Tonight I want to have a short a conversation with you about the salvific implications of adoption in the context of the childest interpretation. The concept of salvation has been carried on the shoulders of children such as Moses, Esther and Jesus who are the embodiment of adoption physically and spiritually. In the Bible Jesus referenced children having the the requisite characteristics to enter the Kingdom of God and therefore being adopted into the family of God. The Gospel writer of Matthew wrote this regarding the matter. â€œBut Jesus said, â€œLet the children come to me. Donâ€™t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.â€(Matt 18:3 ESV)
I also want to look at this from the perspective of a child in whom most would not consider impactful in the act of salvation. I believe that God has brought children into the equation of salvation to make several points. One, to teach us that self righteousness does not equal salvation and in fact your self righteous attitudes will never get you the salvation that you seek. God also points out the faith and innocence of children I believe this correlates with their lack of influence and the freedom in how they believe. Children possess certain characteristics that if exhibited in adults would most certainly be deemed as a detriment. Point number two, God is the architect of salvation, it is Godâ€™s doing and Godâ€™s doing alone that allows us to be saved. St. Augustine in his many writings about salvation wrote this particular statement . â€œHe who created us without our help will not save us without our consent.â€ I view this statement as God offering to adopt humanity back into Godâ€™s family and therefore allowing us to do so through our consent.
We have a mandate as part of the tenets of Christianity to look after not only the strangers among us, but the widows and the orphans. Let’s look at the intricacies and significance of adoption. I propose to you that adoption has greater spiritual implications than those that are evident in the natural.
Let’s examine the definitions of biblical adoption.
â€œAdoption, in Reformed Christian theology, is the admission of a believer into the family of God. As a theological word, adoption has similar connotations to the act of legally placing a child with a parent or parents other than those to whom they were born.â€
There are four descriptive scriptures that gives us insight into into the concept and execution of adoption. These scriptures describe a relational God and Godâ€™s effort to give us guidance on Godâ€™s adoptive relationship with humanity.
â€œPsalm 68:5-6 â€œFather of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. 6 God gives the desolate a home to live in; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a parched land.â€
â€œDeuteronomy 10:18 says, â€œHe ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing.â€
â€œPsalm 10:14 says, â€œBut you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted. You consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.â€
â€œJames 1:27 says, â€œReligion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.â€
These scriptures denote the importance of adoption in the Old testament and are references to adoption in the new testament. All four scriptures reference a physical adoption. In the Gospel of John, Jesus speaks to a leader of the Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus and discuss salvation. â€œNicodemus says to him, â€œHow can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the motherâ€™s womb and be born?â€ 5 Jesus answered, â€œVery truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.[c] 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you,You[d] must be born from above.â€
This scripture explains that no one can be born again after they have been born already. This illustration helps us to identify that the rebirth is a spiritual legal covenant (agreement). This covenant is adoption. Jesus is the covenant by which we are once again reunited into the family of God. Galatians 4:6 says â€œAnd because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, â€œAbba, Father.â€ Similarly in the apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Romans he wrote this â€œThe Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.“
These scriptures teachs us know that we were not always in the family of God, the use of the word adoption denotes the process of receiving the spirit of the Father which allows us to be sonâ€™s and daughterâ€™s of the Most High God, this is when receive divine fatherhood.
I mentioned in my introduction wanting to have a discussion surrounding the narratives of the child in the context of a Salvific figures by using the childest interpretation. There are several other examples that were available, but today I want talk with you about Moses, Esther and Jesus. I will save the final example for the finale. There are four major adoptions in the bible and the first three examples I believe have salvific types and shadows, the fourth the role is reversed.
