Believers are not sons of God by nature. We lost the status and privileges of God’s image-bearers in our tragic fall in Paradise. Adoption is only made possible when God’s gracious choice brings us into all the privileges and blessings of being in His family as His children and establishing a filial relationship with us so that we respond with childlike feelings of love, obedience, hope, and dependence towards God, and we look up to Him for our every need, for this life and a better, as a child looks to his or her father.
When we are born again, God delivers us from Satan’s enslaving family and, by His astounding grace, transfers us to the Father’s sonship. He calls us sons; we are adopted into His family, transferred “from a state of sin and misery” to “a state of excellency [and] dignity,” writes Watson. “It were much for God to take a clod of dust and make it a star; it is more for God to take a piece of clay and sin and adopt it for his heir.”
Heirs with Christ
by Joel R. Beeke