Revive Our Hearts Radio

Adoption and the Beauty of the Gospel, Day 2

Leslie Basham: Here's Dr. Russell Moore.

Dr. Russell Moore: If you are in Christ, whether or male or female, you are all sons of God, meaning that God has a future for you. God has something prepared for you. God is granting that to you, and He is giving it to you as His firstborn child because you receive it, and you have it in Christ. That's the issue for orphans.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Tuesday, April 19, 2016.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Yesterday, Dr. Russell Moore began sharing his heart on adoption. More importantly, he shared with us God's heart on adoption. He challenged our listeners to ask how God might want them to be involved with bringing children into their homes. We'll continue to do that as we pick up part 2 of this message today.

And Dr. Moore will also help you to understand the wonder of what it means to be adopted into God's family through a relationship with Jesus. Let's listen.

Dr. Moore: People will sometimes ask me, "Now, which ones are the adopted children, and which ones are the biological children?"

We have no adopted children. Adopted is a past-tense verb. We have some children who came into our family by adoption. We're not ashamed of that. We don't hide that. We're grateful to God for that. But that doesn't define who they are.

And we have one child who came into our family being born three-weeks premature. We're not ashamed of that. We don't hide that. But he is not my premature son Jonah. He's my son Jonah. And I'll tell you how he got here if you want to know it.

If in my obituary it lists, "and his adopted children Benjamin and Timothy," I will come back as a ghost and terrorize whoever put it there. (Now, my theology doesn't fit that, but I'll change my theology to make it work at the time.)

It is past tense. He says, "You all have received this," and that means all of us in this room, if we belong in Christ, we are all a group of ex-orphans. We are all a group of ex-Satanists. We are all a group of people who have been received in with new brothers and sisters, and there are some of you, though, in this room that God is calling to adopt, that God is calling to welcome into your family a child, and the reason that you are holding back is because you do not believe that you can love a child as your child that doesn't share your DNA with you.

You better hope that's not the case, or you and I are going to Hell. This new identity is being formed, and we picture it, and we show it when we, like our Lord Christ, welcome into our own families and into our own church, those who once were orphans but now are children in the beloved.

Notice also, it's not just the freedom of this new belonging. It's also the freedom of a new future. Notice what Paul does. He says, "You have received the adoption as sons." He says, "If you are in Christ, then you are all sons of God."

Now, I know there are some of you in this room who are kind of wording along with me, "And daughters." It's women, too. You're right. It's women, too, but Paul didn't say daughters. And he didn't say daughters on purpose. And the reason he didn't say daughters is because he knows that the people he's writing to understand inheritance.

And if they heard him say daughters, those Jewish believers in the congregation could say, "That's right. We are the sons of God. We receive the inheritance, and those Gentiles, they're the daughters of God. They have the relationship, but they don't get the inheritance."

Or the men in the congregation could say, "We're the sons of God. The promises belong to us. And the women in the congregation, they can pray and do all of that, but they're not going to receive the earth."

He says, "No. If you are in Christ, whether or male or female, you are all sons of God, meaning that God has a future for you. God has something prepared for you. God is granting that to you, and He is giving it to you as His firstborn child because you receive it, and you have it in Christ."

That's the issue for orphans. The problem, the Scripture says, for orphans is not just that they don't know who they are because they can't see their father and their mother. The issue is that there is no future. An orphan doesn't have an inheritance, doesn't have a hope, and so that orphan, very often, becomes a slave.

Right now in the world, you have orphans all over the world who have a future that is so bleak that all they can hope for when they grow up is either suicide or prostitution or slavery.

He says, "You were slaves, but you were delivered from that slavery. But, "he says, "the problem is that God, who spent all of these thousands of years training you through the law as to how to become a son, how to become an heir, how to use your inheritance," he says, "the problem is all of you who used to be orphans, you used to be slaves, you used to be working for your own desires and working for your own passions and working for that power of the air around you, working for your flesh," he says, "the problem is you still want to be slaves."

Notice what he says. He says, "I am afraid that you want to go back. You want to be slaves once more."

My sons wanted the orphanage, not because they had compared the orphanage to our home, but because they didn't know our home, and the orphanage was all they could see.

Scripture says that is the case for you and for me right now. There are some of you who are enslaved to things that, if you could understand how pathetic they are, you would vomit. Some of you in this room, not understanding the glory that is waiting for you as a child who has been adopted through the power of God, are enslaved to the pettiness of making sure that you are the most recognized person in your work place.

Some of you are enslaved to the pitiful, pathetic orphanage-kind-of power that you can have through gossip.

