What Does the Bible Say About Adoption?
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What Does the Bible Say About Adoption?

Adoption is a beautiful act that reflects God’s love for us. As Christians, we’re called to care for orphans and welcome children into our families through adoption (James 1:27). But what exactly does the Bible say about adoption? There’s so much we can learn from Scripture about this important topic.

In this post, let’s explore the biblical basis for adoption, key verses, examples of adoption, and how adoption relates to our identity in Christ. Whether you’re considering adoption or just want to learn more about it from a Christian perspective, my prayer is this post will provide helpful insight and encouragement.

The Biblical Basis for Adoption

The concept of adoption is woven throughout Scripture. In the Old Testament, God calls Israel His “son” whom He brought out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1). Though God did not physically adopt Israel, He adopted them as His people and entered into a covenant relationship with them. This set the precedent for the more robust theology of adoption we find in the New Testament.

The New Testament writers drew parallels between Israel’s adoption and believers’ adoption as God’s children. Paul wrote extensively about how through faith in Christ, we are adopted into God’s family (Romans 8:15,23, Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5). Peter called believers “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (1 Peter 2:9). What an incredible privilege—that we get to be adopted as God’s own children and become co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)!

So in summary, here is the biblical basis for adoption:

  • God adopted Israel as His firstborn son in the Old Testament (Exodus 4:22)
  • Through Christ, we are adopted as God’s children in the New Testament (Galatians 4:5)
  • Adoption initiates us into a new family, identity, and inheritance as God’s children (Ephesians 1:5)

Knowing this biblical framework helps us better understand the value Scripture places on adoption. Next, let’s look at some key verses on this important topic.

Key Bible Verses about Adoption

Here are some of the most significant Bible verses about adoption:

  • “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13)
  • “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!'” (Romans 8:15)
  • “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!'” (Galatians 4:6)
  • “In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” (Ephesians 1:5)
  • “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.” (Ephesians 2:19)

These verses teach us so much about our adoption into God’s family. We’ve been granted full rights as God’s children and indwelled with His Spirit to experience intimate relationship with Him. Adoption also connects us with the global Church as brothers and sisters in Christ. Take time to reflect on each verse and what adoption means for your life as a child of God.

Now let’s look at some examples of adoption in the Bible.

Biblical Examples of Adoption

Scripture includes many stories depicting literal adoptions, spiritual adoptions, and redemptive adoptions. Here are a few primary examples:

Moses (Exodus 2:1-10)

After being hidden in a basket among the reeds, baby Moses was found and adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. As her son, he was raised among Egyptian royalty. God strategically placed Moses in Pharaoh’s home to eventually deliver Israel out of slavery. This account displays God’s sovereignty over adoption.

Esther (Esther 2:5-7)

Esther was adopted by her older cousin Mordecai after she became an orphan. Mordecai raised Esther like his own daughter. God used Esther’s position as Queen of Persia to save the Jewish people from destruction. Again, we see God working through adoption.

Jesus (Romans 8:15)

Perhaps the most significant adoption was God the Father adopting Jesus His Son. When Jesus was baptized, the Father declared from heaven, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Through Christ, we are also adopted as sons and daughters of God.

As you can see, adoption is a major theme throughout the Bible. God has used it throughout history to protect, provide, and further His purposes. If you are praying about adoption, meditate on these examples and trust that God can work powerfully through your decision to adopt or foster a child in need.

Now that we’ve covered the big picture, let’s get practical about how adoption shapes our everyday lives as Christians.

Adoption in the Christian Life

For believers, adoption affects how we understand our identity, interact with God, and relate to other Christians:

Our Identity

Because of God’s adoption, you are a dearly loved son or daughter of the Most High God. You belong to His family and bear His name. You’re a co-heir with Christ and have full access to the Father because of Jesus (Romans 8:17). Meditate on these truths! They should radically shape how you see yourself.

Our Relationship with God

Through adoption, we get to relate to God as our perfect heavenly Father. We can come to Him at any time as His children. We don’t have to worry about earning His love—He chose to adopt us out of His lavish grace! This means we can freely cry out “Abba Father!” and trust Him to care for us (Romans 8:15). Let your adoption deepen your intimacy with the Father each day.

Our Relationships with Other Christians

The Church is God’s adopted family. Look around at fellow Christians as your brothers and sisters through Christ. Nurture these adoptive familial bonds by loving, comforting, and praying for one another. When you meet new believers, welcome them warmly as adopted members of God’s household. Who needs your extra encouragement today as family in Christ?

Adoption transforms every area of life and relationship. Let the truth of your adoption as God’s child shape how you see yourself and interact with Him and other believers each day.

Key Takeaways on Adoption from Scripture

To recap, here are some key biblical takeaways on adoption:

  • Adoption is clearly taught throughout Scripture as part of God’s plan of redemption.
  • God adopted Israel as His children in the Old Testament, modeling His desire for a covenant relationship.
  • In the New Testament, those who believe in Christ are adopted as God’s sons and daughters.
  • Adoption initiates believers into a new family and spiritual inheritance as co-heirs with Christ.
  • Key verses emphasize the intimacy, privileges, and identity believers gain through adoption by God.
  • Biblical examples depict how God has strategically worked through adoption throughout history.
  • For Christians, adoption affects our identity, relationship with God, and bonds with other believers.
  • As adopted children of God, we can relate to Him as our perfect heavenly Father and call out to Him with confidence.

My prayer is these key takeaways on adoption will stay with you as you continue to explore this topic in God’s Word. Now let’s look at how to apply what we’ve covered if you’re considering adoption.

Considering Adoption? How This Biblical Perspective Can Help

Is God calling your family to adopt? If so, reflecting on what we’ve covered can help give you a strong spiritual foundation. Here are some things to remember:

  • Pray and seek God’s wisdom. Adoption is a big decision! Ask the Father to guide you each step of the way. Wait patiently for His clear direction.
  • Remember adoption is God’s heart. Scripture shows how personally God understands adoption. He will bless your obedience to care for orphans as His beloved children.
  • You’re emulating God’s love. Adoption mirrors the Gospel—God chose and adopted us out of pure love. As you adopt, you point to His redeeming love!
  • God can help you overcome any fears. Leaning on the Father will give you strength to face any adoption challenges head on. Fix your eyes on Jesus.
  • Your child will gain identity in Christ. Your adopted son or daughter will grow up knowing they are dearly loved by you and their perfect heavenly Father.
  • Community is vital. Stay plugged into biblical community for support. Fellow adoptive families can especially empathize and encourage you along the way.
  • Remember God’s sovereignty. As you navigate the adoption process, remember God is in complete control. Trust His timing and care.

Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to apply any of these tips as you move forward. God loves you and the child(ren) He may bring into your family through adoption!

Final Thoughts

Friends, I hope this overview encourages you in your understanding of what the Bible says about adoption. We could talk for hours more on God’s great love reflected through adoption and how adoption blesses families and changes lives. But for now, I’ll close with this:

No matter your circumstances, remember you have been adopted by God. You are His precious, chosen child. Be rooted in your identity in Christ. Let it transform every part of your life.

And consider those around you who may need family. Seek out ways, big or small, that you can reflect the adoptive love of the Father.

Finally, continue exploring these Scriptures. Let the Holy Spirit guide you deeper into His truth and heart for adoption. God may have much more He wants to teach you in the days ahead! I’m praying His Kingdom comes more and more through the beautiful gift of adoption.

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.