Adoption as the Sons of God
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,
that we should be called the sons of God.
I John 3:1
- If I announced today you had won a $10 million government grant, you would listen with incredible focus and excitement.
- To the shame of our souls, if the amount were reduced to $1,000, you would probably pay great attention to that as well.
- Instead I gladly tell you the most glorious drama of design, affection, effort, and reward in the entire universe (I Peter 1:12).
WHAT IS ADOPTION?
- Adopt. To take as one’s own child, conferring all the rights and privileges of childship.
- It is not unusual for men to consider adopting a deprived child to give affection and privileges, and it is usually such children due to their poor circumstances who are available for adoption.
- In Scripture Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses and Mordecai adopted Esther (Ex 2:10; Es 2:7).
- Adoption is a process with steps that should be thoroughly understood naturally and spiritually.
- It begins when a father considers his situation, weighs his intentions, and plans to adopt.
- He hires lawyers to complete an official transfer making the adoption legal and binding.
- When the legal transfer is complete, the adopted child is given a new name and home.
- As the child grows he learns more and more of his adoption, privileges, and duties.
- When his new father dies, he inherits his estate and the full realization of his adoption.
THE NECESSITY OF ADOPTION
- We were born Adam’s sons by natural generation and thereby rejected and condemned by God.
- In the beginning God created Adam and Eve, but they rejected and defied Him for damnation.
- God wisely allowed sin to enter the race through Satan and Adam (Ps 115:3; I Pet 1:20).
- God imputed Adam’s sin and death to the entire race of men (Gen 2:17; Rom 5:12-18).
- Men by natural generation bring forth children of Satan and Adam (John 3:6; Rom 8:8).
- Men as soon as they are born manifest their sonship by sinning immediately (Ps 58:5).
- At the last day, sinful men shall receive the same reward as their father (Rev 20:10,15).
- Due to our first birth, we are hated (Ps 5:5; 7:11; 11:5) and condemned (John 3:18; Rom 3:19).
- If you could have influenced your birth, you should have stopped it to save yourself such a fate.
- By our natural first birth, we were children of disobedience and wrath (Eph 2:1-3; 5:6; Col 3:6).
- We were under Satan’s influence and control as his own children (John 8:41-48; Acts 13:6-12).
- When God surveyed the objects of adoption, he found only filth (Psalm 14:2-3; Rom 3:9-18).
- There was not a single child in Adam’s race who desired Him or cared (Ps 53:1-3; Titus 3:3).
THE BLESSING OF ADOPTION
- God sent Christ to be the propitiation for our sins, but that does not make Him our Father.
- Redemption describes the purchase price from God’s justice, but it does not make us His sons.
- Pardon for crimes committed is a glorious deliverance, but it does not make us God’s children.
- Justification clears us of our guilt and condemnation, but it does not make us God’s children.
- Sanctification as a holy object without sin is wonderful, but it does not make us God’s children.
- We must say with John, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.”
THE PLAN OF ADOPTION
- God purposed to adopt a chosen people from sinful mankind for the glory of His loving grace.
- God created the universe to display His glorious grace and kindness in His adopted children and horrible wrath and justice in rejected children (Rom 9:22-24; Pr 16:4; Eph 2:7; I Pet 1:12).
- God purposed this act of adoption in His eternal counsel as He does all His works (Acts 15:18).
- The spiritual blessing of adoption was given us in Christ before the world began (Eph 1:3-4).
- God’s saving purpose and grace in adoption was given us before the world began (II Tim 1:9).
- Jesus Christ, Who paid the legal price for adoption, was assigned to it in eternity (I Peter 1:20).
- God gave us to Christ to adopt in eternity (Matt 1:21 cp Eph 1:4; Heb 2:13 cp John 6:39; 17:2).
- God’s adoption of sinners as His children was predestinated from eternity (Rom 8:29; Eph 1:5).
- Predestination. The ordaining or determination of events before they come to pass.
- Our adoption includes an eternal inheritance, which was predestinated for us (Ep 1:11).
- We were predestinated to be Christ’s brethren, so we must be God’s sons (Rom 8:29).
THE PURCHASE OF ADOPTION
- To adopt sinners, God’s absolute and eternal justice and wrath had to be paid and satisfied.
- It is an error to think of Christ’s sacrifice as a payment to purchase us from Satan, for He offered His infinite sacrifice to God (Hebrews 9:12-14; Galatians 3:13; Romans 3:25).
- This holy God cannot clear or acquit the guilty from their sins (Exodus 34:7; Nahum 1:3).
- God’s holy and absolute justice demanded eternal condemnation (Ezek 18:4; Rom 5:18; 6:23).
- Jesus Christ took on human nature to pay the legal price necessary for adoption (Heb 2:9-17).
- The law of God, which demanded our eternal death, was paid by Jesus Christ (Galatians 4:4-5).
- Jesus by His death gathered together in one all the children of God (John 11:49-52; Eph 1:10).
THE PREPARATION OF ADOPTION
- Adoption to be God’s children required a gracious gift of a new nature like His own for heaven.
- In natural adoptions, sometimes the adopted child, retaining their biological nature from usually perverse parents, despise their loving and kind new parents. And we cannot change this fact.
- Though legally His children, our wicked and depraved and deceitful natures must be rejected.
- God’s quickening power, as in Christ’s resurrection, changes our wicked nature (Eph 2:1-19).
- This operation of grace makes us His children by nature through His Spirit (Romans 8:14-16).
- We are born again His sons by absolute sovereign and unconditional power (John 1:12-13).
- By this second birth through the Spirit, we are made spiritual sons fit for heaven (John 3:6-8).
