Our Glorious Adoption: Trinitarian Based and Transformed Relationships -- By: Joel R. Beeke
PRJ 3:2 (July 2011) p. 63
Our Glorious Adoption:
Trinitarian Based and
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
—1 John 3:1-31
The triune God delights in family planning. Unlike most modern human family planning, which is restrictive and limiting, God’s plans for His family are expansive and enlarging. Spiritual adoption—the wonderful teaching that every genuine Christian is an adopted child into God’s family—is a foundational and vital factor that God uses to fulfill His family planning.
The glorious doctrine of spiritual adoption is addressed several places in the New Testament. Romans 8:14-16 and Galatians 4:4-6 will be the most familiar to us, but adoption is also a frequent theme in 1 John. Particularly in 1 John 3:1-3, the apostle John lays before us the central and major New Testament themes of the fatherhood of God and the corresponding sonship of the believer. We don’t have to read far in the New Testament before we realize that this is of critical importance for the entirety of the Christian life. Where there is
PRJ 3:2 (July 2011) p. 64
some degree of spiritual maturity, some realization of our sonship to the heavenly Father, this Father–son relationship will undergird our prayer, indeed, control our entire outlook on life. Much of what Christ taught us can be summarized in the precious doctrine of the salvific fatherhood of God. The revelation of the fatherhood of God to the believer is in a sense the climax of the Scriptures and one of the greatest benefits of salvation.
In this article, I aim to first, show the wonder of our glorious adoption; second, expound its Trinitarian foundation; third, and most extensively, consider particularly in the context of 1 John 3 how a right appropriation of this doctrine will transform all our relationships in life; and finally, conclude with adoption’s blessings and responsibilities.
The Wonder of Adoption
John begins the third chapter of 1 John with a call for believers t...
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