When a Roman man was adopted into another family (a usual event, due to the small amount of children most families had), his name would become the adopted fathers full name, plus his own family name in a declined form. Examples follow: Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Augustus), born in the Octavia family, adopted by Julius Caesar Mamercus Aemilius Lepidus Livia nus (Princeps senat us in the 1 st century BC), born as the son of a Liv ius, adopted into the Aem ilii Lepidii. Definition and Description The act of adoption is the conclusion of any action by which any person, usually a son, is brought into a new family relationship where he now has new privileges and responsibilities as a member of the family, and at the same time loses all previous rights and is divested of the previous duties of his former family relationship. The Church Age believer has been removed from the cosmic system as a child of the devil and has been placed as an adult son into the royal family of God, of which the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head. At the moment of salvation the Church Age believer is adopted Roman style into the royal family of God through the Baptism of the Spirit thus making him an heir of God and spiritual aristocracy. The Scriptures teach that there 2 categories of believers who have been adopted by God: (1) Israel (2) Church.
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The Greek word in the NT for adoption is huiothesia, which means placing as a son. It is not so much a word of relationship but of position. In regeneration a Christian receives the new nature as a child of God. In adoption he receives the position of a son of God at the moment of salvation through the Baptism of the Spirit.
Every Christian obtains the place of a child and the right to be called a son the moment he believes in Jesus Christ for salvation (Gal. 3: 25-26; 4: 6; 1 John 3: 1-2).
The NT Scriptures teach that the Church has been adopted into the royal family of God as adult sons thus conferring upon them all the privileges and responsibilities that go along with this new relationship with God. The apostle Paul used the Roman style adoption analogy in his epistles to communicate to members of the churches throughout the Roman Empire their new relationship with God the Father that was acquired at the moment of faith in Christ.
As a Roman citizen the apostle would naturally know of the Roman custom but in the cosmopolitan city of Tarsus and again on his travels, he would become equally familiar with the corresponding customs of other nations. He employed the Roman style adoption analogy to teach the spiritual adoption of Church Age believers much in the same manner that our Lord did in His parables. Paul utilized the Roman style adoption illustration to teach Church Age believers that God the Father’s grace policy places them into the relation of sons to Himself and communicates to them the experience of Son ship upon utilizing the 2 Great Divine Provisions which compose the spiritual life for the church age, namely, the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Vocabulary Huiothesia (noun), “adoption, placing as a son.” Tekno n (noun), “child, descendant, posterity.” Documentation Old Testament (Israel): Deuteronomy 7: 6, “For you (Israel) are a people set apart to the Lord your God and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the nations who are on the face of the earth.” Isaiah 63: 16, “For You are our Father, though Abraham does not recognize us.
You, O Lord, are our Father, Our Redeemer from eternity past is Your Name.” Hosea 11: 1, “When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.” Romans 9: 4, “Who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises.” New Testament (Church): John 1: 12, “But as many as received Him (faith alone in Christ alone), to them He gave the privilege to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His Person.” Romans 8: 15-16, “For you have not received a lifestyle of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a lifestyle of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father! The Spirit Himself bears witness with our human spirit that we are children of God.” Galatians 3: 26, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 4: 5-6, “In order that He (Lord Jesus Christ) might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons and because you are sons, God the Father has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your right lobes, crying out, Abba! Father!” Ephesians 1: 5, “By means of virtue-love He has predestined us for the purpose of adoption to Himself through Jesus Christ according to the grace purpose of His will.” 1 John 3: 1 a, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God.” Greek Style and Roman Style Adoption In Greece a man might during his lifetime, or by will, to take effect after his death, adopt any male citizen into the privileges of his son, but the invariable condition that the adoptive son accepted the legal obligation and religious duties of a real son.
... , of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding ... the form more than to the matter; to arrangement and style more than to dogma.Literary excellence is not the forte ... in an age when the Scriptures and the Greek and Roman classics were nearly all that the student had, upon which ...
The motive and initiative of adoption always lay with the adoptive father (spiritual realm: God the Father through the divine initiative of antecedent grace in eternity past).
The process and conditions of adoption varied with different peoples. Among oriental nations it was extended to slaves (as Moses), who thereby gained their freedom, but in Greece in Rome it was, with rare exceptions, limited to citizens of the state. Roman adoption was different than adoption that we know today in the 20 th century. The Greek word for adoption is huiothesia and the Latin word is ad opt atio. Roman style adoption involved adults rather than children or infants.
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It was intended to bring about a stronger society. Adoption was a way of reorganizing superiority and selectivity in Roman society. Antecedence was of no importance under adoption. Roman adoption was the process by which a person was transferred from his natural father’s power into that of his adoptive father. Huiothesia comes from hugo, “son,” and tithe mi, “to place,” thus it means to place a son in the home who will carry on the family business, estates or whatever it was that was important. Roman style adoption was the custom of selectivity, selecting some to fulfill or take over the family estates and guarantee that the next generation will be as efficient as the last generation in Roman life.
Under Roman law the adopted son had the same status and privileges at the real son and the real Son is our Lord Jesus Christ. Roman style adoption served a useful purpose both socially and politically, as a childless individual could adopt and ensure the continuation of the estates of the family, bequeathing not just property to the heir, but the family as well, for the new member accepted the name and rank of the adoptive father. Politically, adoption could be used to great advantage as a means of improving one’s prospects by becoming adopted into a higher-class family moving from the Plebeian to the Patrician class. An example of Roman style adoption was the Emperor Augustus who, as Octavius, was adopted by the testament of his uncle Julius Caesar in 44 B. C. , taking the full name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus.
Adoption by testament, of course, was the naming of an heir through a will. As the adopted son of Gaius Julius Caesar, Octavius received not only the name and property of Caesar when he was assassinated in 44 B. C. but he received all the other benefits or social considerations as Caesar’s adopted son. In Greek and Roman society adoption was, at least among the upper classes, a relatively common practice.
Unlike the oriental cultures in which slaves were sometimes adopted, these people normally limited adoption to free citizens. But, at least in Roman law, the citizen so adopted became a virtual slave, for he came under the paternal authority of his adoptive father. Adoption conferred rights and privileges but it came with a list of duties as well.
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