The series What Christians Should Know Volume II (#WCSK2) boosts your understanding and shows you how to apply biblical principles to everyday life. All Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise noted. The biblical references are examples and are in no way intended to be exhaustive. Many of the ideas here build upon the series What Christians Should Know Volume I (#WCSK), which provides education on core beliefs and doctrines in the Christian faith. All the lessons are best used as a general guide as you engage in your own Bible study.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105)

How this biblical principle applies to your everyday life: Christians do not serve an impersonal God who is distant and far removed from us. The Lord is also our adoptive Father and, therefore, wants to have a deep, personal relationship with us. This realization persuades not only our vertical relationship with God but also our horizontal relationships with other adopted members of our Christian family.

Emphasis is added to the following Bible verses:

[God the Father] predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:5–6)

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:4–7)

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:14–17)

What is the doctrine of adoption?

In a natural sense, adoption refers to rearing a child that is not yours. In the United States, adoption often involves a rigorous legal process after which the adoptive parent(s) assume(s) full legal responsibility for the child. Of course, the resultant personal reality of being an adoptive parent or child transcends a legal transaction because adoption is best characterized by novel relationships that are not only transformative, but also enduring. The principle of novel relationships also applies to the biblical doctrine of adoption. That is, in a supernatural sense, adoption refers to a sovereign act of God whereby He “adopts” those who have faith in Jesus and makes them members of His family.

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