Skip to content

Purpose of Predestination: Adoption


Text: Ephesians 1:5-6

In Christ, we are given a new destiny, a new status before God, a new relationship with the world and those who dwell in it and a new family. It is to that new family that we must refer now – to our ADOPTION as the children of God.

1. Definition of ‘God’s CHILDREN.’ Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children
There it is, – from before the foundation of the world, God chose us for a purpose, to be a part of his family – to be his children. Let’s define what we mean by ‘The Children of God.’

  1. The brotherhood of man. There are people who will want to argue that we are ALL the children of God, after all he created us,and because he created us, we are made in his image, and doesn’t that make us all God’s children? We are all the children of Adam, one common father. In that sense, he is our father, in that we owe our very life to Him. But that is NOT Christianity. So what does the Bible teach us?
  2. The children of God and the children of the devil. There is no doubt that throughout the scriptures, we are taught that there are two kinds of people in this world, those who are God’s people and those who are not. Those who are saved by God’s grace, and those who have never known that grace, who therefore are lost. That division is clear. Jesus spoke about ‘sheep’ and ‘goats’ on judgement day, about those who enter in at the narrow gate, and those who do not, those who are on the broad road and those who are on the narrow, – in this very passage Paul has told these people that they have been specifically chosen by God to be his children. And he reminds us in Ephesians 2:11, that we have all been at one time outside the covenants of God, without hope, in the world. Now, note that the distinction is not between religious people and non-religious people. It was to deeply religious people, people who were steeped in their religious traditions that Jesus said, in John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil.

We are not all the children of God and if we are to become the children of God, then we must be taken from the family of the devil, and placed into the family of God – the sinner transplanted from under a despotic jackboot, to have a new father who will love us and care for us. Now, how does that happen and what does it entail?

2. CHOSEN and ENTITLED Childrenthe adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,.
The Father adopts us BY the work of the Son, and he adopts us not just as children, but as children with all the rights of SONSHIP. Let’s spend some time on this:-

  • Textual considerations. In the AV the phrase ‘adoption of children’ translates just one Greek word, and it is a verb, derivedfrom the noun ‘υιός’ and that word directly translates to our word SON. The idea here is that when God adopts us as his children, he changes our legal status to being his SONS – even if you are a woman! Let’s use James White’s translation as a commentary, “He did this by predestining us to adoption as his legal heirs through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will.” That’s about as close to the meaning of the text as we can get. We see it again in Galatians 4:5
  • Why does this matter? Because of the status of sonship in ancient societies. In fact, even in some ethnic groups today, sons are regarded as more valuable than daughters. In ancient Roman society, no-one would adopt a daughter, but the adoption of a son involved a formal and legal procedure. It involved REDEMPTION. There would be a monetary payment, even if it was nominal, and there would be a court case before the magistrate, in which the adoptive father would plead the case for the adoption, and only then could the young man be adopted. When he was, the full authority of his precious father was totally negated, and struck down, and the boy would be under the headship of his new father, for the rest of his life. He would lose the right of inheritance in his old family, never to regain those rights, and instead would be granted inheritance rights in his new family.That’s what God has done for us in adoption. We are by nature the children of our father the devil, we are under his authority, and the only inheritance we will get from serving the father of lies, is a liar’s fate, Revelation 21:8 But His elect, redeemed people, have been transferred – by virtue of their redemption, Christ paying the price for them, judicially removed from under the devil’s authority and placed, legally under the headship of God, who will rule over them for the rest of their lives, and give them the rights of inheritance that pertain to sons, John 1:12

• The sonship of Christ and the sonship of the believer. Now a word of caution. Jesus is the eternal, only-begotten Son of God, we, although we are sons, are not natural sons, we are adopted into God’s family. Now that should be enough for us to be wary when we hear some extreme charismatics and the prosperity preachers talking about how Christians are little gods, who have the power of creation in their words,. It is a lie straight from the serpent, from Satan himself. Genesis 3:5

So we are are chosen by God, for this specific purpose that he should bring us into his family with the status of sons, to be our Father, to exercise benevolent headship over us, to care for us, to give us rights of inheritance.

3. RESTORED and Yet MORE BLESSED Childrenaccording to the good pleasure of his will,
It is God’s will for us that we are his children, and he is our father. He created us to have fellowship with him, to enjoy his presence and bring him glory for ever. Fellowship with us is God’s pleasure, and it is what he wants for us. In that sense what was lost at the fall is fully restored, the fellowship with God that was broken in Genesis 3, in the garden, is repaired. That would be good enough for any of us! But there is more. We have:-
* Christ! Pre-fall Adam and `Even had communion with God, they were in his immediate presence. Genesis 3:8-9 That in itself

is truly wonderful, but Adam didn’t have Jesus!
* Security! Adam fell. He sinned and he fell away and he was banished from the garden and from God’s presence, and he never

got to return. For the soul who has trusted in Jesus, there is clear biblical teaching that we can never fall away and be lost. He

Jesus keeps us, who are his, until we are safely home.
* Forgiveness! An ongoing covenant of forgiveness, for in Christ was have One who continually intercedes for us. 1 John 2:1
In Christ, God’s adoptive sons, we have all that Adam lost, and mush, much more. Is it any wonder that God’s saving grace kindles our praise. In this portion, God the Father is active, legally adopting us as his sons, with all that that implies, BY JESUS CHRIST.

© Bob McEvoy 2023

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: