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Adoption by Paul & Rebecca Freidel

New Covenant Family,

What should come to mind to our minds when we think of adoption? Should we as believers look at the adoption of children as a vital part of our church ministry? To answer these questions, we need to first look at the importance of our adoption as sons and daughters of God.

It is so incredibly difficult to comprehend the immensity of the grace God has shown to us as believers by adopting us into His family. Why would God accept us into his family? After all, we killed our Savior and spat in his face! The full weight and penalty of our sin was placed on Jesus as he died an atoning death for us on the cross. The connection between the Father and Son was broken while He bore the wrath we deserved (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matt. 27:46b). Yet, despite all this, God chose us to be his children, adopting us into his forever family to be joint heirs with Christ! The Father sends the Spirit of adoption into our hearts so that we can cry “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15). What an incomprehensible display of love!

We see in our redemption that God is the initiator and sustainer of our spiritual adoption. We are not sons and daughters of the King because we chose him to be our Father. We are God’s children and joint heirs with Christ because of God’s unmerited favor towards us. As his children, we are given a new identity, a new name. While our earthly names are Paul and Rebecca Freidel, we now have everlasting names of “Paul in Christ” and “Rebecca in Christ.” This is our identity that transcends all earthly citizenship.  Understanding our adoption is crucial to a proper understanding of Christianity.  J. I. Packer wrote in Knowing God, “Our understanding of Christianity cannot be better than our grasp of adoption. . . .If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.”

God has called us as his adopted children to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). As part of our new identity, and as a reflection of who he is as our heavenly Father, he commands us “to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27). It is a common trap for believers to focus only on “keeping oneself unstained from the world” and to disregard the rest of the command – specifically the care of orphans. In doing this, we miss the heart of God, a God who humbled himself, and came as a man to heal the sick, broken-hearted, sinners, and needy. Are you obeying the command to “visit the orphans …in their affliction”?

Obedience will look different for each family; perhaps you are called to adopt, short or long-term foster care, or support global orphan care. Or perhaps you are called to financially or emotionally support a family in our church that is called to foster or adopt. We hope that you will take time to earnestly pray and ask the Lord how He is calling you to obey this command.

Our challenge to you this week is to consider one specific means of fulfilling this biblical vision and command: the adoption of children. Earthly, physical adoption is a reflection of God’s spiritual adoption of us as his children. The cost of our redemption was the infinitely valuable life of the Lord Jesus. The financial cost of an earthly adoption, though finite, represents a major barrier to many who desire to open their home to children. In order to encourage adoptions to Christian families and to serve potential adoptive parent, New Covenant Bible Church has prayerfully decided to begin a fund to support those in our body who are seeking to adopt but need financial assistance. We are excited by how God may use this fund in the years to come, and we are also excited by our partnership with a national non-profit, The Abba Fund, to leverage our resources to serve those in our church family. More details on this new fund, information on the new church support group for Foster, Safe Families, or Adoptive Parents (“Homes of Hope”), as well as ways the church body can become involved in orphan care ministries will follow in a blog posting next week.


Fellow adopted children of the King, your brother and sister,
Paul & Rebecca Freidel