Each Christmas I am reminded of another special event in addition to celebrating the birth of Christ, my salvation. In 1985 I was lost and living in darkness. A friend talked to me about the gospel and encouraged me to read the Bible. I had little hope anything would change for me, but I was so desperate I thought I would try it anyway.
As I read the words of the gospel of Matthew, Chapter 7:7-11 dawn broke in the blackness of my heart and the Spirit of God revealed the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and I was regenerated by grace through faith. Praise the Lord!
His grace has kept me and will present me faultless (Jude 24) before the Father one day. Having come from a religion of works I had much to learn and He has been faithful to provide solid teaching over the years that I pass on to you each day.
The gift of salvation is all of Him. It comes by way of the baby in the stable, whose birth we just celebrated the other day. Each person who is saved by grace through faith understands that they did nothing worthy of being adopted into the family of God. We know we were not chosen because we were extra good or extra special. In fact, the opposite was true! We were chosen because we were hopeless, lost, dead in our transgressions and sins, and doomed (Eph. 2:1-3). The Bible describes us in those terms, and worse!
Our adoption was determined before the beginning of time (Eph. 1:4), and was accomplished by God in Christ. We were chosen, selected, and elected. We have been called out of the rest of mankind to belong in every way to our Father. We are entitled by virtue of the legal transaction that took place in the heavenly court to every spiritual blessing that belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. His Father is now our Father, and what is His is ours both in promise (future) and in the present.
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will… In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 1: 10b, 11, 13-14
I have a special place in my heart for adoption, for my two older children are adopted. It is not something I often speak of, but thought I would take this opportunity to do so.
When my first husband left us (for someone else) and subsequently divorced me I was prepared to fill the role of both mom and dad in the lives of my children. I had accepted that the Lord God would be my Husband (Isa. 54:5) and believed “great would be your (my) children’s peace”(Isa. 43:13).
When my old high school friend Larry came around (purely as a friend) my kids never knew he existed. It was not until our friendship progressed to the point of a relationship that I allowed them to meet each other. When we made plans to marry we thought the boys father would remain a part of all of our lives. But God had other plans.
Through a series of what has to be called miraculous events my ex-husband offered to terminate his parental rights and allow Larry to adopt the kids. This was something we had often wished for and prayed for, yet we were astonished when it came about. The boys were very excited, as it was something they had both independently asked us about in their child-like ways.
It was amazing that he would even approach us and offer to do this! We watched God work out one detail after the next, as the funds we needed for the Home Study were supernaturally provided, as Larry passed through all the legal hoops of step-parent adoption, as my ex-husband actually completed the termination requirements…
When the day came for the court hearing, the judge made it very clear that my two little boys would be legally considered Larry’s children in every single sense of the law. They would be entitled to every benefit of a natural born child, and entitled to inheritance, name, and status of the same.
As the gavel came down in the court room that day I was reminded of the heavenly transaction that took place in the past of every person who has been regenerated and is in Christ. Just like my little boys didn’t “deserve” adoption, and did nothing to make it happen- we didn’t either.
They were spectators of the event, with the exception of answering one question- do you want this man to be your Father? We are also essentially spectators as God chooses us, pays the ransom for our adoption, buying us back out of a desperate situation. All we say is, “Yes.”
My sons became full heirs of Larry; in salvation we became full heirs of God in Christ (Rom 8:17a).
All of this is totally amazing to me. I have a real life earthly example of what was done in the courts of heaven! And as my adoption as a child of God brings Him glory, the earthly adoption has also born much wonderful fruit in the lives of our children who are now adults.
We are incredibly thankful to God for His indescribable gift, and we praise God for all these grace-based things.