JACKSON, Tenn. – April 7, 2011– Adoption of orphans provides a compelling picture of what God has done for Christians, Russell Moore said at Union University March 30 and April 1.
“Once you are adopted, you are brought into the family of God with everything that it means to be a child of God,” Moore said. “Your identity is now the identity of Jesus Christ. You are seen by God, you are received by God, exactly the way that he sees and receives the Lord Jesus, because you are hidden in him.”
Moore, dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., was the guest speaker for the annual Crabtree Family Life Series at Union, held in the G.M. Savage Memorial Chapel.
In his first address on March 30, Moore said the gospel gives Christians a new identity and an inheritance in Christ.
“This universe as it is right now is not intended to be our home,” Moore said. “We are in a ‘cosmic orphanage’ here and we are being driven toward an inheritance that is greater.”
Because Christians have been adopted into God’s family, they never have to wonder if they truly belong, Moore said. Christians have been adopted by God as sons and daughters, and they are received as kings and queens. They have a father and they have a home.
“If that is true, for those of us who believe the gospel, then why would we not be those who above all people around us are willing to be those who show what it means for orphans to be made beloved children?” Moore asked.
In his second address on April 1, Moore said that churches must reclaim the concept of church as family and must cultivate a “culture of other-directedness.” A healthy view of the church as a family will lead to people loving one another and bearing with one another, older men shepherding younger men and older women serving as spiritual mothers to younger women, Moore said.
Such a mindset will lead to greater care for the fatherless, widows and the vulnerable in their midst, Moore said, thus affirming what Christians believed when they embraced the gospel.
“When you have a congregation that welcomes children and women in crisis, you will have a congregation that is evangelistic and on mission,” Moore said.