Soli Deo Gloria: For the Glory of God Alone
Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2011 4:24 pm
The Messenger, September 15, 2011
Sons of God, Part 1
By JOHN K. JONES
Special to The Messenger
Last week we looked at what J.I. Packer calls the heart of the gospel, propitiation. Propitiation is the fact that “The wrath of God against us, both present and to come, has been quenched.”
In essence, this scripture means that the wrath we deserve due to our sin was transferred to Christ. If you have repented of your sin and placed your faith in Christ, God is not mad at you anymore.
This week we will briefly look at one outcome related to propitiation: adoption. The idea here is that God has become the Father of those who place their trust in Him. As John 1:12 says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
Packer defines the very essence of the message of the New Testament in three words: “adoption through propitiation.” He says, “… I do not expect ever to meet a richer or more pregnant summary of the gospel than that.”
In adoption through propitiation, not only is God no longer angry with us, God has given us a place in the family. We are children of God if we have trusted Christ to pay the penalty for our sins.
Even though, as Packer says, “We are not fit for a place in God’s family; the idea of His loving and exalting us sinners as He loves and has exalted the Lord Jesus sounds ludicrous and wild,” yet God brings us into His family anyway.
I am an adoptive parent. A teacher in a Sunday school class asked me one time whether God could love us as much as He loves Christ. I responded by telling them of my love for my adopted daughter. “Her birth certificate has mine and my wife’s name on it. She is my child, and nothing will ever change that.”
Our spiritual birth certificate has God the Father’s name on it. We are His children. Let us never forget, and let us live to honor our Father.
Editor’s note: John K. Jones is a deacon at Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Troy, where he attends with his family.