Being adopted by God is one of the biggest privileges we have as believers. Yet, we don’t often appreciate it the way we should. We are taking some time to think through what makes this spiritual blessing so important.
In a previous post we enjoyed the fact that our adoption means we are a child of God. Now, we want to delight in the fact that our adoption means we are loved by God.
This is one of the most important truths you can take away from this idea of adoption. Listen to what Paul says at the end of verse 4 and the beginning of verse 5 in Ephesians chapter 1.
He says, “In love God predestined us.”
Predestine means predetermined or planned beforehand. He is saying, “How did God predetermine this? What was God’s attitude as He did this?”
This whole decision to adopt was motivated by and wrapped in love.
I have heard of people who adopted children because they felt guilty. Maybe it was an uncle whose sister died and so they had to take the kids into the home. And so every time they saw the children, they would think aahh, why did I have to take this child into my home.
This is not how God adopted us. This was a delight for God.
Actually if you look at the next phrase, he says, “In love….according to the purpose of His will.” According to means on the basis of. The purpose. Or a better translation might be, the good pleasure, the delight of His will.
As one author explains, “This word purpose signifies not just the purpose of God, but also the happiness he takes in his plan. It draws attention to God’s joy in doing this.”
If you were going to before the beginning of the world and watching God making a plan, and you were wondering why is God happy right now, why is God smiling, this was the delight of His will, this was love that motivated God to adopt us.
This is one of the special treasures of thinking about adoption.
What if you only knew that God chose you? He could have only chosen you to be His slave. But adoption tells you that He chose you to be part of His family. That’s love. Or take forgiveness. If you only knew about forgiveness, that God pardons you of your guilt, that is amazing, but if you only thought about that, you might not get the extent of God’s love, because this is a legal thing, it is like you are standing before God as judge and the judge says you are righteous, and that is amazing, but there is a big difference between calling someone your honor and calling them daddy, and adoption tells you that the Judge who pardoned your sin and guilt, now calls you son. You are loved like a son.
And I want to add something here.
God not only loves you like a son. He wants you to believe that. That is one of the most important things for you as a believer to know and enjoy on a daily basis, that God loves you and delights in you like a Son.
1 John 3:1, “Behold (Look! See!) what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God, and so we are.”
It is almost like John is saying no way, check it out, you need to see this you need to be amazed by this that God loves enough to call His family.
John 17:26, We are loved by the Father with a similar kind of love that He loved His Son. Jesus is the Eternal Son. His Sonship is of a different order than ours, but now that we are in Christ, we are loved with a similar kind of love by the Father that he has for His eternal Son. You say that seems too much, but listen to John 17:26. “I made know to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” I want them to know and experience the same kind of love that you have loved me with.
Wow. What a privilege to be loved like that. How much does God love Jesus Christ the Son? How much does God love us?
J.I. Packer writes,
“God receives us as sons and loves us with the same affection with which He eternally loves His only begotten Son.”
And at this moment I should be crying. If I was enjoying this the way I should, I should be on my knees crying. To be able to say that. To be able to say that. It’s like a fairy story, the reigning king adopts a beggar to make a prince of him, but praise God it is not a fairy story, it’s hard and solid fact. God the Father feels the same way about his adopted children as He does about their elder brother Jesus Christ, and God wants you to believe that, you do not honor God by not believing that, in fact the primary way you honor him in this world is by believing that.
You are a bigger sinner than you think you are but you are not only a sinner, you are a son. Don’t deny that you are a sinner. But don’t deny the fact that you are a Son. Remember every time you look at yourself, you are going to see stuff that is going to make you sad, but look at this, it is important you realize every time you look at your failures that God’s basic attitude as He looks at you is one of affection and delight, because you are not only a sinner, you are a son, and one of the greatest sorrows, one of the greatest ways you can grieve God the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do God as a Christian is not to believe that He loves you.