Slaves or Sons?
Since we have already established that the whole of humankind was intended to be the family of God and that every person is potentially a son or daughter of God, how do we move from potential to actual? The operative word is “faith”. New Testament writers like John and Paul understood what Jesus came to do. He came to reveal the true nature of the Father and to remove the barrier of sin that separated us from Him so that we can be restored to our rightful place as sons and daughters of God.
Jesus calls us to become His disciples, followers of our rabbi so that, in close and intimate association with Him, we can learn to be sons by watching, listening and imitating Him. When we respond to His call, we begin our journey with Him which will take us to the Father if we follow His way, obey His instructions and keep our eyes on our destination.
Sin, the great barrier between man and God, was the outcome of Adam’s disobedience to God’s instruction in the Garden of Eden. Sin destroyed the fellowship Adam and Eve had with God and left them dirty, diseased, deformed and dead – unable to connect with God because their nature had become corrupted. It was because of His great love that He had already formulated His plan to rescue us from the ravages of sin and adopt us once again into His family through the death of His Son.
Through the Holy Spirit, whom He sent on the Day of Pentecost, God confirmed the forgiveness Jesus bought by His death, and restored everyone who believes in Jesus to His family as His sons and daughters. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of adoption. He witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God and, through Him, we can address God as Abba, Father – a term of intimacy and endearment.
Those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God, not those who claim allegiance because they have signed a decision card or answered an altar call. It is because of our status as sons and daughters that we enjoy all the benefits of life in the family of God. This is our “password” to eternal life – not when we die but now, in fellowship with the Father and with the Son in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
We are still fallible human beings, with an old sinful nature that is vulnerable to temptation. Satan has been defeated but he is still active to deceive us when we listen to his lies. There still lurks in us the thought that we are his slaves under his power and that we are subject to punishment when we sin. We try to gain acceptance with the Father through keeping rules instead of living in the truth that Jesus fully paid our debt and that His cry on the cross, “It is finished!” meant exactly that.
Since we have not fully understood the implications of His death, we feel uncomfortable with God. Like the returning prodigal, we want to be treated as slaves and not fully accepted as sons. But God has not given us the spirit of slavery which makes us afraid of Him. He has given us the Spirit of adoption. We are truly the sons and daughters of God, forgiven and fully accepted. Our response is to come out from the world and be separated to God. He has promised that He will be a Father to us in the truest sense of the word.
When we respond to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him, we leave our old life behind and begin our journey with Him which will take us to the Father, learning from Him what a true son is like and being transformed into His image as we continue to abandon our old ways of thinking and return to His way.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.
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