Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Adoption into the Family of God

J.I, Packer in his classic Knowing God, deals in chapter 19 with the Biblical doctrine of Adoption. He offers the Westminster Confession as an excellent declaration  of the doctrine of Adoption, based on Romans 8 and 9, Galatians 4:5 and Ephesians 1:6 which summarize all the blessings of being born again into the family of God.

 

“All those that are justified, God vouchsafeth (guarantees as safe), in and for His only  Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption: by which they are taken into the number and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God; have His name put upon them, receive the Spirit of Adoption; have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry Abba, Father (the cry of a little child for his earthly father); are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by Him, as by a father; yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises, as everlasting heirs of salvation” 

 

Then Packer summarizes this doctrine as follows, 

 

 

“What, then, of the historic disputes?  The Romanists were wrong; viewed in the light of adoption and the fatherhood of God, their denial of both preservation and assurance becomes a ludicrous monstrosity.  What sort of father is it that never tells His children individually that He loves them, but proposes to throw them out of the family unless they behave?  The Wesleyan and Lutheran denial of preservation is similarly mistaken. God is a better father than this denial allows for:  He keeps His children in faith and grace, and will not let them slip from His hand.

 

The Reformers and Wesley were right to say that assurance is integral with faith; the Puritans, however, were also right to lay more stress than either on the fact that Christians who grieve the Spirit by sin, and who fail to seek God with all their heart, must expect to miss the full fruition of this crowning gift of the double witness, just as careless and naughty children stop their parent’s smiles and provoke frowns instead. Some gifts are too precious for careless and naughty children, and this is a gift that our heavenly Father will, to some extent at least, hold back if He sees us to be in a state whereby it would spoil us, by making us think our Father did not care whether we lived holy lives or not.”

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June 12, 2008 - Posted by | Gems

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