Adoption - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G5206, huiothesia ]
from huios, a son," and thesis, "a placing," akin to tithemi, "to place," signifies the place and condition of a son given to one to whom it does not naturally belong. The word is used by the Apostle Paul only.

In Romans 8:15, believers are said to have received "the Spirit of adoption," that is, the Holy Spirit who, given as the Firstfruits of all that is to be theirs, produces in them the realization of sonship and the attitude belonging to sons. In Galatians 4:5 they are said to receive "the adoption of sons," i.e., sonship bestowed in distinction from a relationship consequent merely upon birth; here two contrasts are presented,

(1) between the sonship of the believer and the unoriginated sonship of Christ,

(2) between the freedom enjoyed by the believer and bondage, whether of Gentile natural condition, or of Israel under the Law. In Ephesians 1:5 they are said to have been foreordained unto "adoption as sons" through Jesus Christ, RV; the AV, "adoption of children" is a mistranslation and misleading. God does not "adopt" believers as children; they are begotten as such by His Holy Spirit through faith. "Adoption" is a term involving the dignity of the relationship of believers as sons; it is not a putting into the family by spiritual birth, but a putting into the position of sons. In Romans 8:23 the "adoption" of the believer is set forth as still future, as it there includes the redemption of the body, when the living will be changed and those who have fallen asleep will be raised. In Romans 9:4 "adoption" is spoken of as belonging to Israel, in accordance with the statement in Exodus 4:12, "Israel is My Son." Cp. Hosea 11:1. Israel was brought into a special relation with God, a collective relationship, not enjoyed by other nations, Deuteronomy 14:1; Jeremiah 31:9, etc.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words