Adoption, Doctrine of Love and Act of Love

…take as one’s child, be adoptive parents to, take in, take care of, espouse, take on/up, embrace, assume; appropriate, arrogate, choose, select, pick, vote for, elect, settle on, decide on, opt for; name, nominate, appoint.

Antonyms: abandon, reject.

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.”

In a work in which he said he was trying to show that “Christianity is not a ‘life,’ as distinguished from a doctrine, and not a life that has doctrine as its changing symbolic expression, but that–exactly the other way around–it is a life founded on a doctrine.” J. Gresham Machen said this:

“The modern liberal will say—may we not now return to that simple trust of the disciples? May we not cease to ask how Jesus saves; may we not simply leave the way to Him? What need is there, then, of defining ‘effectual calling,’ what need of enumerating ‘justification, adoption and sanctification and the several benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from them’?” (Christianity & Liberalism, p. 26-27)

Adoption is included here as a central doctrine that needs clear definition and defense against a liberalizing influence. Even within the Church there is a need for deeper understanding of Adoption, so that we might test new ideas in light of solid Scriptural doctrine. What’s more, in our evaluation of worldviews it is important to ask, “Who are we in relationship to the reason for our existence?” The answer to that question draws a sharp line around Christianity as compared with many other worldviews. As Islamic scholar, Imran Nazar Hosein, points out:

“No one has the freedom, no matter how well-intentioned, to ascribe to Allah Most High such false names and attributes as ‘father’ that they themselves create. That is a very grave sin indeed. Rather Allah Most High has Himself provided all His beautiful names (al Asma al-Husnah) in the Qur’an, and ‘father’ is most certainly not one of them…” ~Islam Rejects the False Doctrine of The Fatherhood of God

In his statement about the purpose of his writing, Machen makes clear that doctrines bear fruit in a life marked by certain qualities. The guests in the first hour of this show, “Karen” the director of an international adoption and aid organization, and Michael and Pearl Aquino, newly adoptive parents–demonstrate that their understanding of God as a Father who adopts, bears fruit in them as compassion for the fatherless that culminates in taking a child into their hearts and homes.

The Scriptures use this special act of love as a picture of what God does for us in Christ. So understanding the picture helps us to understand what God has done. The reverse seems also to be true; understanding what God has done brings us a clearer understanding of what we are to do. So in the second hour, Dr. Timothy JR Trumper, Senior Minister of Seventh Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, MI, comes to help us understand the doctrine of Adoption.

For more information about international adoption, you may contact “Karen” at adoption@hotmail.com for inquiries.

Special thanks to Chris Van Allsburg for his assistance on this program.

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lindsay@apologetics.com

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