We have been discussing the results of personal salvation in Christ and why it might be associated with enhanced wellbeing. The current blog series is describing what happens, as taught in the Bible, at the time of salvation which results in wonderful changes for a believer. We have already discussed several fantastic promises associated with salvation. This week let us consider adoption, another marvelous biblical promise.
Adoption is important in our society because when a family legally adopts a child the new family member gains all the rights and privileges of a natural child. In other words, their new status in the family is permanent and cannot be overturned. What a great promise of security to the child!
Likewise, in the ancient Greek and Roman world, as in our own society (with some differences), adoption provided permanent legal status for a child that could not be overturned. The Apostle Paul states our status as adopted children into God’s family in four separate places in his epistles, indicating the importance of our new position as a believer following accepting Christ as Savior through faith (Romans 8:15 and 23; Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:5). Consequently, we are children of God, adopted into His family with legal protection and a permanent status. What a great promise!
How interesting that Paul describes adoption as one of our positions before God as New Testament Christians. It was not an image used of Old Testament believers. Adoption apparently was not common in the Hebrew world and is noted only in the Old Testament three times, all occurring outside of Israel. God appeared to handle the issue of orphaned children in Israel by the use of a kinsman redeemer as provided in the Hebrew law.
Israel also is not noted to be adopted until Paul mentions it retroactively to the mixed audience of Greeks and the Jews in Rome (the Jews were probably Hellenized and so would relate to the image) to explain God’s relationship to Israel in the Old Testament (Romans 9:4).
Adoption is the fourth of the great promises of our position as a believer because of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, resulting in either legal or morphological irreversible changes. These changes indicate our eternal security including: spiritual baptism, membership in the universal church, sealing by the Spirit and now adoption as children of God.
Indeed, God has given us a marvelous salvation and the promise of a wonderful secure eternity with Him (Romans 10:9-10). Come back again next week and we’ll talk about justification, a supposition from Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. As always, thank you for visiting.