In his book Knowing God, J.I. Packer explored how to best summarize the entire message of the New Testament in three words: Adoption through propitiation. And while that might sound like a mouthful, these three words describe something beautiful.
Adoption into God’s family is one of the positive benefits of the entire gospel. Jesus, as our propitiation or atoning sacrifice, paid for our sins by dying on the cross in our place. When we believe in Jesus, we are justified by faith—we are declared righteous.
But we don’t just receive a new status by faith in Jesus, our relationship with God, which was broken by sin, is restored. But here’s where things get really amazing: our relationship isn’t restored in the sense that we are servants, or even friends of God. We become children of God, adopted into His family. God is our Father, and we are His beloved children, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.
That’s what’s so beautiful about the gospel. It isn’t simply a means of addressing sin. It is a means of restoring a family—God’s family.