Torrey - Man -7.1- What is adoption?


Etymologically the word translated "adoption" means "the placing a son."

In Greek usage outside of the Bible, from Pindar and Herodotus down, the two words from which we derive the word translated "adoption" mean "an adopted son." In Greek usage within the Bible, the term is used thus: Romans 9:4 "Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises." (Compare to Exodus 4:22-23; Deuteronomy 14:1; Isaiah 43:6; Jeremiah 31:9; and Hosea 11:1.) Romans 8:15,23 — "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father.... And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." Ephesians 1:5 — "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." Galatians 4:5 — "To redeem them that were under the law, that ye might receive the adoption of sons."

These are all the passages in which the word "adoption" is found. Here the word means the placing or adoption as sons. In regeneration we receive the nature of sons of God; in adoption we receive the position of sons of God.

Regeneration is a change of nature. Adoption is a change of relationship.