But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the full rights of sonship. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:4-8 NASB)
In John 1:12 there is an invitation for those of us who believe in Him to become children of God. Sadly, many Christians do not take up this invitation and continue to live as as orphan. We are given the right but we do not exercise that right.
What I have come to see is that becoming a Christian is only the beginning. It is the doorway by which we enter into a completely new relationship with God. The point, however, is not to remain in the doorway but to go through and fully enter into this new relationship. The relationship God has with us is him being a Father to us. The relationship we enter into is sonship.
As Christians, we were redeemed by the blood of Jesus in order that we could receive the full rights of sonship. To me, this means knowing that we are "in Christ", that our relationship with the Father is the same as Jesus'. It means the Father proclaiming his acceptance and affirmation over us: "you are my son/daughter whom I love". It means we stand as heirs to all the promises given to Abraham; that we would be a blessing to the nations.
Receiving the full rights of sonship opens the door for us to begin to walk as Jesus walked. This is sonship.
(The next 'Weekly Signpost' will be on 7th January 2019, have a great Christmas and New Year).
And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 2:47-49 NASB)
As a twelve year old boy, Jesus brought revelation to the teachers in the temple. He started off asking them questions but in the end it was them asking Jesus the questions. His answers astonished them.
When his parents eventually found him, Jesus responds with beautiful childlike simplicity "I had to be in my Father's house, doing his work". To him, it was so obvious. This childlike simplicity and dependence did not leave Jesus as he grew up, it was how he lived his whole life:
He did his Father's will (John 6:38-40)
He came in his Father's name (John 5:43)
He stood with his Father (John 8:16)
He only said his Father's words (John 8:28)
He lived to please his Father (John 8:29)
He showed us what the Father is really like (John 14:8-11)
The secrets of the Kingdom are hidden from the wise and intelligent and revealed to those, like Jesus, who have a childlike heart (Matthew 11:25). The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to little children (Mark 10:13).
We are invited to live like Jesus and, to do so, means having the same childlike heart that Jesus had. For some, this can be too hard (like the rich young ruler) as it requires a complete turnaround and a transformation of our heart.
Through his life, Jesus shows us that this is the only way. But it is the way of peace, rest and fruitfulness.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NASB)
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NASB)