Pastor Joe | May 25, 2022 | Letters To Our Children
Superman. Spiderman. Quicksilver. Loki. Luke Skywalker. Princess Leia. Peter Pan. Anne of Green Gables. Pinocchio. The Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon, Theodore). Star-Lord. All fictional characters who were adopted. You may know real families who have adopted real children. It’s a beautiful practice. Children in need of a family can become part of one through adoption. In the ancient world, adoption was different.
In the New Testament world of ancient Rome, adoption had a powerful meaning. When a child was born, their dad and mom had the option of disowning the child for many different reasons. The parents were not obligated to care for the child and raise them. Nothing had to be automatic or permanent. As strange as this might sound, if the parents thought the child was good enough and the parents liked them enough, the child would remain part of the family. If not, they would not.
If the parents decided not to raise the child, the city of Rome had places where unwanted children would be left, just in case, someone else wanted to adopt them. It's sad to say, but this was like a drop-off station for unwanted children. If the child was born outside the city, the chances of survival were almost non-existent.
But if adopted, things were different. In Rome adopting a child meant the parents chose to keep their child and would be a permanent part of the family, and the parent, by Roman law, could never disown the child. The custom was when the male child was in their early teens; the parents would go public with the adoption.
Once adopted, the child legally received a new identity. The old commitments, responsibilities, and debts were gone; new privileges and responsibilities were given. Also, in ancient Rome, inheritance was part of life, not something that began at death. Being adopted made someone an heir to their father, joint sharers in all his possessions, and united with him. In other words, all the father had the son now had. Nothing could change this.
But the child had to be good enough and loved enough by their parents who birth them for this to happen. Not so with God. He loved us before He adopted us. He adopted us in our badness, our weakness, and our sin. He made us good. (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Adoption is a grace gift of God in and for His only Son, Jesus Christ. Every person justified (given the gift of Christ's perfect righteousness as if they have never sinned) becomes part of God’s family forever. The Spirit of His Son is given. They are under His Fatherly care and have all the rights and privileges of children of God, made heirs of all the promises, and partner heirs with Christ in glory. All these graces are permanent and fixed.
Your adoption means you lack nothing. It means we share all of this with other Christians, our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, as His death has made this so.
As a Father I love being able to say, this is my son, or this is my daughter. I love it, even more, when I hear my kids say, this is my dad. The same is true in our adopted state with God and our elder brother Jesus. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So, Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. (Hebrews 2:11)
Enjoy these verses as you think about your adoption in Christ.
But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12)
And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” ( 2 Corinthians 6:18)
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, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:16-17)
God bless you this week brothers and sisters 🙂