Adoption in Scripture

Time Reference Category
Eternity past in the counsel of the Holy Trinity Ephesians 1:4-5

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,

Adoption according to unconditional election based on God’s choice in eternity past
History of redemption Romans 9:4

They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.

A temporal adoption based on the Mosaic Covenant
Incarnation Galatians 4:4-5

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Adoption corresponding to salvation in general based on Christ’s redemption
Individual experience in human history Romans 8:15

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Adoption applied individually as conversion or regeneration
The Future Day of the Lord and Second Coming Romans 8:23

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Glorification of people and creation as the fulfillment of God’s election (see top)

 

Every instance of υἱοθεσία (“adoption”) in Scripture.  (Acts 7:21 is actually ἀνaipεὼ, “to take up.”)  Based off of reflections from here.

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