Cornerstone exists because of Jesus. We are a people who have been transformed by the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God has forgiven us and adopted us into his family. Now, we have a whole new life.
Through the gospel, God redeems us, forgives us, and adopts us into his family. The good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection makes each one of us a new creation and gives us a new identity: children of God. This is why we can never think of the church as an organization or a building. The church is actually a family—God’s family, filled with redeemed sinners that are now his children.
Through the gospel, God forgives us, adopts us into his family, and makes us his disciples. This means that the church is not just any family. We are a family formed by God—and sent out with a purpose.
The church is a family that ministers to one another, cares for one another, and builds one another up. Each member of the family is a child of God who is uniquely gifted to bless the family and to be a light in our city.
Just like a vine grows best with a good trellis, our church family grows best with good programs. Our programs and ministries are tailored to support the community and mission God has given us.
“[Adoption is] a concept that seems completely foreign to most people, especially if you don’t feel like you “have to’ because of infertility or some other complication.”
I didn’t grow up adopted. I had a few friends who were adopted, but it didn’t leave a huge impression on me. When I first attended church as an adult I didn’t know any other adults who had adopted. But for some reason I couldn’t kick this fascination with the act of inviting a person into your life and making them a part of your family.
It’s a concept that seems completely foreign to most people, especially if you don’t feel like you “have to” because of infertility or some other complication. But there are two realities that have drawn me in to the world of adoption:
1. God’s unimaginable adoption of us 2. The overwhelming number of orphans in our city without a permanent family
I can never read Ephesians 1 enough.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. –Ephesians 1:3-6
“He chose us... In love he predestined us for adoption.” We have been accepted into God’s family with all the rights and privileges of Christ himself, the Son. It is overwhelming to consider, and I am constantly dumbfounded as I mutter the question, “Why? Why me? This doesn’t make sense. I didn’t do anything to deserve this.” But I guess that’s the point. God wanted to show his love for me (and you!) in such a radical way that he didn’t only forgive us. He didn’t only redeem us. He didn’t only reconcile us. He adopted us.
This is the kind of powerful imagery that Satan hates, and that he fights against us fully realizing. As Russell Moore writes: “The scriptures tell us there are unseen beings in the air around us who would rather we not think about what it means to be who we are in Christ. These rulers of this age would rather we ignore both the eternal reality and the earthly icon of it. They would rather we find our identity, our inheritance, and our mission according to what we can see and verify as ours—according to what the Bible calls “the flesh”—rather than according to the veiled rhythms of the Spirit of life. That’s why adoption isn’t charity—it’s war.”
The other reality that has drawn me into the world of adoption is the overwhelming number of orphans in our city without a permanent family. I know that this isn’t a problem that one person like me can solve. It’s not even a problem that one church like ours can solve. But solving the problem may not be exactly what God has called us to do. Instead of solving the problem on a societal level, God is calling us to view the problem on a personal level and to ask if there is any way we can be a part of meeting the needs of children (not problems).
There are currently 28,000 kids in foster care in LA County. And 1,400 of them are awaiting adoptive families. The need is huge, and every day (unfortunately) more and more kids enter into the foster system. This doesn’t mean that every family is called to adopt, but I do believe that it means that we are all called to be involved or engaged one way or another. This is who God has made us to be, and it is where he has called us to live.
In my next post I’ll explore a little more of the calling placed before us as Christians, and why we can’t just look away.
Scott serves the church by overseeing leadership, development, global ministries, and counseling/discipleship.
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