- We are regenerated (born again) as the generation and people of God (Titus 3:5; I Pet 2:9-10).
- Our second birth creates a nature like His for intimate personal fellowship (II Pet 1:4; Ep 4:24).
- Prior to this drastic transformation, we are the children of the devil (John 8:41-47; Eph 2:1-3).
THE PLEASURE OF ADOPTION
- As God’s children learn of their adoption and obey their Father, they obtain joy and fellowship.
- It is a normal event for adopted children to learn of their adoption and review their deliverance.
- So the gospel informs us of the eternal affection of God through Jesus Christ in our adoption.
- As we obey our new Father’s rules, we receive a comforting Spirit (Gal 4:6-7; Rom 8:15-16).
- We receive this Spirit in regeneration, but we realize His comforting ministry by faith.
- The Spirit is sent into our hearts because we are sons, not to become sons (Gal 4:6).
- The Holy Spirit in our hearts is the earnest of our eternal inheritance (Eph 1:12-13).
- Abba, Father. An untranslated and translated expression of affection to our Father.
- Thugh sons by plan, purchase, and preparation, the pleasure begins with Fatherly fellowship.
- The prodigal son pictures a legally living son but dead to fellowship (Luke 15:11-32).
- The practical benefits of sonship are reflected in fellowship and joy (I John 1:3-4).
- The word of God and gospel preaching tell us of adoption (II Tim 1:10; Rom 1:15-16).
- We manifest and display our sonship by working out the new nature within (I Jn 3:10).
- Faith and baptism reveal our sonship to others (Gal 3:26-27; Hebrews 3:6; I John 5:1).
- We show it further by our works (Matthew 5:45; Luke 6:35; II Cor 6:18; Phil 2:15).
- The chastening that we often consider grievous is proof of Fatherly love (Hebrews 12:5-13).
- Because we acquire knowledge of our adoption, we approach God boldly (Matt 6:9; Heb 4:16).
- No longer is God only Divine Justice and Holy Fire, He is our loving Heavenly Abba Father.
THE PROSPERITY OF ADOPTION
- We obtain the full riches of adoption when glorified in heaven with our eternal inheritance.
- The final display of our adoption to the universe is the grand finale yet coming (Rom 8:17-25).
- The whole creation (Rom 8:22) is under God’s curse due to sin, but will be one day liberated.
- The whole creation is awaiting public manifestation or display of God’s sons (Rom 8:19-23).
- We still await an aspect of our adoption – the redemption of our physical bodies (Rom 8:23).
- And there shall be no more curse (Rev 22:3). Sin shall be eradicated from the universe.
- And God shall make all things new (Rev 21:5) from the corruption of Adam’s sin.
- We will then have the immortal bodies like His body, which we now lack (I John 3:2).
- Then will come to pass the glorious descriptions of our great change (I Cor 15:35-58).
- We have an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance reserved in heaven for us (I Peter 1:3-9).
- This inheritance of all things and public announcement is to promote faithfulness (Rev 21:7).
- Glorification, the end of the adoption process, is as sure as the predestination (Rom 8:29-30).
THE GLORY OF ADORATION
- We shall receive a new, personal, and intimate name only God and we shall know (Rev 2:17).
- Angels desire to know about it, which is beyond their blessings and knowledge (I Peter 1:12).
- There are numerous and great differences between a human adoption and God’s adoption of us.
- Men adopt for joy and comfort of children, but God was infinitely happy (Job 35:5-8).
- Men adopt because they may have no children, but God already had many (Jobs 38:7).
- Men adopt because they see something desirable in the adopted, but God saw only filth.
- Men adopt never knowing for sure their future disposition, but God gave us His nature.
- Men adopt children of age who agree to the adoption, but we were God’s enemies.
- Men may adopt children and then later rescind the adoption, but God cannot repent.
- Men may adopt a child who dies before receiving his inheritance, but God preserves us.
- Men adopt children who receive the inheritance only when they die, but God cannot die.
- Should not our prayers take on a greater confidence in our Heavenly Father (Matt 6:9; 7:11).
- And cannot we pray with greater joy and pleasure knowing He already knows (Matthew 6:32).
- By Christ’s sanctifying death, we are part of the great family of God (Eph 3:14-19; Heb 2:11).
- The angel told Joseph that Jesus Christ would save His people – or kin (Matt 1:21; Luke 1:68).
- Is there a picture of this Divine adoption more touching and convicting than Ezekiel 16:1-22?
- Do you sometimes feel less worthy than others? Rejoice and see your adoption (I Cor 1:26-31).
- The “fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man” is only true naturally (Gen 3:20; Luke 3:38).
- Jesus comforted His disciples in their self-denial with a kind Fatherly blessing (Luke 12:32).
- “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom . . .” will be heard by each (Matt 25:34).
- Jesus graciously told His disciples, “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father” (John 20:17).
- Our adoption has made us heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ in one family (Rom 8:17).
- Can we not take great comfort in the fact that our Heavenly Father knows us (Psalm 103:13).
THE APPLICATION OF ADOPTION
- It is not enough to talk of being God’s children (John 8:43-47; Rom 9:1-8; Matthew 7:21-23).
- Do you wish to know your sonship for sure (Rom 8:12-14; II Pet 1:5-12; II Cor 7:1; I Jn 3:10)?
- The purpose of the ministry and the church is for us to live as the sons of God (Phil 2:14-16).
- There are things we can do to manifest our godly nature here before men (Matthew 5:43-45).
- The Lord Almighty will receive us as His children, if we will live separated lives (II Cor 6:18).
- The hope of the glorious day of our future public adoption should purify our lives (I John 3:3).