Adoption: Assurance and Security of the Believer
Memory Verse: 1Jn. 3:1-3
Prayer: Thanking God that we are kept by His power.
Key Verses: Rom. 8:13-17,23; Gal. 4:4-7; Eph. 1:1-7
Adoption is that privilege, bestowed upon those who are united with Christ, and justified by faith, by which they are admitted into the family of God, adopted as his children, and made joint heirs with His own son (Rom. 8:13-17; Gal. 4:4-7). Adoption is not a work of grace in us, but an act of God’s grace without us. It is taking those who were by nature children of wrath from the family of Satan, to which they originally belonged, into the family of God. By union with Jesus Christ we enter into the communion of His righteousness, and as He is the Son of God, we become sons of God. All this shows us how great is the benefit which we obtain when we receive the Spirit of adoption and communion with the Son of God.
The term adoption is borrowed from the ancient custom, especially prevalent among the Romans, of a man who had no children of his own, adopting into his family the child of another. The father and the adopted child appeared before the praetor, where the adopting father said to the child, “Wilt thou be my son?” and the child answered, “I will.” The allusion to this custom reminds believers that they are not the children of God otherwise than by His free and voluntary election. God, in adopting His people, Himself produces the qualities in those whom He adopts. This adoption is accompanied with a real change, and so great a change, that it bears the name of that which is the real ground of sonship, and is called regeneration. There is a new life breathed into them by God. He gives them a supernatural life by His Spirit sent into their hearts.
In studying adoption, we see that nothing suggests the possibility of losing the adoptive state. Abba, Aramaic meaning papa; and Father, Greek pater. We cry Abba, Father not like a baby, but we sing and shout -- “He is my Father.” Aramaic and Greek words both meaning Father. Why use both? Because He wants my soul to have the double assurance that God is my father. That is why. Oh how I wish we had time to pause here and get a big fresh drink out of the twelve wells of water at Elim (Ex. 15:27), and rejoice about all that God has done for us in saving our unworthy souls and providing us with so many blessings in this life. It is the same Spirit that moved on the face of the darkness in creation’s morning, that has moved on our soul to bring us into adoption and sonship with the Father.
The Spirit bearing witness with our spirit (Rom. 8:16) gives us assurance that we are the children of God. We have the word of God on it. The Holy Spirit, in the heart of a believer, joins His testimony with his spirit, in confirmation of this truth, that he is a son of God. And we have the above testimony, confirmed in us when we experience and observe the effects of the renovation of our souls in the work of sanctification begun and carrying on in us. Through the continued witness of the Spirit we become conscious of, and discover in ourselves, the true marks of a renewed state. And what does one do when the Spirit burns in our soul that we now have the water of life (Jn. 4,13-29). Why we can’t keep quiet, we have to go and tell someone. You can’t keep a saved soul from giving his testimony any more than you can keep the measles from breaking out. We have seen the Lord, isn’t that assurance enough?
1Jn. 5:10-14; Jn. 10:28-30; Phil. 1:6; Rom. 8:32-39
The doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints teaches that those who are effectually called of God to the exercise of genuine faith in Christ will certainly persevere unto final salvation. Due to the weakness of man, if left to himself, he would surely fall. Because of this, those who would introduce human works in greater or lesser degree into the plan of salvation, deny that one can know of a certainty that he has eternal salvation. Actually, the very basis of the denial of the security of the believer in grace, is the idea that, “inasmuch as one is saved (in part or in whole) by good works, then when one produces evil works he must naturally fall back into his former lost condition.” It amounts to believing in a see-saw religion, saved today, lost tomorrow, saved back again the third day, ad infinitum. It is practically a belief that the saved are those who outrun Satan from the baptismal waters to heaven. The scriptures do not teach the possibility of falling from grace and becoming lost after once saved. Among Baptists (so-called) only those who adopt Arminianism in its fullest sense (the General and Free-Will Baptists) hold to the doctrine of the saved being able to be lost again.
The doctrines of Election and Efficacious Grace logically imply the certain salvation of those who receive these blessings. If God has chosen men absolutely and unconditionally to eternal life (and He has), and if His Son died unconditionally for those chosen ones (and He did), and if His Spirit effectively applies to them the benefits of redemption (and He does), the inescapable conclusion is that these persons shall be saved eternally. Those who have fled to Jesus for refuge have a firm foundation upon which to build. They shall persevere to the end, they shall inherit those mansions which have been prepared for them from the foundation of the world.
The perseverance and preservation of the saved are twin Bible doctrines. God has joined them inseparably in His infallible word. Let no man put them asunder (human and divine side). Salvation is of the Lord from A to Z. God saves man, not by mechanical law, nor irrespective of their response to Him, but in full harmony with their nature as voluntary creatures, by requiring them to obey His will (Rom. 8; Ps. 110:3). Catholics deny this doctrine. Charles Finney had trouble with this doctrine. Many today misuse the doctrine.
Some people would call us “Calvinists,” which we are not. Some would even call us “Hyper-Calvinists,” which we definitely are not. Calvinists, hyper or otherwise, believe that God saves men irrespective of their will or desire. So much so, that a man could be saved, and not even know it until he awoke in Heaven. No no no, God works with a man’s will and desire, to create in him a new heart, one that wants and desires to be saved. In this respect, Arminians and Calvinists really teach the same thing, e.g. no one can really be sure he is saved until after death or the rapture.
Perseverance is required of God (Jn. 15,4-6, 8:31; Rom. 11:19-22; Col. 1,21-23). Perseverance is assured (1Jn. 5:3, 3,9-10). Perseverance is accomplished by the power of God (Jonah 2:9). God’s children persevere because He preserves them (Phil. 2:13; Ec. 3:14; Eph. 1:13,14; Phil. 1,6). God preserves by His Spirit through His word (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:16,24,25; 2Pet. 1:5-10), through the intercessory work of Christ (Jn. 17:11), through His dealing with us as His children (1Cor. 11:32; Heb. 12:6), in execution of His Eternal Purpose (Rom. 8:29-30; 1Pet. 1:15).
The scriptures teach the final salvation of all believers (Ps. 37:23-28; Isa. 43:1-7; 49:14-16, 51:16). Christ Himself expresses the sure final salvation of His sheep in Jn. 10:27-29. The apostle Paul puts the devil to that great cross examination in Rom. 8:31-39, where God has justified His people freely from all things. The devil can bring no charge against the elect of God. So let God be true and every man a liar. Therefore that age-old Baptist doctrine, Once in grace, always in grace, is gloriously true (2Tim. 1:l2; Jude 24).
The Christian has:
ü a life that can never be forfeited
ü a relationship that can never abrogated
ü a righteousness that can never be tarnished
ü an acceptance that can never be questioned
ü a judgment that can never be repeated
ü a title that can never be clouded
ü a standing that can never be disputed
ü a justification that can never be reversed
ü a seal that can never be broken
ü an inheritance that can never fade away
ü a peace that can never be disturbed
ü a joy that can never be surpassed
ü a power that can never be exhausted
ü a salvation that can never be annulled
ü a glory that can never be dimmed
ü a destiny that can never be changed.