So far in our walk through Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology on the discussion of salvation we have examined the Biblical topics of: Election and Reprobation, the Gospel Call and Effective Calling, Regeneration, Conversion (Faith and Repentance), and Justification (Right Legal Standing Before God). Today, we examine the next “step”, the grace of adoption.
Grudem defines adoption as “an act of God whereby he makes us members of his family.”
Absent Christ, all humanity is alienated from God. “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” (Colossians 1:21). The reason for this is because of sin. Sin separates us from our Creator, for He is Holy. Christ came to earth in order to change this. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,” (1 Peter 3:18). However, Christ’s work on the cross not only reconciles believers to God; His blood is also the ink on our adoption papers.
Galatians 4:4-5 says, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” In fact, to pull the topic of Election into the topic of Adoption, we read in Ephesians 1:4-5, “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” Adoption into God’s family is a believer’s destiny. But when does this destiny occur? When is our adoption paper signed? Upon our initial repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Adoption is not something we must wait for, it occurs at the point of saving faith.
This is why it says in Romans 8:14-17, written above, “the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” This bearing witness occurs, not upon death, but upon conversion. If you place your faith in Christ, you are adopted now, and with adoption comes all the fruit of adoption.
First, we have God as our Father. There is no better Dad then the God of the Universe. Second, we are loved, despite our sins. In the orphanage of this world, we are not the “prettiest”, the “smartest”, the “best”, yet we are loved by Him who is love. Romans 5:8, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Third, not only do we have a Father who loves us, but he will love us forever. There is a security that produces peace in the arms of our Father. God will not adopt us, just to terminate the adoption. He loves us forever. Romans 8:29-30, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”