I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s piece is from a new volume from The Gospel for Life series, The Gospel & Adoption, written by David Prince. The series is edited by Russell D. Moore and Andrew T. Walker.
The Gospel for Life is a series of short, accessible books on a range of urgent topics facing the church, intended for the church member. Editors Russell Moore and Andrew T. Walker of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) assemble leading voices to frame the issues with a gospel-centered perspective. Contributors include Matt Chandler, John Piper, J.D. Greear, Dennis Rainey, Jim Daly, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Thabiti Anyabwile, Trillia Newbell, Eric Mason, D.A. Horton, and more. The Gospel for Life series gives every believer a biblically-saturated understanding of the most urgent issues facing our culture today, because the gospel is for all of life. Learn more at thegospelforlifeseries.com
The following is by David Prince.
As the father of eight children, when I speak at adoption conferences, people always ask, “How many are adopted?” The answer is none. My family has not adopted, but we are passionate members of an adoption and orphan care movement and culture. J.I. Packer wrote succinctly about adoption in the Bible, saying that “the entire Christian life has to be understood in terms of it.” Adoption in the Bible is not simply a matter of a few proof texts; it is woven into the fabric of the biblical witness. Faithful gospel preaching is adoption preaching.
The Preacher’s Responsibility
Faithful preachers proclaim Jesus and His gospel from the entire Bible. We preach the message that anyone can become an adopted child of God through faith in Christ. Pastors and fathers are to lead their congregations and homes in the task of evangelism, the gospel rescue plan. Every believer is called to the task of missions, and pastors and fathers have a unique responsibility to lead. Followers of Christ are to invade every corner of the global spiritual orphanage and preach the gospel of adoption. This rescue mission will include dangerous and dark places, reaching out to those who are “not a people,” but by God’s grace can become “God’s people” (1 Pet 2:10).
What must the spiritually adopted, those who have been rescued, delivered, given an identity, and granted an inheritance in Christ, do? One clear responsibility is to reverse one of the horrific realities of the fall through the rescue and care of orphans. Churches, as outposts of the kingdom of Christ, must lead the way. Pastors, as the voice of Christ to their congregation, and fathers, as leaders in their families, must lead the way in adoption and orphan care. Rescued ex-orphans must be committed to rescuing others and to seeing that others are granted an identity and an inheritance.
Adoption: Non-Negotiable for Christians
Too many times we want to separate our lives into a divide of the spiritual and physical. But we’re to be saints with a spirituality focused on the world, and with a theology that is lived out geographically. Paul declared that Christians are not simply to give mental assent to a spiritual gospel, but rather, we are to conduct our lives by walking “in step with the gospel” (Gal 2:14). The practical outworking of physical adoption is inherent to Christian living and gospel community. It is a non-negotiable of walking in step with the gospel, and this is true for all Christians, not just those who become adoptive parents.
In the church I pastor, there have been countless families who have adopted children from all over the world in the last decade. Our congregation has been strengthened practically and theologically by the adoption culture that has arisen. Seeing our spiritual adoption in Christ reflected by the rescue of orphans from around the world in our church community provides a constant reminder of the power of the gospel.
Adoption Culture: A Reflection of the Gospel
An adoption culture provides a congregation with a beautiful and visible reflection of the gospel and ought to be understood as the natural consequence of gospel preaching and a Christian worldview. Corporate worship in such a context provides a glorious theater displaying the power of the redeeming work of Christ. “Red, yellow, black, and white, they are precious in His sight” can be visibly witnessed even as it is being sung.
Enter here or in the form below before 11:59pm CT tonight, February 22, 2017 for the opportunity to win one of 10 copies of The Gospel and Adoption. We will notify the winner within a week via email.
You can also purchase a copy at LifeWay.com.
 J.I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1973), 209.