Tony Merida serves as the Lead Pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, North Carolina and as the Associate Professor of Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married to Kimberly, with whom he has five children. Tony is the co-author of Orpahnology and author of Faithful Preaching. He travels worldwide inspiring others through gospel-centered preaching and teaching. Tony and Kimberly have five adopted children.
Adoption really stems from theology, not biology.
God is an adoptive Father– there are no natural born children in the Kingdom. We are all here by adoption. When you read Ephesians 5:1, "Be imitators of God…," it’s pretty difficult to not feel led to adopt.
To see how scipture points to adoption, see:
Galatians Chapter 4:4-7 HCSB; "When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God."
- God sent forth His son, (sent by God) born of woman. There will never be another Christ; no one else like Him. He is exactly who we needed to adopt us.
- Adoption is costly– the price that Christ paid for us was costly. It cost His death and life.
- Adoption rescues children from terrible situations. You are no longer enslaved in Christ, you are free. God didn\’t adopt us because we are adorable or have attractive qualities, but because of his mercy. He has now made us sons of the living God.
- Adoption requires legal change. God has delcared us His, officially.
- God has not just declared us his children, but confirmed it by placing the Spirit in our hearts.
- God transforms us by His Spirit through our adoption.
- Adoption gives the child a right to be an heir of God.
How do you respond to a message on adoption? It’s important to teach adoption in the church and to our kids, in order to reflect God’s character.
"Adoption is the highest privledge that the Gospel offers"- J.I. Packer
Adoption is at the very heart of what it means to imitate God. Start small and see what might happen.
Whatever you do unto an orphan, you do unto Him.