Adoption is a legal term that implies a change in status. Things separated, become things unified. This term has applicability in secular, scientific, theological and cultural contexts. For this post we will look at the scenario of a child adoption from the point of view of the child recognizing its new relationship (hint: not the best point of view). Adoption is mostly about a change in perspective. After the moment of adoption, the child’s point of view is free to conceptualize a different life because he or she now has access to a different set of resources.
Romans 8:15 (NLT) So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
Romans 8:22-23 (NLT) For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
This change in perception not only affects the perception of the child, it also changes the perception of everyone already in the family and those remaining outside of the family. In my opinion, it is a myopic point of view, of only perceiving adoption from the child’s point of view, and this is where Christianity can find greater meaning in the interpretation of scripture. (Try rereading the above scriptures from our Father’s point of view) Once a child is adopted, his or her point of view must change to that of the Father’s point of view. This was the point of view that Jesus held when He said “not my will be done”.
To perceive the kingdom of God from the non-adopted child’s point of view creates the aberrant social structures in the local spiritual communities. For example the tendency to treat the kingdom like an exclusive club. Other examples would be the hierarchy between brother and sisters , and the excessive fear of God, Satan, and the potential of losing one’s status as a child of God. From the Father’s point of view these examples become moot. Even a lost child is still His child.
Psalm 82: 2 (NLT) “How long will you hand down unjust decisions by favoring the wicked? Interlude
Psalm 82:6-7 (NLT) I say, ‘You are gods; you are all children of the Most High. 7 But you will die like mere mortals and fall like every other ruler.’”
Gal 4:1-3 (NLT) Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.
Love is the primacy of spiritual reality and it is the nature of God and His children. To perceive God’s love and to communicate His love to others, one needs to be of God. An adopted child not sure of the love behind their adoption is like a blind person viewing the world. Every incident is a potential threat and any unfamiliar area can cause fear to rise up within.
However once and understanding is realized that no-thing can separate us from our Father’s love a new confidence begins to emerge. The judgmentalism that characterized much of my early Christian walk, begins to give way to a new confidence in loves ability to overcome all things. Often our religious training dismisses the non-orthodox feelings as a hyper-grace, which is defined as the act of overlooking and accepting blatant sin. But in reality of God’s love there is a deep confidence in the power and authority of that love to overcome the sins of the world.
1 John 3:1-2 (NLT) See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Mark 10:13-15 (NLT) One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. 14 When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
My encouragement is for us to perceive life from God’s point of view as His child. A life that is freely given to us and one that we are willing to help others freely enter into. Consciously or unconsciously keeping others out of God’s family by making there sin to be more than the one we repented of is an example of not understanding the grace made available us.
There is a place of revelation (God’s point of view) that once God becomes our Father every human on earth is our brother or sister. Grace is living life as child, before the realization that every other human is also God’s child. For a lot of religious folk, the only proof that God’s loves them is when they perceive He is not loving someone else. One day humanity will consciously rise above that childish interpretation of spiritual reality.
Until then it is up to you and I to reveal the greater truth, the hidden truth that has not dawned in the hearts and minds of everyone. We have been given the honor and a privilege to go into the entire world and reveal the truth. This truth has the power to transform all human life. God unconditionally loves us all. God reveals to us in our perception that we are separated from Him, that we have been adopted and that we are now His children. The realization of the truth that God loves us all and that He considers us all His children is truly a transforming power.