Theology Corner

Addressing commonly asked questions about Christianity from the perspective of a non-theologian

38. WHAT IS ADOPTION?

Each person who responds to God’s grace (Titus 2:11) and the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:8; 1 John 2:2) by confession of sin, remorse, repentance, faith and obedience instantly receives the great gift of salvation.  This gift includes but is not limited to the following:

 

  • Redemption (Rom 3:24; 8:23) - You are freed from the bondage of sin for the first time in your life.
  • Forgiveness (Mat 6:9-15; 1 John 1:8-10) – You are forgiven your sins by God.
  • Justification (Rom 3:21-26) – You are declared righteous by God; this legal declaration is valid because Christ died to pay the penalty for your sin and lived a life of perfect righteousness that can in turn be imputed to you.
  • Adoption (Rom 3:23; Gal 3:26; 1 John 3:2) – You are a joint heir with Jesus to the Kingdom of God.
  • Regeneration (John 3:1-21) - The Holy Spirit makes known to you the will of God and helps you discern truth from lie.  He occupies and purifies all the rooms of your heart into which He is invited.  For the first time in your life you are not a prisoner of sin.  You are free to pursue the path of righteousness.  This is the first day of your Christian life and you are a new creature in Christ.  This is the mechanism of your redemption.
  • Sanctification (Heb 6:1; 1 Pet 1:13-16) - You are led by the Holy Spirit along the path toward holiness; this is a lifetime journey.
  • Reconciliation (Eph 2:11-22) - You are reconciled with all other believers.
  • Unification (Eph 3:1-11) – You are united with all believers in the Church of Jesus Christ.
  • Glorification (Rom 8:30) – You will complete the journey along the path of sanctification when your mission in this life is done.

 

This section addresses the concept of adoption.

 

Adoption is the act of God by which we are received into the family of God and given the privileges associated with family.  These privileges include but are not limited to:

Joint heirs with Jesus to the kingdom of God.  For you are all sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:26). And if children then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17). And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (Gal 4:6,7).

Filial confidence toward God.  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”(Rom 8:15).

Unity of the soul with Christ.  For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren (Heb 2:11).

A proprietary right in all that Christ has and is.  Therefore let no one glory in men.  For all things are yours…And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s (1 Cor 3:21-23).

The right and title to an eternal inheritance.  To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you (1 Pet 1:4).  Kingdom (Luke 12:32, Heb 12:28)); Better Country (Heb 11:16); Crown of Life (Jam 1:12); Crown of Righteous (2 Tim 4:8); Eternal Weight of Glory (2 Cor 4:17).