It has been said that if you want to understand how well a person appreciates what it means to be a Christian, you need to see how much he appreciates being able to call God Father.
I am talking about the doctrine of adoption.
We can call God Father because He has adopted us into His family. And there are some who would say this is the greatest privilege we experience as believers.
Every blessing God gives us is big.
It is wonderful to be chosen. It is something else to be declared righteous. And you can see why some would say it is something even bigger to be adopted.
Yet of course, we don’t always enjoy it as well as we should.
One simple reason we don’t appreciate our adoption is because in our hearts we assume we deserve it. In order to appreciate what it means to be adopted we have to begin by remembering that we are not naturally God’s sons and daughters.
I think some people fail to appreciate what it means to be adopted because we almost think of the entire world as being naturally the sons of God. However, when you look at God’s Word, you find that while the Bible speaks of us as humans being born in the image of God, it rarely if ever talks about us after the fall as being born sons of God, and it never talks about God as being the father of all men in the same way without exception.
The fact that the Bible talks about God for adopting us as believers wouldn’t mean much if we were born naturally God’s children. You don’t adopt your own children that are born from your own flesh. When my daughters were born from my wife, I didn’t need to stand before a judge and adopt them because they were born from my wife and from myself.
We can take this a step further.
In order to appreciate what Paul says about salvation, you need to remember that because of Adam’s sin, you were born God’s enemy. It’s almost like you were born the opposite of God’s children. You were born a part of a family of people that hated God. All men by nature belong to a family that is against God’s family and they do the desires of a Father who is described as a liar and a murderer from the beginning.
That is why when the Scriptures talk about us naturally being born a child of anything, it says things like you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived…and were by nature, bold print, children of wrath, of God’s anger, like the rest of mankind.
So the picture you have to have in your mind as you think about adoption is of a group of people whom God doesn’t owe anything. These are not His own children. These are people who have no rights on God. This is a group of people who basically hate God and do everything they can to resist Him.
And what adoption is, adoption is the act where God takes children like that, and chooses to officially and legally, make children like that, part of his own family, forever. What adoption is, it is the legal device, where a person leaves one family and enters another. And so when the Bible talks about adoption it is talking about where God once and for all takes a person from the family of the devil and makes him part of the family of God, giving them all the rights and privileges that go along with being one of his children.
We need to take time to enjoy that.
Just try to enjoy the fact that you have God as a Father.
I don’t know if you have ever gone to hear someone famous speak or sing.
Can you imagine going to hear someone talk and you walk up to them and say hello, my name is … and he looks at you, and he says, I know you, yeah, you are…. How would you feel at that moment? You would feel important.
God the creator of the Universe is the one who makes everyone else look small and when you walk up to God, when you come into His presence, He doesn’t only know you, He calls you His child, He calls you His son or daughter.
There is no privilege in your life that is bigger than this. I mean, not only do you call God Father, He calls you son or daughter.
You may know someone in your town who had a dad who was important and there might have been times where you looked at this person and thought I wish I had this father, because man that father is important, respected, I wish I were part of his family. There is no father like our father. He is the most ancient father. He is the most wise father. He is the most loving father. He is the most righteous father. Our father has never made a mistake in the history of the universe. There has never been a time where our father did something that was not correct to do. He always knows what is best for you. He owns everything. He will never fail. And he never dies. This is your father. And if that doesn’t grip you, you need to get on your knees and ask God to help you see how big this really is, to cause you to be amazed by the fact that you are adopted into His family and that you are His child now.