Orphan No More

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Orphan No More

Galatians 4:1-7
Galatians 4:1-7 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,1 though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Lakeview Baptist Church
November 19, 2017
Allow me to overwhelm you with some staggering numbers.
There are 143 million orphaned and vulnerable children in our world. If all of these children were moved to the country of Mexico, Mexico’s population would more than double, growing from 108,700,000 to 251,700,000.
Almost 1.5 million children live in public care in Central and Eastern Europe.
Orphan Population by Country – Top Eleven[1]
United Republic of Tanzania – 3.1M
South Africa – 3.5M
Brazil – 3.7M
Pakistan – 4.2M
Congo – 4.2M
Indonesia – 4.8M
Ethiopia – 4.8M
Bangladesh – 4.8M
Nigeria – 12M
China – 20.6M
India – 31M
That’s our world.
When I was first approached to begin exploring a Sunday to “Orphan Sunday”, I was very happy to participate. What I did not expect, within our own congregation, was how many have been touched by adoption.
If you or your family has been touched by adoption, would you please stand?

What is Adoption?

Westminster Shorter Catechism 34 asks “What is adoption?” “Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby, we are received into the number & have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God.”
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul is writing to the churches in Galatia. Galatia was a Roman province located in what is now north-central and northeastern Turkey. At one time it was the region for Gauls, from which it received its name. The Gauls were a Celtic race, and were mostly an agricultural society, ruled by tribe and class.
The Apostle uses strong words in this passage. Words like, “enslaved”, “redeem”, and “adoption.”
Let us not kid ourselves today. Hundreds of thousands of children live in conditions equal to or worse than slavery. It is unconscionable, repulsive, disgusting and abhorrent that children in the 21st Century are nothing more than “cast-offs” from society.
And I am sorry to say, I do not see societies around the world changing anytime soon.
When did human life become so despised and scorned? And before we point our fingers at third world countries, we in the United States of America are no better. Abortion is the #1 murderer in the good old USA.
According to the DFPS (Texas Department of Family and Protective Services) there were 363 children up to age 17 in Foster Care in Bell County, Texas in the month of September. I find that shocking and outrageous. Let that number sink in just a moment. At this hour, 363 children are NOT with their biological parents.
KCEN TV NBC affiliate in Temple Texas
Police: Father leaves daughter at daycare, tells employees 'he doesn't want her anymore'. File
A man was arrested Thursday afternoon after he abandoned his daughter at a daycare and later engaged in an altercation with an officer who questioned the man about the incident.
Police said around 1 p.m. Thursday, they received a call stating a man, later identified as Antonio Heath Jr., took his daughter to a daycare facility, left her there with the staff, told them he did not want her any longer, and left.[2]
God created the family unit. Man and Woman and their children. The family is attacked even more than Christianity in the United States. The family! In the case of orphans, that means that in far too many occurrences, the children are the ones who pay the price.
The only hope for children in DFPS, or orphanages in many nations where children are nothing more than “throw away”, is for them to be adopted. I know missionaries in India that beg for simple items, blankets, socks and hygiene products for children in their orphanage. They ask for donations so that they can build another orphanage and care for the children.
One missionary has started four orphanages in Mumbai, India. He could build ten more and not make a dent in the needs. He has to fight with the city for building permits, some taking as long as three years. Once he gets the OK, he must build, and have it completed within a year, or they revoke his building permit. Adoption, within India is not encouraged as it is already against their society. People are starving, and children are seen as the reason for the problem. They are turned out into the street when there is very little food for the parents.
My heart breaks every time I read one of his newsletters. There are just too many children that need adoption.

Enslaved to the Elementary Principles of the World

Galatians 4:3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.

God the Father is Eager to Adopt

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

An Orphan No More

Galatians 4:6-7 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Once we accept God’s precious gift, His Son Jesus, we are no longer children of wrath, but children of God. He accepts us as we are and simply loves on us. We get to sit at the “adult table” during our meals because that is where God is.
There is a term used with those that adopt. They call the day that the adoption is final as “Gotcha Day.”
As believers, we no longer have to beg for the scraps that the world has to offer, but feast at the perpetual table of the redeemed.
God makes all things new. He calls us His sons and daughters. He is no longer just the LORD of all creation to us, but He becomes our Father. He is no longer the judge of wrath against us, but our daddy, ABBA, is the name of the Father from a child’s point of view. Like “daddy.”
Where once we were an enemy of God, He has given us the full rights and privileges of being His child.
The Children of Israel are a great example of adoption. We can see how important this is to God. In the book of Romans, the writer says:
Romans 9:1-5 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
The writer is lamenting the fact that the Children of God rejected Jesus. Notice with me in verse 4 that the first item listed in the gifts given to them was “adoption.” God had given them:
· Adoption
· His glory
· The Covenants
· The Law
· True Worship
· Promises
We are familiar with Moses bringing the Children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt to live in the Land of Promise. The prophet Hosea quotes God as saying:
Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
This is what adoption looks like for the Children of Israel. This is also what it looks like when believers adopt the children of the world into their families. If I could borrow the words of Hosea;
“When the orphan was a child, I loved him and brought them out of their horrific surroundings, and I called them my son.”
We will see the practice of bringing children into Christian families as a reflection of God’s work of adoption. Bringing orphans into our families is a beautiful picture of God’s bringing us into His family.
Illustration: Dr. Russell Moore, pastor of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, has adopted two children from outside the country. He states that when after all the paperwork was signed, he picked them up & was carrying them away. He said that as he was carrying them out, his sons were clinging to the orphanage crying out for the rat-hole, not knowing the life of love & plenty that awaited them. That’s the way our hearts are naturally. We cling to the rat-hole of this life. We are addicted to the Egypt’s of this world.
Today I have given you some staggering numbers concerning the number of orphans in the world. Over 148M worldwide. 31M in India alone. Just to put that number in perspective…there are more orphans in India than the population of Texas. Let that sink in.
There are two sides to this message. There is the plea for this congregation to be uncomfortable with the enormity of the orphan issue. To engage in adoption for those that can.
The other side is the enormity of the need for adoption in the spiritual side. The world is searching for answers. We have them. The world is reaching out to others to love them. We can. The world is lost and going to hell. We have the answer and can direct them to the LORD.
God the Father is Eager to Adopt. Perhaps today, could today be your “gotcha day.”
[1] https://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/11-countries-with-highest-orphan-population-406120/?singlepage=1
[2] http://www.kcentv.com/news/crime/police-father-leaves-daughter-at-daycare-tells-employees-he-doesnt-want-her-anymore/492726442
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