December 1, 2010
Spiritual Gifts Part 56: Our Father’s kind intentions.
Biblical adoption is that grand design of God by which He confers or bestows upon us the status or the standing of adult sons and daughters.
This happens positionally at the moment of salvation when He recognizes us as an adult son or daughter permanently by His placement.
Spiritual adoption is an act of God’s grace whereby He brings believers in union with Christ into His family and makes them heirs, partakers of all the blessings He has provided for them.
In regeneration we are born again and given the new nature.
In adoption we are declared to be God’s son or daughter, and God’s heir. We are introduced into and given the privileges that belong to members of God’s family.
What the Bible means by adoption is based on the Roman aristocratic function of adoption in the first century, and it is not the same as our twenty-first century practice.
In an aristocratic Roman family, the first born male, the natural child, did not necessarily become the heir to the family fortune.
In ancient Rome, being adopted was one of the most fortunate things that could ever happen to you. It meant more privilege, greater opportunity, and a new inheritance.
Roman parents, particularly fathers, maintained strict discipline in the home.
At age 14, if the boy was a weak individual, the father would pass by his own flesh and blood in favor of selecting another who was more qualified to be the heir of the family name and fortune.
Adoption meant recognition of the legitimate heir.
Adoption meant to pass on the family fortune and family opportunities down to that person who was best qualified to be the legitimate mature heir of the family inheritance.
The young man who was adopted became the heir of the family fortune, the family business, and the seat in the Senate.
The saints chosen by God are predestined as adopted sons and daughters of God.
The actual ceremony was called adrogatio; there had to be seven witnesses, and the results could not be reversed.
for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
This is analogous in the spiritual realm to our equal privilege and equal opportunity under predestination.
The purpose of this adoption was so that the adoptee could take the position of a natural son in order to continue the family line and maintain property ownership.
It also meant rank and aristocracy not necessarily based on physical birth.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
We are also placed in permanent union with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This qualifies us to be recognized by God as His adult sons and daughters.
Biblical adoption shows up in connection with the moment of salvation, yet it also shows up in God’s thoughts in eternity past, and then again at the Rapture.
Adoption is something that God started in eternity past, Eph 1:5. He made a decision concerning believers in Christ.
This is election, God’s expression of His will for us, granting us His highest and best as members of the Body of Christ.
This is predestination, God’s provision related to His will for us.
God thought about us in eternity past, and decreed the fact that He would make us His adult sons and daughters one day.
We are recognized as adult sons and daughters by virtue of our union with Christ.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the natural born Son who is qualified to be placed as the Head of the Body.
We were not in the family, and are adopted BECAUSE OF the impeccable credentials of the natural born Son.
In His grace, God supplies us the standing, nature, righteousness, and capacities that we lacked in order to make us fit to be His adult sons and daughters.
The Roman father selected a capable person for the job.
God the Father selects an incapable person and transforms him or her into a capable person.
We are made into the heir by means of the grace of God through the pre-designed plan of God.
The three English words “adoption as sons” that appear in each instance are actually translating a single Greek word.
= the placing as a son, i.e. adoption
huios = “son come of age”
thesia = “a placing, or setting a person or thing in its place”.
So the root meaning is “the placing of a son”.
The Greek word huiothesia means to place a son in the home who would carry on the family business, the family estate. Therefore it meant recognition as an adult son.
God’s children are born of God, born of the Spirit, and are called
tekna = “born ones”