Lane and Tripp on justification and adoption
The Bible also stirs our imagination by explaining our connection to God as his children. Our new standing is legal, but it is also personal and practical. Marriage and adoption both involve legal unions but ones that are intended to create relationships that are far more than legal contracts. Imagine a married couple who only related at a legal level without love. Their marriage would be no different than a business partnership. What if adoptive parents only related to their new child in terms of their legal obligations to feed, clothe, and educate him? The words “I love you” would never be uttered. This would be horrific because the new legal status is intended to be the context in which a deeper, fuller relationship flourishes. Marital and parent-child relationships are not less than legal; they are much more!
In the same way, our reconciliation with God gives us a relationship with him that should alter the way we respond to everything. God is now my Father and I am his child. He looks on me with favor. I am the object of his attention and affection. I have access to his care. He blesses me with his resources. He offers ongoing forgiveness and cleansing as I struggle with sin. He promises never to leave or forsake me. He makes a commitment to finish the work of change he has begun in me.
— Tim Lane and Paul Tripp, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making, p. 159.
Our forgiveness and justification lies at the very heart of our salvation, but our adoption as God’s own children is by far the richest and deepest privilege we enjoy.