LEARNING TO BE A SON
THE FATHER’S BLESSING
Unlike slaves who have no rights in the house, a son has a right to his father’s name, his father’s home and his father’s inheritance. As children of God the Bible teaches us that we have these rights.
The Father’s name
It was Jesus’ mission to do two things – to reveal the Father and to take us to the Father. Jesus took pains to teach His disciples the true nature of the Father, both by what He said and by what He did. He was in constant conflict with the religious authorities because He insisted that the law of God was more about mercy than about rules.
In His high priestly prayer on the eve of His death, He assured the Father that He had revealed His name to His disciples – not the names by which He was known in the Old Covenant but by the name “Father” which was foreign to them because they did not understand the fatherhood of God.
Adam and Eve lost their rights by rebelling against God, and became slaves to fear through Satan’s deception. By His death Jesus would reconcile those who believe in Him to the Father and they would be “adopted” into His family as His beloved children, restoring to them everything they lost at the Fall and especially the fellowship He intended from the beginning.
His first message to His disciples through Mary after His resurrection was:
Go . . . to my brothers and tell them, “I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ (John 20:17b)
His death had brought about a new status. From God’s perspective they were now on a par with Jesus – He was not ashamed to call them brothers (He. 2: 10). Everything that Jesus was as a son was potentially theirs as well. The Father loved them just as He loved Jesus. They were given the Spirit of adoption, and the witness of the Spirit that they were children of God, as are all those who believe in Jesus.
Jesus not only told them about the Father; He also showed and taught them how to relate to the Father as His sons and daughters in loving submission and obedience. He gave them the right to use His name as their authority for approaching the Father. He revealed the nature of His Father enshrined in His name.
The Father’s house
It was the Father’s desire from the beginning of time to dwell with His people. Even when sin drove the first pair from God’s presence, He still desired to live among them. The tabernacle was His way of showing them His desire and at the same time, making it clear that they could not approach Him except through animal sacrifices. These were a picture of what He had promised – one who would crush the head of Satan and bring them back into fellowship with Himself.
The temple was the permanent structure in Jerusalem which took the place of the tabernacle for the same purpose. But even the temple was symbolic of something better. God cannot be contained in a building, but He has chosen to make His dwelling in the inner shrine of His human temples. All those who have been bought by the blood of Jesus are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
Satan targets what is most precious to God – our fellowship with Him. Sin and all its spin-offs, independence and its fruit, i.e., making our own rules, cuts us off from fellowship with the Father.
But not only does He want to have continuous fellowship with us through the Holy Spirit, as sons our role is to “continue the house”. As His sons and daughters, it is our role both to reveal who He is and to bring others back into the household of God.
The Father’s inheritance
As the children of God we have a legal right to His inheritance. As co-heirs with Jesus we have an inheritance which is far superior to material things. Our inheritance comes to us through what God has promised (Heb. 6:12; 2 Cor. 1: 20). What had God promised? He has promised that we become partakers of His divine nature (2 Pet. 1: 3-4)
The problem is that the earth and all mankind have been corrupted by sin. God is untainted by corruption and He cannot have fellowship with that which is corrupt. God took care of the problem by sending His Son to deal with our sin and to restore His nature in us so that we can escape the corruption that is in the world. Just as Adam passed on his corrupted nature to every generation, Jesus has restored His nature in all who believe His promises, the perfect nature of the Father which He refines and purifies in us through the discipline of hardship and suffering (Heb. 12: 10)
The inheritance is already ours because the testator, Jesus has already died. It is our responsibility to make the promises of God ours through faith and patience, not what we want to make our lives cushy and comfortable, but to form in us the fullness of God’s nature in the likeness of His Son.
He calls us to leave the world and it corrupting influences and be separated to God. He has promised to dwell with us and to be our Father and we will be His sons and daughters (2 Cor. 6: 16-7:1).
The Father’s nature
God is holy love. He is separated from everything that has been corrupted by sin. As His children, He insists that we be separated from sin to Himself. God is generous. He requires that we show who He us by our generosity, not only with our resources but with our attitudes.
The manifestation of God’s sons
Sin corrupted the whole universe which is waiting in pain for the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom 8: 19-21). This will be the sign that everything will be restored, including the heavens and the earth. Jesus’ return will be the cue for the restoration of all of creation and the final judgement of the rebellious angels who followed Satan. They will be condemned when God is vindicated.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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.
For more details, check my website:
Have you read my blogs on www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com ?