Adoption is at the heart of the Christian’s experience because none of us are naturally God’s children. Rather, we were “dead in our trespasses” and “by nature children of wrath” (Eph. 2:1,4). But God, in love, predestined us for adoption. Ephesians 1:3-6 reads:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”
Dr. Joel R. Beeke, pastor of Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is releasing a book in early June called Heirs with Christ: The Puritans on Adoption. The book unpacks and distills the Puritans’ contributions to our understanding of the doctrine of adoption. In the Foreword, Dan Carver (Co-Founder of Together for Adoption) writes:
“If adoption is first heavenly before it is earthly, why do we Christians so often think of earthly adoption before we think of heavenly adoption? Why do we think horizontally before we think vertically? I think one reason for this is the neglect of the doctrine of adoption in the history of the church. In his massive, 2,600-page work The Creeds of Christendom, the church historian Philip Schaff only includes six creeds that contain a section on adoption because they are the only ones he could find while scouring almost 1,900 years of church history.”
Beeke’s forthcoming book should be a helpful corrective. Check it out.