Our adoption as children is only through Jesus Christ. (Thoughts continued from yesterday’s post)
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 1:5 (NLT) said God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
What does it mean when he says that our adoption into his everlasting family of joy is through Jesus Christ? It means we had to be died for in order that our sins might be forgiven, and that the justice of God might be satisfied, and that his wrath might be removed, and we might, therefore, be dealt with mercifully and welcomed into his family. Had he not died for us rebels, there would have been no adoption into his holy family. But through Christ he was able, with justice and mercy, to gather sinners, repentant into his divine family. That has implications, two of which I’ll mention.
Not all people are the children of God. At least if you’re going to use that language, “all humans are children of God,” you are speaking in a very loose language that does not relate to a person’s salvation. It’s not helpful, in fact, to talk about all humans being children of God. I’m not going to say it’s wrong. I just want us to define it properly — like creatures, okay?
We’re all creatures of God and in that sense, if you want to use children that way, which Paul does in Acts 17, and which is why I’m not dumping on it any more than to say it’s ambiguous. But if you want to use “children of God” in a fully biblical sense, you have to talk about through Jesus Christ, meaning through faith in Jesus Christ and what he did. Those who believe are welcomed through Jesus Christ into God’s family (Romans 3:25). That’s the first implication of saying adoption is through Jesus Christ.
Here’s a second one. God did not adopt cute little orphans; he adopted enemies. He set his face to go to the most rebellious part of the kingdom, the most mean-spirited, rebellious, in-your-face kids on planet earth and he said, “Those are going to be mine, and I’m going to give my Son to make them mine.”
So, when we are thinking of God’s adoption of us, let’s not have any warm little fuzzy feeling of, “Oh, he just picked out the cutest me.” You were not cute. You were in rebellion against him. You were displeasing to him. His wrath was abiding on you in his justice. You deserved everlasting punishment. But since God is not only justice and not only wrath, but also mercy and also love, he found a way by which the most dirty, displeasing, rebellious, unattractive kids would be his through Jesus Christ.
Therefore, we love the gospel. We love the cross. We love the blood of Jesus because we know we don’t deserve this adoption. from him. Adoption is from him and through him because of Jesus Christ.
Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – He Is There and He Is Not Silent / and, an article written by John Piper, desiringGod.org