By Mark Zeiler
Today’s Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6
One of the most incredible truths the New Testament shares with us is that, in Christ, we have been adopted by God. The astonishing bottom line of the theology of adoption is that, now that we are God’s children, God loves us as if we have done everything Jesus has done. We are loved as if we are God’s only Son. We even see Jesus praying toward this end in his high priestly prayer to God: “The world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me,” (John 17:23).
The question at hand is whether or not your experience–intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually–as God’s child lines up with your legal status as an adopted child of God. Christ secured that status for you through his death and resurrection. My cousin, Evan, and his wife, Kim, tried to get pregnant for six years before they adopted their first child. He described it as 72 months of disappointment. Shortly after adopting their son, Owen, they had their first biological child, Anna Lisa. When people ask Evan if his love for his adopted son is any different than his love for his biological daughter, he replies with an emphatic and passionate, “NO! NEVER! I love Owen with the same absolute, unconditional love that I have for Anna Lisa.”
What’s mind blowing is that, in Christ, we are God’s adopted children. And, just as my cousin loves his adopted son with the same love he has for his biological daughter, God’s love for us is no different than his love for Jesus. Let me say that again in a different way: when God looks at you, his love, favor, approval, and excitement for you equals that of his love, favor, approval, and excitement for Jesus. This is not because of anything you’ve done or ever will do, but because God decided to choose you as his adopted child before the foundation of the world. And, on top of that, God didn’t lovingly adopt you because you’ve avoided bad choices, or because you’d make a great acquisition. He adopted you because he loves you.
Today, know that God has adopted you, and you are loved purely because of his glorious grace.