Some of you are constantly being drawn to the occultic, enslaving temptation of pornography because you do not understand what you have been delivered from, and you do not understand what is waiting for you, and you would rather be an orphan, you would rather be a slave than to look face to face into the eyes of your Father.

He says, "You want to go back to that slavery. You want to go back to the flesh. And," he says, "the issue is, for the life of anyone who has been adopted through Christ, is that the rest of your life is going to be a warfare. It is going to be a fight. It is going to be a conflict because your birth father never left. Your birth father, with reptilian fangs, the one you used to act like, the one you used to be like, is still standing outside your door, pleading with you, 'Come on and live with me. You know you can't be any different than what you are. You know who you are. This is an old family tradition. Come on and come with me.'"

And the Scripture says that when you recognize and see your adoption in Christ, you are fighting against those old powers that once held you, that old orphanage that once claimed you. It is a fight, and it is a warfare. And the same is true when the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ recognizes orphans and receives orphans.

Brothers and Sisters, the satanic powers hate babies. Babies remind them of the fact that they are crushed by One who is born of a woman. Babies represent to them the newness of life. And they hate it.

When we in this congregation see all of the people who are adopting children and becoming foster parents and equipping other people to adopt or become foster parents, when that happens, what is happening here is not charity. What is happening here is not some kind of social ministry. What is happening here is spiritual warfare in which we as a congregation are saying to the satanic powers, "You may say that that little child with a cleft palate in India is worth nothing, but we believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may say that that illegitimate baby ought to just simply be ground to pieces, but we believe the gospel of Jesus Christ."

The thing that the satanic powers fear most of all is seeing a congregation in which we are able to recognize and understand how a black mother can love her white child, and how a Hispanic father can love his African-American child, because we in this congregation understand what it is to define ourselves, not as white-collar or blue-collar or black or white or Democrat or Republican, or whatever all of these little titles are, but to receive one another because we're family, because we're the household of God. When the satanic powers see that, they tremble because they see that the gospel is marching on.

That's what the power of adoption does, and that is why the Scripture says, "This is what pure religion is: that you rescue the orphans in their distress." That is for all people who name the name of Christ.

Now, not all of you in this room are called to adopt children, but some of you are. And some of you are trying to find all kinds of reasons why you shouldn't adopt a child. And some of you are listening to your spouse bring up the issue and bring up the issue, and you keep brushing it aside or putting it off. And the Holy Spirit is saying to you, "You were an orphan. You were received, and I am calling you to receive an orphan in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why will you fight against the Holy Spirit?"

There are others of you in this room, God is not calling you to adopt, but He's calling you to use your resources and to use your money to be able to help a young couple that don't have the means to adopt a child to be able to do it.

The only way that Maria and I were able to adopt our two sons out of that orphanage is because somebody showed up in my office and said, "I've been given an inheritance of $10,000 that we were planning to use for a house payment later on, but we're giving it to you to adopt these children. And there are two conditions. The conditions are you'll send us a Christmas card every year, and you'll never tell anybody who I am."

Maybe God's calling you to be that guy. Maybe the Holy Spirit is saying you don't need a trip to Disneyworld this year. Instead, rescue orphans in the name of Christ."

Maybe some of you God hasn't given any money, but you can babysit for couples while they're going to receive their children. You can do other things to encourage and to equip. The issue here is that God is calling us as people who have been adopted to live out the gospel. And we will be evaluated at judgment on the basis of that.

Some of you in this room, the problem is not the orphans of the world; it's the orphans sitting in our seat because you still are wandering away from your Father. The Scripture says that if you this morning will close your eyes and simply speak in the quietness of your mind, "Oh, Father, I recognize and know that I am a sinner. I recognize and know that I am wandering away from You, that I've wanted to be an orphan, that I've been a slave. But, Father, I know that Jesus became an orphan for me. He went through all of the disastrous consequences that I'm bringing upon myself when He died upon the cross. And I know that You have received Him by raising Him from the dead. Father, please receive me as Your son, as Your daughter, as Your child." I guarantee you He will. You'll come into a new family.

There are others of you in this room, though, that are living your life as though you were never an orphan. Brothers and sisters, there are right now in this city infants ground to pieces who will never have names in garbage bags labeled "Medical Waste."

There are children in orphanages wondering, as they see couples walking in and receiving other children, if there will ever be any hope for them.

There are children in foster care that are getting older and older, and their behavioral problems are getting worse and worse, and they are wondering if they can ever be loved.

There are little girls who are waiting in hotel rooms for a rap on the door from an American businessman who is coming in to molest them for money.

