Ordo Salutis, the Order of Salvation; Part VI


    Here we are at point number 6 in the Order of Salvation, Adoption. The bible is full of references to “God’s Children and Children of God.” If God is the creator of all are not all mankind his children? In the universal sense he is creator of life, yes. But becoming an adopted son or daughter of God implies so much more.

    I considered preaching this sermon myself but I hope (and pray) by now that the men I preach to and the online reader is aware of the Order of Salvation and understands being adopted into God’s family is without an explanation necessary.

    So I chose to have a guest preacher last Sunday evening and what a preacher he is. Dr Joel Beeke is pres­i­dent and Pro­fes­sor of Sys­tem­atic The­ol­ogy and Homilet­ics at Puri­tan Reformed The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary, a pas­tor of the Her­itage Nether­lands Reformed Con­gre­ga­tion in Grand Rapids, Michi­gan, edi­tor of Ban­ner of Sov­er­eign Grace Truth, edi­to­r­ial direc­tor of Ref­or­ma­tion Her­itage Books, pres­i­dent of Inher­i­tance Pub­lish­ers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Trans­la­tion Soci­ety. He has writ­ten, co-authored, or edited sev­enty books (most recently, A Puri­tan The­ol­ogy: Doc­trine for Life, Liv­ing Zeal­ously, Friends and Lovers: Cul­ti­vat­ing Com­pan­ion­ship and Inti­macy in Mar­riage, Get­ting Back Into the Race: The Cure for Back­slid­ing, Par­ent­ing by God’s Promises: How to Raise Chil­dren in the Covenant of Grace, Liv­ing for the Glory of God: An Intro­duc­tion to Calvin­ism, Meet the Puri­tans, Con­ta­gious Chris­t­ian Liv­ing, Calvin for Today, Devel­op­ing a Healthy Prayer Life, and Tak­ing Hold of God), and con­tributed 2,000 arti­cles to Reformed books, jour­nals, peri­od­i­cals, and ency­clo­pe­dias. Dr. Beeke teaches a four credit course in Soteriology.  His PhD is in Ref­or­ma­tion and Post-Reformation the­ol­ogy from West­min­ster The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary (Philadel­phia). He is fre­quently called upon to lec­ture at sem­i­nar­ies and to speak at Reformed con­fer­ences around the world. He and his wife Mary have been blessed with three chil­dren: Calvin, Esther, and Lydia. He blogs at Doctrine for Life.

    Dr. Beeke was kind enough to allow us to put his sermon entitled Walking as Adopted Children of God here on our site. I pray you are as richly blessed as we were.

For further study see the London Baptist Confession of 1689 Section #11

All those that are justified, God conferred, in and for the sake of his only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption,1 by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God,2 have his name put on them,3 receive the spirit of adoption,4 have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry Abba, Father,5 are pitied,6 protected,7 provided for,8 and chastened by him as by a Father,9 yet never cast off,10 but sealed to the day of redemption,11 and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.12

1 Eph. 1:5; Gal. 4:4,5
2 John 1:12; Rom. 8:17
3 2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 3:12
4 Rom. 8:15
5 Gal. 4:6; Eph. 2:18
6 Ps. 103:13
7 Prov. 14:26; 1 Pet. 5:7
8 Heb. 12:6
9 Isa. 54:8, 9
10 Lam. 3:31
11 Eph. 4:30
12 Heb. 1:14, 6:12  

In closing I wish to quote from John Murray on this topic:

This doctrine of adoption is not only important in a positive way as setting forth the apex of redemptive grace and privilege, but it is also important negatively in that it corrects the widespread notion of the universal fatherhood of God and provides against its devastating implications. Though there is a sense in which the universal fatherhood may be maintained, yet to confuse this with adoptive fatherhood is to distort and even eviscerate one of the most precious and distinctive elements of the redemptive provision. For if we do not distinguish at this point it means one of two things; the denial of all that is specifically redemptive in our concept of the divine fatherhood, or the importation into the relation that all men sustain to God by creation all the privileges and prerogatives that adoption entails. On the former alternative God’s fatherhood is emptied of all the rich content Scripture attaches to it. On the latter alternative we shall have to espouse universalism and the final restoration of all mankind.

It needs to be repeated that Scripture all but uniformly reserves the title Father as it respects men and the title son as it respects our relation to God for that relationship that is effected by the special act of God’s grace that finds its place within the ordo salutis, namely, adoption. ‘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’


In HIS Service

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