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Written by S.N.Redford   

"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will."--Eph. 1:5.

"To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."--Gal. 4:5.

"And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to-wit, the redemption of our body."--Romans 8:23.  

I have sited the above texts to show the reader that the doctrine of adoption is a Bible doctrine. The doctrine of God antagonizes all false doctrines, and at each and every point sets up the doctrine of salvation by grace.

"Adoption" means to take out of one family and put into another. This doctrine refutes the doctrine of eternal children, eternal vital union, etc. It says that God's people had no existence before time. In fact, God's word calls Adam the "first man," hence, if he really was the first, and was only a natural man as the Bible describes him to be, then if God has sons, they must be adopted sons. God chose them in Christ before the world began. He pur- posed to save them, and our Saviour redeemed them from the curse of the law, but they were the children of wrath, even as others. (Eph. 2:3). From a covenant standpoint God could call them "His people," "my sheep," "other sheep," etc., but nothing short of the law of adoption will ever reach poor sinners. The doctrine of God is a sharp two-edged sword, cutting everything before it. I would not want a better text to refute the doctrine of the eternal vital union of Christ and His people than Ephesians 1:5, quoted above.  

If God's people are an adopted people, then they were not always His children. No wonder John would say, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God : therefore the world knoweth us not because it knew Him not."--John 3:1. We were His enemies, strangers, aliens! It is a most wonderful display of love and grace. The manner of this love is such that it takes the poor fallen sons and daughters of Adam and adopts them into the family of God.  

Another point I wish to call attention of the reader is that if the doctrine of adoption is true, then it follows that the work of salvation is not the work of an alien sinner, neither in part nor as a whole, for no child can adopt itself. Someone must comply with the requirements of the law for it; hence, this agrees with the doctrine of salvation by grace. This agrees with the doctrine the Old Baptists contend for. Notice the text says, "Having pre- destinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ." Jesus Christ is the one mentioned by whom they are to be adopted. He has complied with the law for us, and in regeneration we are born of God. Our soul, or spirit, has been given spiritual life and we are called "sons" "children of God," etc., and in the resurrection our bodies will receive the adoption (Romans 8:23).  

It means much to us to feel that we are the children of God ; for being children of God, we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. This great and sub line subject extends beyond the stretch of thought, but it is enough for us to feel that we, as the children of God, have a right to call God our heavenly Father, and to look to Him for all we need. Though we are con- sidered unworthy to live in the world, great riches are ours beyond this vale of tears. If this is a Bible doctrine, may the Lord help us to contend for it. Bible doctrine never killed a church, but some have died for want of it.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.