The first significant adoption is Moses the deliverer. Let’s look at the life of Moses for a few moments
â€œThe book of Exodus contains a story (Exodus 1:15-22) of a Hebrew woman, Jochebed, who had a son at a time when Pharaoh ordered all Hebrew male infants be put to death. Instead, Jochebed found a basket, waterproofed it, placed her son inside, and gently sent him down the river. Not long after, one of Pharaohâ€™s daughters caught sight of the basket and retrieved the young boy. She eventually adopted him into the royal family and named him Moses (Exodus 2:1-10) â€” the same Moses who grew to be an important leader, prophet, and faithful servant of God!â€
Following we have Esther a captive orphan girl during Babylonian exile of Judah. Esther although being an orphan possesed tremendous God given beauty and favor, all gifts from God all used to orchestrate the deliverance of the Jewish people. God being the master architect is able to take a situation that may seem absolutely difficulty to the point we often feel like is too much to bear. God orchestrated the timing s he always does to bring divine appointment, the hebrew slave girl ascended to an abdicated throne by queen Vashti, brought Esther into proximity to the halls of justice, near a king that found great favor in her. This God given beauty and favor was accompanied by influence, so much so she was able to move the king’s heart. In act of legal defiance she said â€œIf I perish let me perish but i am going to see the king.
â€œIn the Book of Esther, a girl named Esther became an orphan following her parentsâ€™ death. Fortunately, Esther was adopted by her cousin, and later she even became a queen. Today, we can read how God worked through Esther to bring deliverance to the Jewish people!â€
The most significant is the adoption of Jesus as the son of Joseph
â€œIn the New Testament, Jesus was conceived through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18), and was adopted by His motherâ€™s husband. Joseph took Jesus as his own child, and along with Mary, raised a Son who changed the course of history.â€
Several of the minor prophets prophesied of the coming of the Christ, the virgin birth and exactly who The Christ would be and His mission. Isaiah prophesied that he would be the â€˜prince of peace.â€™ (Isaiah 9:6) MIcah prophesied that the messiah â€œthis one would be our peace.â€ â€œindicates that this one who will be ruler in Israel will come from Bethlehem, Zechariah saw the day of the Lord, â€œHe will sit on a throne and be a priest (Zech. 6:13). Zechariah 3:8 calls him â€˜the branchâ€™
Isaiah wrote (Isaiah 11:NIV) A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on himâ€”the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might,the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lordâ€”3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,or decide by what he hears with his ears;4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. 6The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together; and a little child will lead them.7The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together and the lion will eat straw like the ox 8 The infant will play near the cobraâ€™s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viperâ€™s nest. 9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush,[b] from Elam, from Babylonia,[c] from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean.12 He will raise a banner for the nation and gather the exiles of Israel;he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.13 Ephraimâ€™s jealousy will vanish,and Judahâ€™s enemies[d] will be destroyed;Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.14 They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west; together they will plunder the people to the east. They will subdue Edom and Moab,and the Ammonites will be subject to them.15 The Lord will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea;with a scorching wind he will sweep his handover the Euphrates River.He will break it up into seven streams so that anyone can cross over in sandals.16 There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.
Here are the Prophetic words spoken of the child who would be man , these words written by the inspiration of Holy Spirit some 800 years before Jesus fleshly manifestation. Can we just imagine for a moment,this child the (logos) the word that word that became flesh and walked among men new all of this about himself, everything that he would experience all of whom he would encounter , every miracle, everytime he spoke, turning water into wine, the raising of the dead. His own death burial and resurrection. Our Lord and Savior Jesus born of a virgin whoâ€™s kingdom is from everlasting to everlasting. The birth of this child would pay the ransom for the sins of humanity so that we would have the option to be adopted, with our consent, back into the his own family by the means of adoption.
4. SPIRITUAL ADOPTION
â€œIn addition to a physical adoption, the Bible also speaks about adoption in a spiritual sense. As Romans 8:15 so beautifully states, â€œThe Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, â€˜Abba, Father.â€™â€ God says we become part of His family in much the same way a family welcomes a new child â€” it is done out of love. As God adopts those who receive Christ into His spiritual family, it is Show Hopeâ€™s mission to continually see more and more children also adopted into their forever families.â€
In finality, the concept of spiritual adoption is only possible with the selfless act of Joseph of physical adoption of Jesusâ€™s as his earthly father. Jesus is disqualified from his role of Messiah if Josephâ€™s adoption did not granted access to the davidic lineage prophesied by old and new testaments authors. Here are the examples that speak to the davidic lineage that Jesus must be a part of to have the ability to process your own adoption into the family of God. In this conversation we often diminish
In closing lets us never forget the davidic lineage of Jesus that God orchestrated salvation through adoption and even employing our consent as Joseph constented and accepted the seed that would be the savior of the world. I implore you tonight not to dismiss orphans as their greatness in all of them.