This weekend one of our pastors, Leo Klus, preached from Galatians 4:1-11, focusing on the doctrine of adoption (it was a terrific message, I’d encourage listening when the audio’s available). As he preached and as I looked at the text, I couldn’t help but think of the importance of the whole Trinity being at work in every aspect of salvation.
Today, rather than expound upon this truth in great detail, I want to share a few relevant passages showing you the Trinity at work in our redemption, regeneration and adoption as children of God:
The Trinity in the Fullness of Redemption (Ephesians 1:3–14)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
The Trinity in our Adoption as “Sons” (Galatians 4:4-7; Romans 8:12-17)
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. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 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, 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.
The Trinity in our Regeneration (John 3:5-9, 16-17; Titus 3:4-5)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. . . . For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…
While there are so many passages I could point to, these are among some of the most encouraging to me personally. Without the Father, Son and Holy Spirit working together, none of it is possible—not our justification, our sanctification, our adoption, nor our final glorification.
Without the Father ordaining, predestining our salvation in Christ; without the Son obtaining and accomplishing for us a righteousness not our own; without the Holy Spirit applying that righteousness to us, sealing us as beloved children of God, we would be lost.
Yet this is what God has done. Shall we not rejoice?