SOS (PART 2)
Yesterday, we explored the truth that Jesus came to reveal the Father. This has far-reaching implications for us. If God is our Father, it follows logically that we are His sons and daughters. What does that mean for us? How can we be sure that we are the children of God?
In the beginning, God created the first human being to be His son. Luke’s genealogy of Jesus ends with these words, “Adam, the son of God” (Luke 3: 38). Although Adam sinned and alienated himself from the Father, he never ceased to be His son; in fact, the entire human race, born in the likeness of Adam, continues to be God’s family, although estranged, because no one can be “unborn” even though he might reject his parents.
Jesus came to reconcile His estranged children to the Father and bring them back into the circle of His family to share in the life and love of the Trinity. “God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them… (2 Cor. 5:19). Despite those who insist that Jesus only died for the elect, the testimony of Scripture is that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (John 3: 16), and that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).
Of course, this does not mean that everyone lives as a child of God. The full enjoyment of our status as God’s children depends on our acceptance of Jesus’ death as payment for our sin and our return to Him as our Father to live in obedience to Him. The Holy Spirit takes up residence in us to empower us to be who we are, the children of God.
Before we returned to fellowship with God through faith in Jesus, we lived as slaves – under the usurped authority of the devil whose lies we believed. He kept us enslaved to himself through masquerading as Lord. He lied to us about the Father, insisting that God was out to get us and that our adversities were God’s way of punishing us for our sin. He made us his slaves by keeping us captive to fear.
Satan rules by fear. Every human being has an inborn fear of death and punishment. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus set us free from the fear of death.
Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death, He might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death (Heb. 2:15-16).
We were all slaves to the fear of death but we are free now to live in the fullness of our position as sons and daughters of God.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18).
We were all slaves to the fear of punishment but Jesus paid our debt in full, for all time.
Why, then, are so many of God’s children still slaves to the fear of death and the fear of punishment when His Word clearly states that God did not give us the spirit of timidity (fear) but a spirit of power of love and of self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7)?
Paul assured his Roman readers:
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’ (Rom. 8:15).
Is it because we have never fully embraced who we are in Christ? Many of the children of God behave no differently from the people in the world. They are touchy, sensitive, defensive, insecure, controlling, and full of emotional baggage.
In Christ, we are a new creation, forgiven, power washed and accepted in the Beloved One. From God’s perspective we are already holy and complete. We have been raised with Christ and seated with him in the heavenly realms. We are no longer subject to the devil or his lies. We have God’s Spirit within us to reveal Jesus to us and to lead us into all truth. there is nothing more that God can do for us. Jesus declared with His last breath on the cross, “It is finished!”
The biggest problem is always unbelief. The writer to the Hebrews warned his readers:
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first… Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it (Heb.3:12-14; 4:1).
We are not slave but sons. Jesus has redeemed us from slavery to fear by His own blood. We can live fully in the confidence that God loves us with perfect love and will always to for us and in us what is for our best and for His glory.
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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