Systematic Theology: The Doctrine of God[1] Lecture Notes[2] Chapter 37-The Doctrine Of Adoption

Systematic Theology: The Doctrine of God[1]

Lecture Notes[2] Chapter 37-The Doctrine Of Adoption

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Romans 8:14-17 (ESV)

 

One of the greatest highlights–and privileges–and honors–I have ever received has been that after having a long, terrible day at work, I come home and just about every day, my wife and children are either waiting there by the door, or they come running up to me, to give me a hug; a kiss; tell me they’re glad I’m home; ask me how my day went. And just about every time that happens, I usually always hear someone say, “Daddy’s home!!” It’s not like I deserve it, but I NEED it. That is the privilege we have as well with our Heavenly Father. It’s not as if we deserve it, but we NEED it. Do we take advantage of that on a daily basis like we should?

What are benefits of being a member of God’s family?

Remember our order of salvation:

  1. Election
  2. The Gospel Call
  3. Regeneration
  4. Conversion
  5. Justification
  6. Adoption
  7. Sanctification
  8. Preservation (Perseverance)
  9. Death
  10. Glorification

Last week, we talked about Justification. This week we will look at Adoption. We have been going through this list and establishing which ones that God does only on His own and which are those that we take part in. In conversion, we see one of those events that we have a part in. Let me make it clear: It is in no way BECAUSE OF us that we are converted, but it must INVOLVE us. However, justification and adoption both involve something only God does.

We need to be so very grateful that what God does, He does COMPLETELY!! In regeneration (3), He gives us life and He does it from the inside. In justification (5), He gives us a right legal standing before Him. In adoption (6), God makes us members of His own family.

WITH EACH STEP, HE CONTINUES TO DRAW US EVER CLOSER TO HIM!!! Today, we will deal with finally having a RELATIONSHIP with God and with the other members of His family.

  1. We are Adopted (Rom. 8:14-16)

We’ve said even recently that God is extremely concerned about the family. That’s why Scripture speaks so often in terms of a parent/child relationship. God is our Father. We are His sons/daughters. Remember in Malachi that God scolded Israel’s men for marrying the daughters of a foreign god. Jesus told the Pharisees that they were of their father, the devil.

Because WE were of our father the devil, for God to own us, He had to adopt us.

Definition: Adoption is an act of God whereby He makes us members of His family.

John 1:12 (ESV)
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

Galatians 4:4-7 (ESV)
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

This is where we get to “cry out”; SHOUT; that God is our Daddy!!! This is where we get to say, “Daddy’s home!!”

 

  1. We Have ALL The Same Rights/Privileges as Birth Children (Rom. 8:16-17)

Ephesians 1:3 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

 

So what rights do we have, then?

  1. He is our Father

1 John 3:1-2 (ESV)
1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

Psalm 103:13-14 (ESV)
13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Wayne Grudem: “The role that is most intimate, and the role that conveys the highest privileges of fellowship with God for eternity, is His role as our Heavenly Father.”

 

  1. We can imitate Him

1 John 3:10 (ESV)
10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

  1. We are led by the Holy Spirit

Luke 11:13 (ESV)
13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Charles Spurgeon called the Holy Spirit “The Hound of Heaven”. He chases us. But when we see Him for who He is, we must chase Him. I’m not at all insinuated that He’s trying to elude us, but do you chase after Him?

  1. He disciplines us

Hebrews 12:5-11 (ESV)
5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

  1. We WILL suffer like He did

Romans 8:16-17 (ESV)
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

1 Peter 4:14 (ESV)

14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

  1. We are related to each other

1 John 3:10 (ESV)
10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

 

1 Timothy 5:1-2 (ESV)
1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers,
2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

We need to be ACTIVELY concerned about one another. If you are not, John says you do not belong to God. At best, MAYBE you do, but you think you’re an only child. If you are not loving and actively serving His people, you need to leave.

To those who have had good parents, they still make mistakes. They have/will let you down. You still get angry at them. But your Heavenly Father is not like they are. You have the joy and privilege of knowing He will never make mistakes, let you down, and err in judgment or in His response.

To those who have had evil, selfish, non-existent, uninvolved parents, you have the joy and privilege of knowing that everything you learn will be from the hands of the perfect, loving, Heavenly Father who will never make a mistake; who will never leave you or forsake you like your parents did. You are not paralyzed because of your past!!

 

 

 

 

[1] Based on and various Quotes from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, Zondervan

[2] All Scripture from ESV Bible, Crossway

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