Archive for the ‘adoption’ Category

J. I. Packer:

Paul teaches that the gift of justification (i.e., present acceptance by God as the world’s Judge) brings with it the status of sonship by adoption (i.e., permanent intimacy with God as one’s heavenly Father, Gal. 3:26; 4:4-7). In Paul’s world, adoption was ordinarily of young adult males of good character to become heirs and maintain the family name of the childless rich. Paul, however, proclaims God’s gracious adoption of persons of bad character to become “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17).

Justification is the basic blessing, on which adoption is founded; adoption is the crowning blessing, to which justification clears the way. Adopted status belongs to all who receive Christ (John 1:12). The adopted status of believers means that in and through Christ God loves them as he loves his only-begotten Son and will share with them all the glory that is Christ’s now (Rom. 8:17, 38-39). Here and now, believers are under God’s fatherly care and discipline (Matt. 6:26; Heb. 12:5-11) and are directed, especially by Jesus, to live their whole lives in light of the knowledge that God is their Father in heaven. They are to pray to him as such (Matt. 6:5-13), imitate him as such (Matt. 5:44-48; 6:12, 14-15; 18:21-35; Eph. 4:32-5:2), and trust him as such (Matt. 6:25-34), thus expressing the filial instinct that the Holy Spirit has implanted in them (Rom. 8:15-17; Gal. 4:6).

Adoption and regeneration accompany each other as two aspects of the salvation that Christ brings (John 1:12-13), but they are to be distinguished. Adoption is the bestowal of a relationship, while regeneration is the transformation of our moral nature. Yet the link is evident; God wants his children, whom he loves, to bear his character, and takes action accordingly.

—J. I. Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993), 167-168.

HT: Justin Taylor

For more on the importance of adoption in salvation see “Adoption: The Highest Privilege of the Gospel.


From Together for Adoption:

For anyone interested in adoption:

On Saturday, November 12th, Together for Adoption Chicago is offering a one-day conference on regional and global orphan care.  Our hope is that you’ll leave with a unique sense of God’s adopting love for you and a heart and desire to love and adopt the orphan.

The conference will be hosted by Park Community Church. The conference schedule:

8:15am – Doors Open (Check-in & Registration)

9:00am – Main Session 1
The God Who Adopts | Dr. Russell Moore

10:15am – Breakout Sessions 1

11:15pm – Breakout Sessions 2

12:00pm – Lunch

1:15pm – Main Session 2
The Church Who Adopts | Jason Kovacs

2:15pm – Q & A with Dr. Russell Moore & Jason Kovacs

2:30pm – Close

Pretty Inclusive

Posted: September 23, 2011 in adoption, bible, Jesus, sonship, soteriology


While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.  But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Jordan Mogck:

In that moment, Jesus’ radical gesture toward his disciples was, in fact, not to insult his mother but to demonstrate something profound about the family of God.

No one has unique, insider access to Jesus (not even his mom). And, while perhaps a jolt to his biological brothers and sisters, this is great news for the rest of the world.

Since Jesus’ genetic heritage ended with his ascension, there would be little to unite us to him in as profound a way as a familial bond.

But in this gesture, he demonstrates, “Through my shed blood anyone can be my true brother and sister and mother.”

Pretty inclusive…

Perhaps that is why Paul writes in Ephesians 1:5, “You were predestined for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ.”

Praise God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, all working in perfect unity to effect this great salvation, our adoption as beloved sons and daughters of God.

Al Mohler has posted an excellent new article reacting to The New York Times Magazine’s recent cover story detailing the horrific rise of pregnancy “reductions.”  Although there is no real excuse for this barbaric killing of innocent children, the justification offered has (predictably) become more and more superficial and self-centered.

Euphemisms are the refuge of moral cowardice, and no euphemism is so cowardly or so deadly as “reduction” — a word that sounds like math, but really means murder. The August 14, 2011 edition of The New York Times Magazine makes this fact clear in its cover story, “The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy.”…

The “reduction” of multiple pregnancies is now part of the practice of obstetrics, though largely kept from public view. Ruth Padawer explains that the demand for reductions is driven by advances in reproductive technologies and the reluctance of many women to accept a multiple pregnancy. Some of the most widely-used fertility drugs increase the likelihood of a multiple pregnancy, as does the usual process of IVF procedures.

The procedure was first proposed as a means of reducing the risk of having three or more babies in a single pregnancy. In more recent years, the demand to reduce twins to a single pregnancy has grown steadily. At one New York City medical center, over half of all reduction procedures were to reduce twins to a single pregnancy…

“Ethics,” Dr. Evans [an abortion doctor who performs “reductions”] told Padawer, “evolve with technology.” That is a foundation for murderous medical ethics. The Culture of Death has worked its way into the logic of modern medical ethics to the extent that these obstetricians justify killing healthy babies just because the parents do not want the burden of twins.

As God’s people, we must pray for those who are considering abortion, that God would convict them of it’s immorality and lead them to choose a better way.  Even more, we must be first in line to support these women, offering our time, money, and love.  Finally, if we boldly declare that abortion is evil, we must seriously consider adoption, thus offering a Gospel-proclaiming alternative to this horrible tragedy.

Jesus’s True Siblings

Posted: July 29, 2011 in adoption, bible, Jesus, sonship

Then [Jesus] went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat.  And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”… And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him.  And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.”  And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”  And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!  For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 3:20-21, 31-35

It seems that I have found a kindred spirit…

familia Dei (emphasis mine):

Adoption powerfully confronts the tendency for Christians to equate their morning “quiet time” to their relationship with God. What a cheap substitute an hour of reading the Bible, journaling, and prayer is when one is invited to behold and participate in the life of the Trinity – as a son of God and a brother of Jesus…

But perhaps the most overlooked aspect of our adoption into the family of God is that we are adopted and called God’s children, before we ever act like it.  Adoption into God’s family is first (but not primarily) a status change before a behavioral change. In this way, adoption is very distinct from regeneration. Regeneration has to do with recreating our nature, thereby changing our behaviors; adoption is about status.  An infinitely improved status is the heart of the gospel.

This is where “adoption…through Jesus” (Ephesians 1:5) comes in. On one’s behalf, this kind of relational change is utterly impossible to initiate with an infinitely holy and just God. Why? Because we are offenders. But we are offenders right up to our adoption. We are offenders after our adoption. So our improved status from enemies to beloved children is just that — an improved status. It pays no regard to right behavior. The reason that this is possible is because the new status ascribed to us was purchased through Jesus’ sinless life and death in our stead. In other words, we don’t need to behave perfectly because Jesus did.

Praise the holy Trinity for the glorious (and costly) privilege of being called sons and daughters of the living God!  Truly, nothing compares to the exceedingly precious gift of “adoption through propitiation“!