9 November 2003
1 John 3:1, John 1:12, Romans 8:17 & Colossians 3:10
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 34. What is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.34? What is adoption?
A. Adoption is the act of God’s free grace by which we become His sons with all the rights and privileges of being His.
1. What is the difference between adoption in the sight of men and in the sight of God?
Adoption, according to man, is simply a taking into the family a child because of some qualification on the part of the child or because of some need of the adopting parent. God adopts those who are strangers, the children of wrath, those in whom there is nothing commendable and gives them all the rights and privileges as children of God.
2. What is involved in this new relationship?
A.A. Hodge states, “Adoption presents the new creature in his new relations - his new relations entered upon with a congenial heart, and his new life developing in a congenial home, and surrounded with those relations which foster its growth and crown it with blessedness.” (Confession of Faith, pg.192)
3. Are all children of men adopted by God?
No, only those who believe on Christ. (John 1:12)
4. Who specifically does the act of adopting?
The act of adoption belongs to God the Father. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)
5. What are the privileges to which the adopted children of God are entitled?
The list could be endless. Primarily the privileges are:
(1) Protection from evils of all kinds (Psalm 121:7)
(2) The bearing of his likeness (Colossians 3:10).
(3) The access to God the Father (1 John 5:14,15).
(4) The provision of the needs of the believer (Psalm 34:10).
(5) A surety of entrance into the kingdom of heaven (Rom 8:17)