Tell me what is Greater than Adoption in the Gospel!

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“[Christ’s] task was so to restore us to God’s grace as to make of the children of men, children of God; of the heirs of Gehenna, heirs of the Heavenly Kingdom. Who could have done this had not the self-same Son of God become the Son of man, and had not so taken what was ours as to impart what was his to us, and to make what was his by nature ours by grace? Therefore, relying on this pledge, we trust that we are sons of God, for God’s natural Son fashioned for himself a body from our body, flesh from our flesh, bones from our bones, that he might be one with us. Ungrudgingly he took our nature upon himself to impart to us what was his, and to become both Son of God and Son of man in common with us. Hence that holy brotherhood which he commends with his own lips when he says: ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’ [John 20:17]. In this way we are assured of the inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom; for the only Son of God, to whom it wholly belongs, has adopted us as his brothers” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2.12.2).

“[The Holy Spirit] is called the ’spirit of adoption‘ because he is the witness to us of the free benevolence of God with which God the Father has embraced us in his beloved only-begotten Son to become a Father to us; and he encourages us to have trust in prayer. In fact, he supplies the very words so that we may fearlessly cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.1.3).

“We have been adopted for this reason: to reverence [God] as our Father” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.17.6).

“Let us be heartily convinced that the Kingdom of Heaven is not servants’ wages but sons’ inheritance [Eph. 1:18], which only they who have been adopted as sons by the Lord shall enjoy [cf. Gal. 4:7], and that for no other reason than this adoption [cf. Eph. 1:5-6]“ (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.18.2).

“We ought to offer all prayer to God only in Christ’s name, as it cannot be agreeable to him in any other name. For in calling God ‘Father,’ we put forward the name ‘Christ.’ With what confidence would anyone address God as ‘Father’? Who would break forth into such rashness as to claim for himself the honor of a son of God unless we had been adopted as children of grace in Christ? He, while he is the true Son, has of himself been given us as a brother that what he has of his own nature may become ours by benefit of adoption if we embrace this great blessing with sure faith. Accordingly, John says that power has been given to those who believe in the name of the only-begotten Son of God, that they too may become children of God [John 1:12]“ (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.20.36).

“But because the narrowness of our hearts cannot comprehend God’s boundless favor, not only is Christ the pledge and guarantee of our adoption, but he gives the Spirit as witness to us of the same adoption, through whom with free and full voice we may cry, ‘Abba, Father’ [Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:15]. Therefore, whenever any hesitation shall hinder us, let us remember to ask him to correct our fearfulness, and to set before us that Spirit that he may guide us to pray boldly” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.22.37).

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