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.
1. Are all believers God's children? Yes: ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, Gal. 3:26. Are they so by nature? No: We are by nature children of wrath, Eph. 2:3. Are they so by adoption? Yes: we receive the adoption of sons, Gal. 4:5. Do they deserve to be made God's children? No: how shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land? Jer. 3:19. Are they altogether unworthy of such a favour? Yes: I am no more worthy to be called thy son, Luke 15:19. Is it bestowed upon them notwithstanding their unworthiness? Yes: I will be a Father to you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty, 2 Cor. 6:18.
2. Is adoption an act of God's free grace? Yes: behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God, 1 John 3:1. Are we by it received into the number of God's children? Yes: there shall they he called the children of the living God, Rom. 9:26, Are we received into that number upon our believing? Yes: As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name, John. 1:12.
3. Have we leave to call God, Father? Yes: Ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father, Rom. 8:15. Does he encourage us to do so? Yes: Thou shalt call me, My Father, and shalt not turn away from me, Jer. 3:19. May we call him so, though we have been prodigals? Yes: I will go to my Father, and will say unto him, Father, Luke 15:18. May we look upon all good Christians as our brethren? Yes: For all ye are brethren, Matt. 23:8. And do they all make one family? Yes: Of whom the whole family both in heaven and earth is named, Eph. 3:15.
Does God give the nature of his children to all whom he receives into the number? Yes: because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, Gal. 4:6. Do they partake of a divine nature? Yes: they are made partakers of a divine nature, 2 Pet. 1:4. Are all God's children born again then? Yes: they are born not of the will of man, but of God, John 1:13. Is our adoption then to be known by our disposition? Yes: for in this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil, whosoever doth not righteousness is not of God, 1 John 3:10.
5. Have all God's adopted children a right to the privileges of children? Yes: they are brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God, Rom. 8:21. Does their Father pity them? Yes: like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him, Ps. 103:13. Does he spare them? Yes: as a man spares his own son that serves him, Mal. 3:17. Does he take care of them? Yes: Children, have ye any meat, John 21:15. Does he provide for them? Yes: for they that seek the Lord shall want no good thing, Ps. 34:10. Does he correct them in love? Yes: for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? Heb. 12:7. Does he hear their prayers? Yes: your Father in heaven will give good things to them that ask him, Matt. 7:11. Will he give them the inheritance of sons? Yes: It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom, Luke 12:32. Will he bring them all safe to it? Yes: he will gather together the children of God that were scattered abroad, John 11:52. Will Christ present them all to the Father? Yes: Behold, I and the children which thou hast given me, Heb. 2:13.
6. Must all God's children reverence him? Yes: If I be a Father, where is my honour? Mal. 1:6. Must they obey him? Yes: as obedient children, 1 Pet. 1:14. Must they imitate him? Yes: be ye followers of God, as dear children, Eph. 5:1. Must they submit to him Yes: Father, thy will be done, Matt. 26:42.