In previous articles we have seen that our adoption as the children of God is predestinated from eternity by God the Father and prepared and sealed in time through the work of Christ, the First-begotten Son. Now we turn to the third phase in the revelation of the wonder of our Sonship, the work of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of adoption. It is through the Spirit of adoption that the adoption of sons is possessed by the children of God.
The final phase in the revelation of our adoption as God’s children takes place in the judgment day. The adoption of sons which God has predestinated in His eternal counsel and prepared in Christ, and which we possess through the Spirit of adoption is perfected when at last we leave our earthly house of this tabernacle and receive from God a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (II Cor. 5:1).
The word “adoption” is a word which is used only five times in Scripture and all five times in the New Testament. Nevertheless, the concept is found throughout the Old and New Testaments and is a very important and comforting part of the gospel of God’s grace. Adam himself is called the son of God in Luke 3:38, and though perhaps his sonship differs in some respects from ours, it is still a sonship by virtue of adoption. So too, one of the most common names given to the saints in Scripture, and which implies the truth of adoption, is the...
In studying the biblical truth of adoption we have seen that election is the eternal source of our adoption as the children of God. The wonder of “the adoption of sons” is first revealed in the fact that it is “predestinated,” and the close relationship between election and adoption reveals the sovereignty of God’s predestinating purpose. Even the earthly picture of adoption reflects the fact that it has its source in a sovereign choice.