A Happy Day For EmmaRae

August 29, 2018

For those who attend Bowman, the newsletter should arrive today. This is my contribution for that newsletter.

Recently Debbie and I were at the Shasta County Courthouse. Typically this isn’t a fun place to visit, however on this particular occasion it was a day of celebration. There were signs on the walls of the foyer outside the courtroom telling people to be quiet, yet the celebratory nature of the gathering was betrayed by the excited conversation in the foyer.

This was a festive day, a day that will live in the memories of the family and friends who were there. This was Adoption Day for EmmaRae Faith Warner, July 25, 2018. You can imagine what took place in the courtroom that day. Promises were uttered; documents were signed. When EmmaRae walked out of that building she was officially part of a new family.

Bags of candy were distributed. The tag on the bags had a picture of EmmaRae on one side with the date and the words “Adoption Day.” On the other side of the tag were the words “wanted, chosen, adopted, loved” (like us!). This was our first adoption day experience. When we lived in Willow Creek, Debbie and I had tried to make it to another family’s Adoption Day but the snow on Berry Summit prevented us from completing the trip to the courthouse in Eureka. After witnessing EmmaRae’s adoption, I’ve been thinking about the connections between her adoption and ours as “sons of God.” 

I often say that justification is the penultimate blessing. Justification gets us through the door. The truth that our sin is forgiven and that Christ’s righteousness has been credited to us is glorious truth. Yet, it is merely the key that unlocks the door into God’s kingdom. Gal. 4:4-5 says, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (emphasis mine).” The purpose of redemption is adoption. The ultimate blessing is the blessing of adoption. We are now children of God. We might also contrast adoption with regeneration, the truth that believers have been born again. God uses the preached gospel to raise us from the dead (Ja. 1:18, 1Pet. 1:23). We are now new creations with a new set of impulses. Adoption has to do with the truth of our new family, regeneration has to do with our new desires and tendencies. 

On a practical level, what does adoption mean to us. First, since we have a new Father, we have a new experience of God’s Fatherhood. We all were born with the devil as our Father (Jn. 8:44). We were outside God’s family. Through the Spirit’s work in our lives, we experience the Fatherhood of God. Rom. 8:15, “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!’” Jesus called to the Father using the same term (Abba). Mark 14:36 says, “And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you …” Put differently, Jesus is our Brother (Ro. 8:29), and we share the same Father (not that Jesus’ sonship is like ours, he is only begotten). EmmaRae walked out of that courthouse with a new family. Because of a “not guilty” judgment in God’s courthouse we too have a new family. 

Second, our new Father has promised to meet all our needs. Just as promises were made to EmmaRae on Adoption Day, so our Father has made promises to us. Matt. 7:11 says, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” He is a Father to us. As our Father he also disciplines us. Heb. 12:5 says, “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.”

While much more could be said, I’ll mention just one more blessing. Because of what happened on Adoption Day, EmmaRae will have an inheritance. We do too. 1Pet. 1:4 tells us that we have “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven.” We are fellow heirs of Christ so that everything that he received by divine right as the natural Son of God we will receive as adoptive children of God. Wow! Now “we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Our heavenly home is calling and we can’t wait to get there. 

As we see little EmmaRae play around our feet, let’s remember that she’s a living illustration of the grace that is ours through adoption. We too are wanted, chosen, adopted, and loved.


One Response to “A Happy Day For EmmaRae”

  1. patrickgmac Says:

    Wow, what a great experience. Hard to imagine something that happy coming out of the courthouse.

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