This past weekend I went with two friends to the Together for Adoption Conference in Austin. All I can say if WOW and I want to go again next year with Phillip. It was inspiring and full of challenges. There were many great speakers and the break out sessions I attended were amazing. It was taken me several days to sort out everything that I heard. There was so much so fast that it all began to run together. Now that I have had time to sit and process everything I can write about it.
The first speaker was Dan Curver, he spoke on the theology of adoption. I had never really put much thought into the theology of adoption until we started the process of adopting our Emerson. The theology was first introduced to me in the book Adopted for Life. (Powerful book) Here at the conference it was largely talked about. Dan used two different terms for adoption, Horizontal Adoption and Vertical Adoption. Horizontal, referring to one human being establishing a familial relationship with another human being. Vertical adoption is God establishing a familial relationship with human beings, his image bearers. Naturally people refer to the Horizontal Adoption when they first hear the word adoption versus the Vertical Adoption. I know I always did growing up and did until this last year. I never really related God's relationship to me as adoption. For Christians our adoption in the central point of what defines us. Paul says in Ephesians 1:5 we are adopted as sons through Jesus Christ. Jesus is God only natural Son. He sent him hear to die for us so that we would be adopted into God's family as well. Through our spiritual adoption we are co-heirs with Jesus. Meaning we can enjoy all the rights and privileges of the relationship that God the Father enjoys with his eternal Son. We were adopted by God. We were once orphans in this dark world until Christ came to save us. Adoption is Vertical before is it Horizontal. The Vertical adoption is what God does and the Horizontal adoption is what we do. Horizontal adoption is an amazing reflection to what God did through Christ for our adoption. Adoption is mentioned 5 times throughout scripture:
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"
23And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
4who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
5so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
I dont know how I missed these scriptures growing up. Ha! How amazing is it that we were once orphans. But, our God, God who is full of love and mercy and grace, sent his only son to us so that we could all be equal in his kingdom.
Part 2 tomorrow... T4A - Empowered to Connect - Dr. Karen Purvis