Adoption According to God’s Counsels

Romans 8

Adoption in its fullest sense we await (v. 29), and that will involve the redemption of the body. Then we shall be like the Son of God, and with Him in the place that belongs to sons—the Father’s house. Divine love will never rest until it brings us there. But now we have the Spirit of adoption, which enables us to take our place as sons in the presence of God, and to feel at home there, knowing that the Father loves to have us there; that it is a greater joy to His heart to see us take up our place before His face than it is to ours to take the place, however great our joy may be. We must keep in mind that the place of sons was not given to us in answer to any desire in our hearts but it was His own eternal thought to have us as sons before His face. Even when we became exercised about our sins, and the judgment to which we were exposed on account of them, it did not occur to us that more than forgiveness would be extended to us, nor did we desire more. The position of a hired servant, a “lone place within His door” was the height of our expectation. It was not love to God that attracted us to Him. Had we not heard of His grace, we had never come; but we came because it would have been death to us to have remained away. But He first loved us. How hard it is for us to believe this. But the witness of it is the death of His Son. Though we may be long in learning it, we were in His thoughts before the world was, and that we should be sons with His Son was what he had in view for us. It was all to satisfy His own heart, for, as I have said, we had no wish for such a place, even when we turned to Him through the preaching of the Gospel. And even now that He has made known His mind toward us, we are very slow to enter into possession of this great privilege. Yet it is true that He thought of us individually before the earth’s foundation—thought of you, my reader, if you have believed on His beloved Son, and in His counsels you had your place given to you along with that Son in heavenly glory. You may think yourself very unworthy, but you had better not think of yourself at all; think only of Him and of His unspeakable love.