Becoming a Son

Jesus came to show us the way to the Father, to bring us into relationship with Him, to make us sons and daughters and to give us the full inheritance planned for us.

Sadly, many in the church today miss out on this as they have not found God as their Father.

The promise of 2 Cor 6:18 is that God will be a Father to us.

Many instead are spiritual slaves or orphans.

(To clarify - the Bible talks about us being 'sons' and this includes us all: men and women, girls and boys! In these notes I have stayed with this pattern - but please, no-one is excluded, 'sonship' is for all God's children).

Slaves

A slave belongs to another, he has no rights or freedom of his own. Everything is at the bidding of another.

A slave lives by the law, lives for the law and makes the law up to justify his position.

The book of Galatians talks about us being slaves to the law and contrasts this with the freedom that is ours through the redeeming work of Jesus. We have been taken from slavery into sonship. We have died to the law in order that we can live for Christ - Gal 2:19-20.

Our inheritance is not based on the law but on the promise of sonship through Jesus. No longer do we need to live by rules as we can now live in relationship with the Father.

Orphans

An orphan has no identity, no name, no inheritance, nothing is done for him - he has to fight for everything he wants or needs.

An orphan strives to achieve or to perform, believing that this will gain him approval or value. He has a works based gospel rather than one based on relationship.

Everything he is or everything he has is a result of his own energy.

God came to be a father to the fatherless - Ps 68:5.

He promises not to leave us as orphans - John 14:18.

Sons

A son has a name, an identity, an inheritance. He always has a place in the family no matter what he does. His identity is found in being his Father's son. Sonship is a free gift.

The Father wants us to come out of slavery and our orphan ways and to become a son as Jesus was. As we experience this for ourselves we can help lead others into the same freedom.

The prodigal son came back home (Luke 15); he received a robe to cover his filth and shame and a ring to signify that his place in the family had been restored.

A son is like Jesus who only did what his Father did, who only said what his Father said and who only went where His Father told him to go.

A son experiences the Father's love. He knows his Father's pleasure.

Our identity

Jesus' identity came out of his relationship with his Father. It did not matter what he was doing - all the time he knew he was his Father's son. He was about his Father's business.

And he said to them "How is it that you had to look for me? Did you not see and know that it is necessary for me to be in my Father's house and about my Father's business". Luke 2:49 (AMP)

Sonship is central to Jesus' ministry:

Mat 3:16-17 The Father's affirmation of Jesus when he was baptised.

Mat 4:3 Satan's attack on Jesus in the wilderness.

Mat 17:1-5 The Father's affirmation on the Mount of Transfiguration.

John 19:7 The leaders' claim against Jesus.

John 3:35 Jesus was secure in who he knew he was!

Do we face an identity crisis or do we know who we are? Have we defined our ministry with a title or a label?

Have we found the freedom available to the sons of God?

Sonship leads to freedom

Ps 119:41-48 - there is a freedom that follows our obedience to His word.

Luke 4:16-20 - Jesus came to proclaim freedom for the captives.

John 8:31-36 - the truth will set us free. A son is free and belongs to the family forever.

A slave has no permanent place in the family but the son has a place forever! That's why the prodigal could be welcomed back.

Gal 3:26-4:7 - we have been redeemed (bought back) and given the full rights of a son; we have a name, an inheritance and a relationship with Father. True freedom is sonship not slavery.

Gal 5:1 - it is for freedom that we are set free. Freedom gives us a choice!

Rom 8:12-27 - creation is waiting in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. Sonship in us will change the world around us!

The freedom of the world leads to despair. Our freedom leads to restored relationship with the Father, wholeness and healing.

Col 3 - our freedom is ruling and reigning with Christ!

2 Cor 3:18 - the glory (presence) of God will be revealed in us in ever increasing measure.

Our destiny as sons

Eph 3:14-19

v15 (AMP) - for whom every family in heaven and on earth is named (that Father from whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name).

Earthly fatherhood is a copy of God's fatherhood, an imitation.

Our identity and origin come from Him.

  • We have a name that comes from Him - God is in control.
  • God has unlimited resources - he goes beyond our comprehension.
  • Strengthened in our inner being - goes beyond despair.
  • Power from the Holy Spirit.
  • Rooted and established in love - a strong connection in God.
  • Understand the width, length, height and depth of His love.
    • Width - covers the breadth of our experience.
    • Length - covers our lives and eternity.
    • Height - the heights of celebration and elation.
    • Depth - the depths of discouragement or despair. We are never separated from God's love.

This is the full expression of God's love and it is available to us.

BECAUSE YOU ARE SONS, GOD SENT THE SPIRIT OF HIS SON INTO OUR HEARTS, THE SPIRIT WHO CALLS OUT 'ABBA, FATHER'. SO YOU ARE NO LONGER A SLAVE BUT A SON. Gal 4:6-7 (NIV)