“The death of Christ did not render God reconcilable to sinners, as some say, but actually reconciled. And it may be observed, that it is said of Paul, that he was reconciled, whilst an enemy; that is, a persecutor of Christ: For he speaks it of himself, in these words; “If when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Romans 5:10.).
Moreover, he was in a state of adoption, when he persecuted Christ in his members: For, because he was a child of God, “the Spirit of God’s Son was sent into his heart;” by whole influences he was enabled “to cry, Abba Father (Galatians 4:6.).”
Regeneration doth not make us sons; but, because we are sons, we are regenerated. That the elect “are by nature children of wrath, even as others (Ephesians 2:2.),” is certain; and that they are the children of God by grace, is equally so. And both there may be said of them at one and the same time, but in different respects. As the descendants of Adam, they are children of wrath; that is, they are under a sentence of condemnation by the law: As in, and members of Christ, they are the children of God, and free from condemnation in his sight; yea, they are the objects of his special love and delight, and were so from everlasting; which is the reason why they are regenerated in God’s due time, when their adoption becomes open and visible.
Junius hath this note on Galatians 4:5. Adoptio filiorum aeterna, sed suo tempore exhibetur; that is, the adoption of sons is eternal, but is manifested in time.” – JOHN BRINE