A Biblical Presentation On The Doctrine Of Adoption

        Adoption is the act of God by which He considers us to be members of His eternal family. We are deemed His children by faith. Adoption is a legal term, figure of speech used to describe a change in our standing before Him. Like justification, it is an undeserved, unmerited favor of God:

        "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13)

        It is not by physical descent or by human efforts that one becomes a child of God, but by faith. He took action to redeem us by sending God the Son into this world. We obtain an inheritance in heaven that cannot perish or fade away.

        Interestingly, the New American Bible Revised Edition has this footnote on a manuscript variant reading of John 1:13:

        "...The variant “he who was begotten,” asserting Jesus’ virginal conception, is weakly attested in Old Latin and Syriac versions."

        The Apostle Paul used adoption as a metaphor to communicate that we as believers partake of the inheritance that belongs to Jesus Christ:

        "and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him." (Romans 8:17)

        "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." (Galatians 4:4-5)

        Christ has possession over everything. We shall partake in His glory and riches as we have been included as members of the kingdom of heaven (John 17:22; 2 Corinthians 8:9). We are adopted as children of God in Christ:

        "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will." (Ephesians 1:5)

        His shed blood brings about both our justification and adoption by God the Father. We belong to Him and He belongs to us.

Comments

Anonymous said…
With regards to "begotten", Paul says that of Onesimus:

Philemon 1:10 I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment,

It is very clear that Onesimus is not Paul's biological son, but his adopted son, so we KNOW begotten can be used in this context. Therefore "begotten" certainly does not attest to Jesus' virginal conception; it is perfectly compatible with Jesus being morn a man, and was himself later adopted by God - which is what the Jews believed of the previous messiahs (i.e., earlier kings), see for example 2 Sam 7:14.

Indeed, "begotten" may have come from Psalm 2:7 (via the LXX?), which is God talking to King David, as he adopts David as his son:

7 I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.

Echoed in the NT:

Mark 1:11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[d] with you I am well pleased.”

Acts 13:33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
It is clear that in the case of Jesus "begotten" means physical birth. He is called the only begotten son, We know God has man adopted sons. He's only the only begotten is begotten is used literally. There is a major French translation that puts it "his unique son." Being adopted is not unique for s son of God.
Anonymous said…
It is clear that later Christians believed that. However, the phrase "only begotten" appears in the gospel of John, but none of the three earlier gospels. Why is that?

What we see here is an evolution of Christology from a man adopted by God at his baptism in Mark to the product of a virgin birth in Matthew and Luke, to a subordinate part of God in John to an equal part some time later in the trinity.
The phrase only begotten is just one way of expressing the doctrine of Christ's incarnation,the phrase is not the doctrine it's Just one means of expressing the doctrine. Moreover the understanding of the doctrine can grow over time, this is not a disproof of Christianity.

Mark calls Jesus the Son of God.
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (1:1).
Anonymous said…
It is a way of expressing a number of doctrines, one being the trinity and another being the doctrine the author of John held to.

No, it is not a disproof, but it does tells us that modern Christians have quite a different understanding to the followers that Jesus actually preached to.

The original claim is that "begotten" asserts the virginal conception. I note you are not trying to defend that!
It is a way of expressing a number of doctrines, one being the trinity and another being the doctrine the author of John held to.

No, it is not a disproof, but it does tells us that modern Christians have quite a different understanding to the followers that Jesus actually preached to.

Sure our understanding has evolved. We seek to understand the way the early guys saw it that's why we have scholars. We understand better than they did in some ways.

The original claim is that "begotten" asserts the virginal conception. I note you are not trying to defend that!

Not the act itself but the incarnation, the birth in flesh. Jesus is God's only born son. Born as a son not adopted when he chose to follow,

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