Beloved Sons in Whom He is Well-Pleased

March 01, 2016

by David Garner

Those given the eyes of saving faith find boundless reasons to celebrate the gospel. Clear vision of the Savior evokes songs of praise. That the Righteous Judge of the universe forgives sinners, that Almighty God makes peace with his enemies, and that the dead in sin become alive in Christ—these gospel truths blow away all human notions of grace, mercy, authority and power. Gospel grace confounds even as it transforms.

Unfathomable as they are, these rich treasures do not deplete the gospel. Redemptive grace moves from the cosmic courtroom to the welcoming presence of the Almighty, from the heavenly tribunal to the household of God. To the redeemed, God is not only a forgiving Judge; he is the loving heavenly Father. The Covenant of Grace is a covenant of sonship, so that the sons of Abraham by faith are the sons of God (Gal. 3:25–29). Filial language saturates the biblical exposition of gospel grace because redeemed sinners are the children of the loving Father. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1a).

For the Apostle Paul, this familial essence of the gospel is best expressed by the term adoption. . . .

. . . continue reading on Ordained Servant Online.

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David Garner

Dr. Garner (PhD, Westminster) is associate professor of systematic theology and vice president for advancement at WTS.

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