Icebreaker: Share about a family you know (perhaps your own) who adopted a child. What was the day of adoption like?
1. Read Romans 8:13–17, 23; Galatians 3:26–29, 4:4–7; Ephesians 1:4–5.
2. Summarize what these verses say.
3. What is God’s attitude toward us, according to the above verses?
4. Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses; Hadassah (Esther) was adopted by her uncle. How does human adoption picture God’s adoption of us as His children? How are human and spiritual adoptions different?
5. What does the fact that God adopted us mean about how He feels toward us?
6. What does this teach us about the character of God?
7. How do the verses listed in number 2 above make you feel about God’s choice of you? Talk with Him about it.
8. Notice the references to God’s choice of His children (key words: adopted, chosen, and predestined). Where do these appear?
9. Do adoptive parents want anything different for their children from what biological parents want? Why do you think God chose adoption as the analogy to show His love rather than emphasizing His creation of us?
10. In Romans 8:23, what tense is used? Note the tense used in Ephesians 1:4–5. In what sense is adoption completed, yet still future?
11. What is exciting about the implications of God giving the Spirit to each of us who has trusted in the name of Jesus? Of our being heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)?
12. A) Think of different adoption scenarios. How might an adopted child view differently his or her adoptive parents than would a child with biological parents? (For example, knowing she was adopted from a foreign orphanage, or knowing he would not have otherwise known a father)? B) How might this affect the parent-child relationship? C) What spiritual ramifications does this observation have?
13. How might God’s choice of you affect how you relate to His other children? What should be your attitude toward those who are not His children?
14. Why do you think the Bible does not say “we are all children of God” (i.e., only those who have trusted Christ “have the right to be called children of God”—John 1:12) even though every person is God’s creation?
15. What is the hope communicated in Romans 8:24? Read Revelation 21:1–7 to get a picture of the future realization of our current status as “chosen and adopted sons.” (Do you wonder about the gender of being adopted as sons, when we are women? Using inclusive language for the translation here would diminish the picture that’s being presented of our benefit: at the time in which the Book of Romans was written, sons received a far better inheritance than daughters.)
16. What do the truths in these passages tell you about how God wants you to view yourself?
17. Spend time in prayer thanking God for choosing you and adopting you as His child.