Adoption is usually referred to as the forgotten facet in the jewel of salvation. It is our highest privilege as Christian people – being adopted into the family of God, becoming children of our heavenly Father. But we usually tend to lay much emphasis on the biblical teaching of justification, and rightly so. We need to understand how we are made right with God. There is no doubt about that. Knowing how a person is to find peace with God is foundational to the Christian faith and to our understanding of the Christian message. In any case, that is where everything begins – experientially. However, and this is the point I am making, adoption is the apex of salvation as revealed in the Bible. It is the zenith of that process of salvation that the God of the Bible pursues so relentlessly in the soul of person who humbly bows their knee and joyfully acknowledges Jesus Christ as their Lord.

Concerning the importance of understanding the biblical teaching of adoption, the acclaimed evangelical theologian, J.I. Parker observes, “Our understanding of Christianity cannot be better than our grasp of adoption… If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.”[1]

When the celebrated author of English hymnody, Charles Wesley, was converted to Jesus Christ on Whitsunday 1738, his conversion experience was captured so well with some marvellous poetical cantos, showing that wondrous transition from slavery to sonship,

Where shall my wondering soul begin?

How shall I all to heaven aspire?

A slave redeemed from death and sin,

A brand plucked from eternal fire,

How shall I equal triumphs raise,

Or sing my great Deliverer’s praise


O how shall I the goodness tell,

Father, which Thou to me hast showed?

That I, a child of wrath and hell,

I should be called a child of God,

Should know, should feel my sins forgiven,

Blest with this antepast of heaven!

Our Confession of Faith devotes one article to the subject of adoption [BCoF 12:1]: “God has vouchsafed [guaranteed], that in Christ, His only Son, and for His sake, all those who are justified shall be made partakers [sharers] of the grace of adoption, by which they are taken into the number of the children of God and enjoy their liberties and privileges. They    have His name put upon them, and receive the Spirit of adoption. They have access to the throne of grace with boldness, and are enable to cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ They are pitied [shown caring, compassionate love], protected, provided for, and chastened by Him as by a Father,   yet they are never cast off, but are sealed to the day of redemption, when they inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.”

What you have in your hands is an appetiser to the main course meal. James Williamson brings to the table of feasting a study on ‘the Biblical meaning of adoption’, exploring both the Old and New Testaments as he guides us to see how this notion of adoption was employed in both Jewish and Greek culture. Michael Bwembya takes it up with a study of the ‘Biblical evidence of adoption’. He discusses in his article what ‘proofs’ we need to show to ensure that our claims are genuine.

Clement Kaunda come forward to show us ‘the Biblical benefits of adoption.’ He shows us that this Bible idea of adoption is not merely some concept to entertain our intellectually fancies, but there are wondrous benefits to be known. Misheck Zulu quickly comes in to clear our minds that we are not confusing our sonship with that of our Savior, Jesus Christ to God. Indeed, what marks the difference if any.

Study and learn more of God’s wondrous work of salvation in Jesus Christ. Don’t let ignorance of the wonderful truths of the Bible keep you from enjoying the fullness of the salvation that is our in Christ. Join with us then in exploring more of what has been accomplished for us in Christ our Saviour. Dear reader, let me not hold you any longer from the feast. You may go for it now, and God richly bless you as read this articles.

[1] J.I. Packer from his chapter, “The Sons Of God,” in the book, Knowing God