The Puritans on Adoption by Joel Beeke
We can do no better than to begin this recommendation of Heirs with Christ with Mr. Beeke`s quotation from Thomas Watson, the Puritan, in his Body of Divinity, “We have enough in us to move God to correct us, but nothing to move Him to adopt us, therefore exalt free grace, begin the work of angels here; bless Him with your praises who hath blessed you His sons and daughters”. A glance at the comprehensive bibliography at the end of the book reveals the extent of interest that there has been, and still is, in this doctrine of Adoption.This is what Samuel Willard (1684) says on this subject, “God did not adopt us because we were lovely, but that we might be so. God saw as much beauty in others as in us, and that was none at all! And hence, that He should adopt us at all is a demonstration of His inconceivable grace!”
Dr. Beeke, after distinguishing between human and divine adoption, ably summarises the privileges and benefits of Adoption into God's family: as a Father, 1. God cuts us off from the family to which we naturally belong in Adam as children of wrath and of the devil, and He engrafts us into His own family to make us members of the covenant family of God. 2. He gives us freedom to call on Him by name and gives us a new name, 2 Chron. 7:14. 3. He gifts us with the Spirit of Adoption. 4. He grants us likeness to Himself and to His Son. 5. He strengthens our faith through His gifts of promises and prayer. 6. He corrects and chastens us for our sanctification, Hebrews 12:6. 7. He comforts us with His love and pity. 8. He counsels and directs us. 9. He offers us spiritual, Christian liberty as His sons and daughters, John 8:36. 10. He preserves us and keeps us from falling, 1 Peter 1:5. 11. He provides everything that we need as His children, both physically and spiritually, Psalm 34:10. 12. He gives His angels, as ministering spirits, to serve us for good, Psalm 34:7. 13. He makes death a narrow gate to lead us into everlasting life in heaven.
The Church today would richly benefit from this exposure of Puritan teaching on the biblical doctrine of Adoption. Therefore, we highly commend Dr. Beeke's book to old and young alike.
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books (2008)