Anglican Morning Devotion, 7 November 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion of Churches Worldwide
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (EPHESIANS 1:3-6)
The term, ADOPTION, is used in Holy Scripture to describe a legal choice to assume another’s child as one’s own. It is a manner of choosing a son or daughter and not by accident of birth. The adopted son or daughter assumes full rights as a natural born child. The earliest example of adoption in Scripture was that of Ephraim and Manasseh, sons of Joseph, as full sons of Jacob with same rights of inheritance as Reuben and Simeon. (see Genesis 48:5,14,16,22) Another example is that of Moses adopted as a son to the daughter of Pharaoh. (in Exodus 2:5-10), Yet another in Old Testament times is that of Esther being adopted by her uncle Mordecai. (see Esther 2:7) These were all physical adoption in which the child became the legal heirs of the father. In the New Testament, we find the process of adoption taking on an even greater meaning – spiritual and divine.
The Lord Jesus Christ was conceived by the miraculous intervention of the Holy Ghost and therefore had no sinful blood of man coursing through his veins. He was the Son of God from Eternity past and is properly termed the “only Begotten Son.” He is not the ‘only’ son, or ‘one and only’ son as the new versions falsely claim, but Begotten of the Father. He is of the same substance and mind of the Father and is His perfect likeness. In this respect, the Lord Jesus Christ is a Son separate and distinct from us as adopted sons and daughters. The distinction is vital for our understanding of His Person and Divinity. Jesus came: “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:5) and, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” (1 John 3:1)
Being adopted into the family of God is accomplished without any good works or merit of those who are adopted. It is equivalent to being dead, and then being reborn to newness of life since we were all dead in trespasses and sin ere we were drawn from our spiritual graves by the same Voice that called forth Lazarus. The dead can do nothing to save themselves – it is altogether an act of God and an expression of His will.
The number of text references in Scripture to our adoption, and the means by which we are called, is far too plentiful for this short devotion; however, you have the Word of God to which you may refer to prove all these things for yourself.
Being adopted into the family of God as sons and daughters, we must quit ourselves as sons and daughters, princes and princesses, of the Great King of Kings. It is our legacy to be so.
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:15-19)
How shall you know that you are the called of God? By the love you bear for Him, His only Begotten Son, and those of His creation about us – a love unto death if it be so required of us.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)