In the New Testament, the apostle Paul wrote a series of Epistles to various peoples, to teach them the word of God. He uses language that is effective in persuading his audience of the idea of Christianity. Paul structured his messages in a way that they could be understood. They were understood in that time, and have become critical literary tools in understanding the early formation of Christianity.
Paul displays a unique relationship between adoption and inheritance and argues this relationship in his Epistles. His opinion is essentially this: adoption of Christianity; adoption by God, leads to inheritance of the kingdom of God.
Because of the original sin of Adam, men are not automatic heirs to the kingdom of God. All of mankind are sinners, and Paul categorized himself in this group. Because of the sins men commit, they are not worthy of inheritance. Christ, however, enabled mankind to be adopted by God, so that they may be worthy of inheritance. Death came through sin; death was overcome by Christ.
Paul states that he was once a grave sinner, and he calls himself the chief of the sinners. Pail once persecuted the Christians; he was a sinner, as are all of mankind. His eyes were opened by God, and by the grace of God, he adopted the faith, and thus was adopted by God. He was redeemed and then recruited to do they work of God. Like Paul, men must be redeemed from their sins, and this happens through a process of adoption, and then they are worthy to be heirs. Different branches of Christianity believe multiple variations of how an individual participates in this adoption. Regardless, from Paul’s perspective, as he writes in his Epistles, adoption must take place in order for inheritance to be possible.
Because of the sins of Adam, men are disinherited. Adoption is the way do undo this disinheritance. Christ, through his passion, paid the ransom for our sins so that we may be allowed to be adopted children of God. However, individuals are still given the choice in whether or not they will earn their inheritance. Christ paid the debt through his passion, but the individual must still obey and live the word of God to earn inheritance.
Everyone is guilty, those who remain guilty, undergo the wrath of God. The only way out for the guilty (aka everyone) is adoption. No one has an excuse, and there is no one that can be righteous without God. Paul motivated his audience by informing them that they must take action, and adopt Christianity, so that they may become adopted children of God, and this is something they must do on their own behalf.
This inheritance is not only available to the Jews, but to the Gentiles and to all peoples throughout the world. Paul preached of a universal inheritance. All peoples of the world are able to become heirs to the kingdom of God, but they must do this through means adoption.
In conclusion, the relationship between adoption and inheritance in Paul’s thoughts, is that adoption leads to inheritance. Christ enabled us to be adopted children of God, through his passion. Men and women are able to adopt Christianity and become heirs to the kingdom of God.