The biblical concept of adoption

By Dave Henning / January 8, 2024

“It’s only when we come to understand the biblical concept of adoption that we can grasp what it means to be in Christ.”- Chip Ingram

“In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”- Ephesians 1:4-6 (NIV)

Chip Ingram concludes Chapter 2 of Discover Your True Self as he examines how the Ephesians viewed the process of adoption.  Because Roman law mainly applied adoption to adults.  On occasion, a relative adopted a child whose parents had died.  But most of the time adoption involved designating an heir to the family fortune for someone lacking natural heirs.

Consequently, an adopted heir would be in his twenties or thirties at the time of adoption.  Above all, once adopted, someone essentially rewrote the adoptee’s past to reflect his new identity.  Yet, one chose the person for adoption based on his merit and worth.  Hence, the astonishment of the Ephesians.

However, Chip counsels, mere knowledge of the truths of God’s love and His adoption of His children alone fails to change lives.  Therefore, we need to get these wonderful truths to take the eighteen-inch journey from our heads to our hearts.  As a result, we must replace the warped mirrors — those fake beliefs about ourselves — with the truth of God’s Word.

In conclusion, as these truths sink into your heart, you begin to see life differently.  Your need to perform and gain the approval of others gradually dissipates.  And over time, you actually discover your true self.

Thus, Pastor Ingram advises:

“A word of caution: this is not a magical fix.  But it you do this consistently for several months, you will notice significant, progressive changes in your beliefs and relationships. . . .  In other words, you will know who you are, and you will know that you are wanted. . . .  adopted by a Father who will never reject you.”

Today’s question: What does the biblical concept of adoption mean to you?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Know the right answers?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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