The book of Matthew records Jesus on a mountain preaching the sermon we now call The Beatitudes. During this time, Jesus taught his listeners to pray. The Lord’s Prayer begins with, “Our Father…” With two simple words, Jesus drew his family together. By using the word our, the Lord signaled to all who believed then — and all who believe now — that we are his family, and God is our Father. We are the brothers and sisters of Christ. In modern terms, we could say Jesus sent out the announcement that his family was expanding via adoption.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…
— Romans 8:14–17
Consider the parallel between adoption into the family of God and adoption of a child into an earthly family. The adoptee does not earn the privilege. It is given. We cannot earn our entry into God’s family because he gives it freely.
An adopted child is deliberately chosen and folded in to their new family. They are covered and shielded by the love of their new family and their life’s course is turned in a new direction. When we consider what salvation grants us, it is much the same. We are deliberately chosen by God for a new life and granted the covering of his great love. For many, many adopted children across the globe, being adopted is life-saving. How much more then is the saving grace of God for us when we accept him as Lord? He gives us life here, first, then eternal life with him in heaven.
After a year-long waiting period, my parents were scheduled for a hearing to finalize my adoption. The judge’s name was Judge Archangel, which seemed like a good sign to my parents. From the bench he looked at my father and said, “Do you understand, according to Philippine law, if you adopt this child you can never disinherit her?” He said, “Yes,” and the adoption became final. Dad says he has never forgotten the judge’s words (even when I was a teenager) because they so closely represent the finality and privilege of salvation.
When God adopts us into his family at the moment of salvation, we receive an irrevocable inheritance. We cannot be disinherited. We cannot be removed. We are secure. We are permanent member’s of God’s family. He is forever our Father.