And the rest of the world is saying, "Children like that and people like that aren't worth our attention, look away." And maybe we could look away if Darwinism were true. But we are the people who believe that these children are the brothers and sisters of our Lord Jesus Christ, and if you mess with them, you mess with us. And we are the people who understand and know we were in the same situation they were in, and we have been brought into a family, and so we will be the ones who will bring them into our families.

Is it time for you to do that?

We're going to go back to Russia, probably when the boys are 12 or so. I want to see that orphanage one more time. We probably won't stay there very long. My boys will probably turn up their noses at the stench. They'll probably be just as disturbed as I was to see all of those children running around with nowhere to go. They'll probably hate Russian food as much as I do and ask to go to McDonald's. We'll probably walk down and take a picture in front of the orphanage and get back in the car.

But I want to do that, and I want to do that not just so they can see the orphanage. I want to see those two young men sitting in the back of that car with sunglasses on looking forward into the sunshine. And I want to be reminded about the way in which I so often am looking to the orphanage in the rearview mirror. Are you?

Why don't you close your eyes and bow your heads.

Maybe some of you in this room who say, "I'm an orphan. I don't have a father. I know all the words to say, maybe or maybe not, but the Spirit of Christ doesn't cry 'Abba Father' in my heart." I would invite you to come to Christ. He will receive you, I promise. There is nothing you could have done that will keep you from the cleansing power of the blood of Christ.

And maybe you say, "I'm not sure if I want to follow Christ. I just want to know something more about it." Maybe others of you who just simply need to say, "God's calling me to do something for the orphans of the world, and I don't even necessarily know what that is. Will you pray for me?" Maybe others of you who simply say, "I've grown too comfortable in those old patterns of slavery and of orphanhood." Maybe you need to ask the Father to convict you and to show you where those things are. 

But do not leave this place without asking what the Holy Spirit that you have received would have you to do. I want you to remember that we are heirs, heirs of everything. So why do we act like people who are fighting for scraps? Let's pray.

Father, I ask that if there are those You are calling to be Your sons and daughters, Father, please let them know that. Please prompt them. Give them a sense of alarm and a sense of invitation.

Father, if there are those in this room that You are calling to adopt, Father, I pray that You would let them know that, too. Give them a sense of urgency, a cold sweat, a welling-up desire for the children of the world.

And, Father, there may be others in this room that You just simply need to show them how they're still wanting to live like orphans rather than like heirs. Point those things out in their lives, Father. Show those things to us in our life.

Leslie: That's Dr. Russell Moore.

If you're in Christ, you've been adopted into God's family. Dr. Moore has shown us the wonder of that truth. And there's no great way to display that truth than to get involved in adoption yourself. He's been challenging us to consider that as well.

Russell Moore will be challenging and encouraging the audience at the conference, Cry Out! True Woman '16. And, Nancy, I guess after today's message a lot of listeners are even more excited to be there.

Nancy: That's right, Leslie. Along with Dr. Moore, we'll hear from spoken word artist, Blair Linne. We'll also hear from my friends, Mary Kassian and Janet Parshall. And Keith and Kristyn Getty will be leading us in worship. And Bob Bakke and I will be co-hosting a time of fervent prayer for our world, our nation, our churches, and our homes on the Friday night of this conference.

I'm asking God to bring hundreds of thousands of women to join with us in thousands of locations, in homes and churches, by means of this nationwide simulcast prayer event on that Friday night, for all of us to knit our hearts together in crying out for God to heal our nation and our world.

You have the opportunity to be there in person, witnessing what I pray will be a historic night as women join hearts and hands to earnestly seek the Lord for such a time as this.

We anticipate that registration for the Indianapolis event will sell out early, and the early registration discount ends May 2. So I hope you'll make plans to join us in Indianapolis, September 22–24, for Cry Out! True Woman '16.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy.

You know, when a full cup gets jostled, whatever's in the cup spills out. In the same way, when you're jostled, what comes out tells you what is filling you up. Nancy will be back to help you prepare for all the jostling, tomorrow.

Nancy: To be full of something of any of these qualities of the fruit of the spirit, these qualities, means it's not just what's on the surface or the outside of your life, but it's what's at the core of your life, what's on the inside. And how do you know what's on the inside?

Well, the way I know is when I get jostled. If you've got a full cup, and it gets jostled, what is inside is what comes out. Right? So if I've got a full cup of water, and it gets shaken, what is going to come out is not lemonade. It's going to be water. It's whatever is inside.

And we think, I'm not an angry person, until we get jostled. And then out come these attitudes and these words that come spewing out, and we go, "Oh, maybe I am an angry person, but I didn't realize it."

So when we get shaken, we find out what we're full of, and what we're filled with is what flows out in those crisis moments.

Leslie: Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the radio series.

Join the Discussion