Adoption is Not Regeneration

In short, the Puritans taught that regeneration and adoption are to be distinguished in several ways. Here is a summary of points made by Thomas Manton and Stephen Charnock on the differences between the doctrines of adoption and regeneration:

  • Ÿ Regeneration brings us to close with Jesus Christ – adoption causes the Spirit to abide in our hearts.
  • Ÿ Regeneration is the Spirit’s renewing. Adoption, the Spirit’s inhabiting. In regeneration, the Holy Spirit builds a house for Himself, in adoption, He dwells in the house—much like bees that “first make their cells, and then dwell in them.”
  • Ÿ Regeneration is not conditioned by faith, adoption is.
  • Ÿ Regeneration enables us to believe unto justification and adoption.
  • Ÿ Regeneration engraves upon us the lineaments of a father; adoption relates us to God as our Father.
  • Ÿ Regeneration makes us God’s sons by conveying the principle of new life (1 Pet. 1:23); adoption keeps us God’s sons by conferring the power of new life (John 1:12).
  • Ÿ Regeneration makes us partakers of the divine nature; adoption makes us partakers of the divine affections.
  • Ÿ Regeneration affects our nature, adoption, our relationships.
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One Comment on “Adoption is Not Regeneration”

  1. jmark says:

    Thanks for pulling this together – it answered a question I was wrestling with! I ending up reading a chunk of Charnock and was puzzled by this quote “Redemption being applied in justification, makes way for adoption. Adoption makes way for regeneration, and is the foundation of it.” p94

    I thought he was arguing the opposite – that regeneration was the foundation of adoption? Or have I not got into the groove of reading 17th century english? I know I’ve found that before!


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