The doctrine of the believer’s adoption into YHWH’s family is rich with assurance of the continuing love and commitment of the Heavenly Father. We may define adoption this way: Adoption is the gracious act of YHWH by which He places the believer in Yahushua into His family, giving him the full rights and privileges of mature son-ship.
From this blessed position in the family of YHWH flow 4 grace-supplied privileges:
- We are delivered from the penalty of the law. Passover is the illustration of Yahushua, the lamb of YHWH, as our substitute for our lives as payment for our transgressions. Galatians 4:4-5 teaches us that at the very perfect time—YHWH’s time—the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. He did this “so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” The sacrifice of Yahushua on the cross for our sins was fully accepted by the Father as the demands of His righteous law were fully met. As a result, those who find refuge from the condemnation of the Law in the “accepted One” find themselves fully accepted by the Heavenly Father as members of His cherished family.
- We receive the Holy Spirit as a sign or pledge of our inheritance. Ephesians 1:13-14 teaches us that at the moment we believed the gospel we were sealed in Yahushua “with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of YHWH’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” The Holy Spirit, who right now indwells us, is YHWH’s down-payment on His own promise. When we are fully matured (resurrected) by Yahushua, we will obtain an unspeakable inheritance. The Holy Spirit’s presence is proof of this.
- We are adopted into a family where we do not naturally belong. Ephesians 2:3 teaches us that before we were regenerated by the Holy Spirit (given a born-again soul) and faith came from the hearing of the gospel (Rom 10:17), we were “children of wrath.” Now, according to 1 John 3:2, “we are children of God.” No longer are we “children of the devil” (1 John 3:10), but fully accepted and adopted sons and daughters of the King of Kings. We belong to Him. We belong in His family, Israel.
- We have an intimate father-child relationship with YHWH. Romans 8:15 teaches us that we “have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but [we] have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” As a result of this relationship:
- We are invited to pray and to call Him ‘Father’ (Matthew 6:9).
- We receive His compassion with our repentant, humble heart (Psalm 103:13-14).
- We are assured of His love when we remain in Him, and He disciplines [trains] us for righteousness, sanctifying us by our obedience to His Word (Hebrews 12:5-10).
- We are forgiven all our past sins, and released from the punishment of our future unintentional sins (Matthew 6:12).
The biblical foundation for the act of adopting children is primarily in the Old Testament. There are three “official” adoptions in the Old Testament (Moses, Esther, and Genubath, 1 Kings 11:20), Israel is called God’s son (Exodus 4:22; Deuteronomy 14:1; 32:6; Jeremiah 31:9; Hosea 11:1). Then on every occasion in Scripture where those who were not faithful believers in YHWH would then faithfully trust and obey Him became (by declaration of YHWH) His People. They were adopted as children from another father (Satan) into the family of YHWH. Later, as YHWH established Israel as His “official” chosen People He gave them the Law and stated that there was “one Law for both the native born and for the sojourner with you”. This was another illustration of adoption into His family. But not until the New Testament is the term adoption used.