Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reading the Classics with Challies - Redemption Accomplished and Applied

Moving along the order of salvation, in chapter VI of part II of Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Murray, John. Redemption Accomplished and Applied. Boston: Wm. B. Eerdmans Company, 1984), Murray arrives at the doctrines concerning adoption. Adoption is an incredible doctrine; the best chapter of theological writing I have enjoyed is more than likely J. I. Packer's chapter on adoption in his book Knowing God. I recall reading that section in awe and wonder of God's grace. Murray's chapter on the adoption of the regenerated is another excellent piece of writing on this topic.

After defining adoption, one of Murray's clear goals for the chapter is to differentiate and distinguish adoption from both regeneration and justification. For the record, Murray defines adoption as follows: "By adoption the redeemed become sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty; they are introduced into and given the privileges of God's family." (132)

As to the relationship between adoption, justification, and regeneration, Murray makes some fascinating claims. "Adoption, like justification, is a judicial act. In other words, it is the bestowal of a status, or a standing, not the generating within us of a new nature or character. It concerns a relationship and not the attitude or disposition which enables us to recognize and cultivate that relationship." (133) So, adoption is clearly not regeneration; however, they are closely related. "When God adopts men and women into his family he insures that not only may they have the rights and privileges of his sons and daughters but also the nature or disposition consonant with such a status." (133) Thus we see that regeneration is the prerequisite of adoption.

Murray touches upon the great gloriousness of this doctrine in the following excerpt: "Adoption, as the term clearly implies, is an act of transfer from an alien family into the family of God himself. This is surely the apex of grace and privilege. We would not dare to conceive of such grace far less to claim it apart from God's own revelation and assurance. It staggers imagination because of its amazing condescension and love" (134)

When J. I. Packer was asked to define the gospel as precisely and concisely as possible he suggested propitiation through adoption was the best he could do; he clearly holds the doctrine of adoption in high regard. As does Murray. As should we.

1 comment:

  1. I echo Pauls words.... it's not that I have already obtained this, or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own. This study for me is a "pressing in" to know the height, depth, width of our salvation this amazing love of God and it truly has been awesome. Teresa