For reflection and discussion in Community Group:

  1. Read back again through these passages. What especially strikes you?
  2. Look again at the Deuteronomy 24 passage. Why do you think the Old Testament law took such great care to protect those without social power? How does our responsibility change in a modern society when we have many good “safety nets” like a welfare system, social security, etc.
  3. What do you think of the J.I. Packer quote on the front? Does this ring true to you? Where do you have the most trouble hanging onto what Packer is saying?
  4. Discuss what it would look like for New City church to be a leading force for good in the city of Indianapolis with respect to adoption and orphan care.

A few more orphan/adoption passages to check out:

Exodus 22:22,24
Deuteronomy 10:18; 14:29; 16:11,14; 24:17-21; 26:12-13; 27:19
Job 6:26; 22:9; 24:3,9; 29:12; 31:17-21
Psalm 10:14,18; 68:5; 82:3; 94:6; 109:9,12; 146:9
Proverbs 23:10
Isaiah 1:17,23; 9:17;10:2
Jeremiah 5:28; 7:6;22:3;49:11
Lamentations 5:3
Ezekiel 22:7
Hosea 14:3
Zechariah 7:10
Malachi 3:5
Matthew 5:8-13, 31-33
Luke 12:32
John 1:12
Romans 8:14-17, 22, 29
Galatians 3:26-29; 4:7-9
I John 3:1-2

Adoption, Orphan Care, and the Gospel

National Orphan Sunday - November 8, 2015

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. -Jesus (John 14:18)

You sum up all the whole of the New Testament teaching in a single phrase, if you speak of it as a revelation of the Fatherhood of the Holy Creator. In the same way, you sum up the whole New Testament [faith] if you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s holy Father. If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new and better than the Old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God. “Father” is the Christian name for God. –J.I. Packer, Knowing God, 201.

Deuteronomy 24 17“You shall not pervert the justice due to the sojourner or to the fatherless, or take a widow's garment in pledge,18but you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.

19“When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.20When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over them again. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.21When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not strip it afterward. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.22You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this.

Hosea 14

1Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
2Take with you words
and return to the Lord;
say to him,
“Take away all iniquity;
accept what is good,
and we will pay with bulls
the vows of our lips.
3Assyria shall not save us;
we will not ride on horses;
and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’
to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds mercy.”

4I will heal their apostasy;I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
5I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon…
7They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow;
they shall flourish like the grain…

Jeremiah 49
Concerning Edom…“His children are destroyed, and his brothers,and his neighbors; and he is no more.
11Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive;and let your widows trust in me.”

Ephesians 21And you were dead in the trespasses and sins2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Galatians 4 4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,5to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.6And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”7So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

James 1 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Implication #1: We aggressively embrace and enjoy our own adoption and orphan care!

Implication #2: We aggressively love well by caring for those who need adoption and orphan care.