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Shorter Catechism

𝒬 34. What is adoption?

𝒜. Adoption is an act of God's free grace,1 whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges, of the sons of God.2

  1. 1 John 3:1

    3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (ESV)

  2. John 1:12

    But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

    Romans 8:17

    and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (ESV)

Larger Catechism

𝒬 74. What is adoption?

𝒜. Adoption is an act of the free grace of God,1 in and for his only Son Jesus Christ,2 whereby all those that are justified are received into the number of his children,3 have his name put upon them,4 the Spirit of his Son given to them,5 are under his fatherly care and dispensations,6 admitted to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God, made heirs of all the promises, and fellow heirs with Christ in glory.7

  1. 1 John 3:1

    3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (ESV)

  2. Ephesians 1:5

    he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

    Galatians 4:4-5

    But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (ESV)

  3. John 1:12

    But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

    Romans 8:15-16

    For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (ESV)

  4. Numbers 6:24-27

    The Lord bless you and keep you;
    the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
    the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

    “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

    Amos 9:12

    that they may possess the remnant of Edom
    and all the nations who are called by my name,”
    declares the Lord who does this.

    2 Corinthians 6:18

    and I will be a father to you,
    and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
    says the Lord Almighty.”

    Revelation 3:12

    The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. (ESV)

  5. Galatians 4:6

    And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (ESV)

  6. Psalm 103:13

    As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

    Proverbs 14:26

    In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
    and his children will have a refuge.

    Matthew 6:32

    For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

    Hebrews 12:5-7

    And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

    “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    nor be weary when reproved by him.
    For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and chastises every son whom he receives.”

    It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

    Hebrews 12:11

    For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (ESV)

  7. Hebrews 6:12

    so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

    Romans 8:17

    and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

    1 Peter 1:3-4

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.