Chapter 34 - Adoption
Some say the Puritans didn't write much about this, but they did. Some called it our greatest blessing of salvation, or that adoption covers our whole salvation. 1 John 3:1 and Ephesians 1:5
Adoption isn't the same as regeneration - it is a new family status, not a new nature in regeneration.
Adoption isn't justification - it is the family setting of love, not the legal setting of law.
Adoption isn't sanctification - it is the status we have, not the actual being a good son or daughter.
Westminster gives the essential meaning: adoption is an act of grace where God counts us as one of His children with the privileges that come with that: access to Him in prayer, our inheritance of salvation in heaven (1 Peter 1:4), and the Spirit dwelling in our hearts.
God transfers us from "Satan's enslaving family" to His own. This isn't for a successor or for want of fellowship, but out of sheer and abundant grace. "Love and communion with God lie at the heart of adoption" (544).
In adoption our relationships change. We become children of God, strangers to the world, waiting for the future, pure in ourselves (1 John 3:3), and lovers of the family of God the church.
Other privileges that come with adoption:
- removal from Satan's house of bondage
- a new name, and called by God's name (Rev. 2:17)
- made like God, as a child like his father (Phil. 1;29)
- discipline, meant for good (Heb. 12:3-11)
- comforting communion (Rom. 5:5)
- liberty (Gal. 4:7)
- provision of spiritual and physical things (Matt. 6:31-33)
- angels to minister to us (Ps. 34:7; Heb. 1:14)
Responsibilities of adoption
- Child-like reverence for God
- Submission to His Fatherly discipline
- Imitation of God
- Love for the brethren
- Contentment with God's providence
- Gratitude for God's provisions
- Relying on God instead of our own work
- Diligence in using gifts and means He provides for our good
- Rejoicing in His presence