Having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
If the thing itself be right, it must be right that God intended to do the thing; if you find no fault with facts, as you see them in providence, you have no ground to complain of decrees as you find them in predestination, for the decrees and the facts are just the counterparts one of the other. I cannot see, if the fact itself is agreeable, why the decree should be objectionable. I can see no reason why you should find fault with God's foreordination, if you do not find fault with what does actually happen as the effect of it. Let a man but agree to acknowledge an act of providence, and I want to know how he can, except he runs in the very teeth of providence, find any fault with the predestination or intention that God made concerning that providence. Will you blame me for preaching this morning? Suppose you answer, No. Then can you blame me that I formed a resolution last night that I would preach? Will you blame me for preaching on this particular subject? Do, if you please, then, and find me guilty for intending to do so; but if you say I am perfectly right in selecting such a subject, how can you say I was not perfectly right in intending to preach upon it? Assuredly you cannot find fault with God's predestination, if you do not find fault with the effects that immediately spring from it. Now, we are taught in Scripture, I affirm again, that all things that God choseth to do in time were most certainly intended by Him to be done in eternity, and He predestined such things should be done. If I am called, I believe God intended before all worlds that I should be called; if in His mercy He has regenerated me, I believe that from all eternity He intended to regenerate me; and if, in His loving kindness, He shall at last perfect me and carry me to heaven, I believe it always was His intention to do so. If you cannot find fault with the thing itself that God does, in the name of reason, common sense, and Scripture, how dare you find fault with God's intention to do it?
I. ADOPTION — THE GRACE OF IT. No man can ever have a right in himself to become adopted. If a king should adopt any into his family, it would likely be the son of one of his lords — at any rate, some child of respectable parentage; he would scarce take the son of some common felon, or some gipsy child, to adopt him into his family; but God, in this case, has taken the very worst to be His children. The saints of God all confess that they are the last persons they should ever have dreamed He would have chosen. Again, let us think not only of our original lineage, but of our personal character. He who knows himself will never think that he had much to recommend him to God. In other cases of adoption there usually is some recommendation. A man, when he adopts a child, sometimes is moved thereto by its extraordinary beauty, or at other times by its intelligent manners and winning disposition. But no; He found a rebellious child, a filthy, frightful, ugly child; He took it to His bosom. I was passing lately by the seat of a nobleman, and someone in the railway carriage observed that he had no children, and he would give any price in the world if he could find someone who would renounce all claim to any son he might have, and the child was never to speak to his parents any more, nor to be acknowledged, and this lord would adopt him as his son, and leave him the whole of his estates, but that he had found great difficulty in procuring any parents who would forswear their relationship, and entirely give up their child. Whether this was correct or not, I cannot tell; but certainly this was not the case with God. His only-begotten and well-beloved Son was quite enough for Him; and, if He had needed a family, there were the angels, and His own omnipotence was adequate enough to have created a race of beings far superior to us; He stood in no need whatever of any to be His darlings. It was then, an act of simple, pure, gratuitous grace, and of nothing else, because He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and because He delights to show the marvellous character of His condescension.
II. THE PRIVILEGES WHICH COME TO US THROUGH ADOPTION.
1. We are taken out of the family of Satan. The prince of this world has no more claim upon us.
2. We have God's name put upon us.
3. We have the spirit as well as the name of children.
4. Access to the throne.
5. We are pitied by God. He pities thee, and that pity of God is one of the comforts that flow into thine heart by thine adoption.
6. In the next place, He protects thee. No father will allow his son to die without making some attempt to resist the adversary who would slay him, and God will never allow His children to perish while His omnipotence is able to guard them.
7. Once again, there is provision as well as protection. Every father will take care to the utmost of his ability to provide for his children.
8. And then you shall likewise have education. God will educate all His children till He makes them perfect men in Christ Jesus.
9. There is one thing perhaps you sometimes forget, which you are sure to have in the course of discipline if you are God's sons, and that is, God's rod.
10. Lastly, so sure as we are the children of God by adoption, we must inherit the promise that pertains to it — "If children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ." "If we suffer with Him, we shall also be glorified together."
III. THERE ARE SOME DUTIES WHICH ARE CONNECTED WITH ADOPTION. When the believer is adopted into the Lord's family, there are many relationships which are broken off. The relationship with old Adam and the law ceases at once; but then he is under a new law, the law of grace — under new rules, and under a new covenant. And now I beg to admonish you of duties, children of God. It is this — if God be thy father, and thou art His son, thou art bound to trust Him. Oh! if He were only thy Master, and thou ever so poor a servant, thou wouldst be bound to trust Him. But, when thou knowest that He is thy Father, wilt thou ever doubt Him?
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,