Does God adopt us into His family, but then give us the boot when (not if) we misbehave?

Many people erroneously claim that ALL people are God’s children.

“We are all children of God. Everyone! Everyone!” – pope Francis, April 12, 2018

Yes, all people are certainly God’s creation, but according to Scripture, only those who are spiritually reborn by God’s grace through saving faith in Christ Jesus alone can become God’s children:

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” – John 1:12-13

Born-again believers are ADOPTED into God’s family and become joint heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17). Hallelujah!

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” – Romans 8:15

“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. – Romans 8:23

“to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” – Galatians 4:5

“he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” – Ephesians 1:5

So the question is, would God ever disown or disinherit someone who has genuinely repented of their sin and placed their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone and been born-again in Christ? The Lord Jesus Christ answered that question:

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30

A teaching of Roman Catholicism is that everyone who is baptized into their church is “born-again” and becomes a child of God, but they immediately forfeit their place in God’s family every time they commit a mortal sin. If they confess their mortal sins to a priest, they are then readmitted into God’s family. Hence they are in God’s family one week, then out of God’s family the next. Then in, then out. In and out, in and out, in and out, etc., etc., etc. Catholicism is a never-ending religious revolving door because, although they speak of grace (administered via the sacraments), salvation is ultimately merit-based, which is a worthless foundation of sinking sand.

There are even some groups within evangelicalism that teach that genuine, born-again followers of Christ can lose their salvation. We all follow the Lord imperfectly, so where exactly is the dividing line between remaining in God’s family and being disinherited? It appears to me that, for these groups, although they profess Christ, salvation is also ultimately merit-based. How do I explain someone who allegedly professed Christ, but has no fruit in their life? They never genuinely trusted in Christ and were not born-again.

Praise the Lord, I am a child of God, not because of anything I have done, but because of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and His imputed perfect righteousness. I now joyfully follow the Lord in obedience, albeit imperfectly.

17 thoughts on “Does God adopt us into His family, but then give us the boot when (not if) we misbehave?

  1. “So the question is, would God ever disown or disinherit someone who has genuinely repented of their sin and placed their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone”


    I believe that it’s natural to be turning from sin when one comes to Christ and thereafter.

    But the requirement of justification maybe should be examined…

    To make “repent of your sin” a component of justification is not what I find in scripture. (KJV).

    How can someone who’s yet to be justified, bring unclean works to God for justification?
    “Lord I’m not yet justified, but I offer you my works of an unsaved man to contribute to you justifying me.”
    Do you see the problem with that?

    Perfection is required for justification. So who’s ever “repented of their sin” perfectly?

    So it’s faith + trying hard not to sin that saves someone?

    A lost man can however, say
    “Lord save me,”

    get justified,

    then God’s work will flow from him will it not?

    I mean all of this in kindness and brotherly friendship, and I’m not questioning your salvation at all. I’m just posing a thought to consider.

    Your friend and brother,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lee, You and have already had several dialogues regarding this issue of Biblical repentance and I don’t know what else I can say that will satisfy you.
      Biblical repentance is not works. The Greek word used in the New Testament – metanoeó – means for a person to “change their mind” about their standing before God, to agree with God that they are lost and spiritually dead in their sin and to turn to Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone. A person cannot genuinely trust in Christ unless they repent, turn from, their sinful rebellion. You can’t remove repentance from trusting in Christ, it’s all part of the same. Every person who has trusted in Christ as Savior has repented of their sin. When any person turns to Christ they are turning (repenting) from sin/rebellion.
      Lee, as I said we have discussed this many times and I don’t understand why you keep returning to it?
      “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 2 Cor. 7:10
      Whenever metanoeó/repentance is used in connection with salvation, it means turning from sinful rebellion against God to agreeing with God about your sinful state and trusting in Christ by faith alone. Repentance in connection to salvation, does NOT mean trying to be good, as you keep arguing!
      Did you forget that we have tread this road several times before, brother? In the past I have suggested with charity that you would benefit by doing a thorough word study of repent/repentance/metanoeó in the New Testament. After a person accepts Christ and becomes born-again, they should also repent of/turn from sinful behavior, but that is a completely different context. I hope all this helps. I know you are zealously trying to defend salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but arguing that repentance – turning from sin/rebellion – to the Savior is a work is contrary to God’s Word. You can’t turn TO Christ without turning FROM sin/rebellion.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Tom,
    In my previous comment, my phone’s predictive text automatically spelled “Him” (capital H), when it should have been spelled “him,” in a part of my comment where I was referring to a person.

    I’m sorry I didn’t catch that grammatical error earlier, but if you’d either correct it for me, or leave this comment up as an edit,
    I’d appreciate it brother.

    Have a great day in the Lord. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post brother. The doctrine of adoption is beautiful. I think I will share a post on an audio series on adoption and other Gospel doctrines that are foundational for biblical adoption. Thank you for this post, it is because of God’s grace in adopting us that we don’t lose our salvation as Romanism teaches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jimmy! What prompted this post was the Catholic apologist that I listen to regularly was speaking the other day on how it is up to every Catholic to maintain their friendship with God by following all of the prescribed rules of the church.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Every day there is usually at least one “Protestant” who calls into the show who says they are thinking about joining the RCC. Very unsettling.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Very sad to hear it; when I first read your comment I thought of the possibility that it is Catholic propaganda with fake callers; but then I think about the state of Evangelicalism I think what you said might be self-professing Protestants. Sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. RE: the state of Evangelicalism

        Collectively, we do a very poor job of presenting our (Gospel) case in comparison to Rome’s pomp and circumstance. We even have many evangelicals praising Rome! The thought of an evangelical radio talk show specifically aimed at reaching Catholics with the Gospel (converting Catholics) is repugnant to Billy Graham-style evangelicals but EWTN is outspokenly deliberate in its efforts to convert Protestants with this show and others.


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