Chapter 12, Part Three

All those that are justified, God vouchsafeth [or graciously grants], in and for His only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption:  by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God; have His name put upon them, receive the Spirit of adoption; have access to the throne of grace with boldness; are enabled to cry, Abba, Father; are pitied, protected, provided for,  and chastened by Him as by a Father; yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises, as heirs of everlasting salvation.

Called by the Father's name

Consider what it means to be called by God's name - to have the Lord God almighty give us his family name (Jer. 14:9; 2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 3:12). Just think of what it means for us to receive the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of adoption (Rom. 8:15), the one who through faith (Rom. 5:2) gives us 'access to the throne of grace with boldness' and 'confidence', as Paul reminded the Ephesians (3:12). Indeed, even sinners as wayward and weak as the Galatians were reminded that they too were enabled by the Spirit to cry out in simple trust, 'Abba', or in our language, 'Father' (Gal. 4:6).

The focus so far has been on what we receive, but the story can be told just as clearly from the perspective of what God gives. The Psalmist reminds us that when we are pathetic, the Father pities the children who fear him (103:13). The writer of Proverbs tells us that when we need refuge, God's children are protected (14:26). The Lord Jesus tells us that we have no need to worry about our food or drink or clothes for he knows how to provide for us (Matt. 6:30-32). In short, we can cast all our cares on him, for he cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7).

Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn is the associate pastor of Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Vienna, Virginia. He is the editor of The Minutes and Papers of the Westminster Assembly, 1643-1653.