From Children to Sons
The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: - Romans 8:16
But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. – John 1:12
The Jews in Jesus’ day had a custom. If a father sent a son to represent him in business, the son was looked upon as if he was the father himself. This is why the Jews were so upset when Jesus declared to them that he was the Son of God.
Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shown you from My Father; for which of those works do you stone me?
The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone You not; but for blasphemy; and because that You being a man, make Yourself God – John 10:32,33.
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God - John 5:18.
Even though Jesus is not literally God the Father, because He is God’s Son, He is the exact replica and representation of the Father of Glory here on earth. He is the image of God –
Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person – Hebrews 1:3-
Who is the image of the invisible God - Colossians 1:15 – the God who is - in Christ reconciling the world to Himself - II Corinthians 5:19.
And this is what we are called to be, representatives of our Heavenly Father. This is what it means to be called a son of God.
In some of the newer translations of the Bible we are told that we are given the power to become the children (Greek- teknon) of God, (John 1:12). The King James Version, however, shows a bit more sensitivity to the usage of the Greek word, teknon, which can also mean a son. Here the King James translators of John 1:12, are making a distinction between mere children and a son indicating that which can contain an aspect of maturity.
We are predestinated by the foreknowledge of God to be conformed into the image of His Son, a representative of God. God foreknows by His omniscience who are his, those who will respond to the Gospel message, and these are the ones He calls and chooses to be Sons.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren –Romans 8:29.
Although He already sees us as fully mature sons through His foreknowledge, Beloved, now are we the sons of God - I John 3:1, we begin as little children.
The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: - Romans 8:16.
We grow in grace, pressing forward to our high calling in Christ Jesus -
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus – Philippians 3:14.
We continue to grow until we become fully mature representations of His character. This process can take a lifetime and we cannot achieve it all while we are alive for …it does not yet appear what we shall be: - It has not yet been revealed what we shall be, because we do not know in this life what the full revelation of the glory of Jesus Christ truly is until we see Him face to face.
But we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is –
I John 3:1,2.
When the full revelation of Jesus Christ is made known to us this knowledge of Him will complete the transformation.
God works in us to walk in the good works he has ordained for us –
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them - Ephesians 2:10.
And we respond to the inner workings of His Spirit because if we are sons, then we are led by the Spirit of God.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God – Romans 8:14.
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world; - Philippians 2:15.
For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God – Romans 8:19.
Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God - I John 3:1.
As God’s children we have been made heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ – Romans 8:17-and partakers of the great spiritual riches contained within our heavenly inheritance. But even more than that, how glorious and comforting it is to know, that as sons, like Jesus, by the Holy Spirit we have the privilege and joy of calling the glorious God of the Universe our own Abba, Father.
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying
Abba, Father- Galatians 4:6.
Food for Thought – We know we are maturing in Christ when our desire for virtue begins to exceed our desire for a new car.
copyright 2009 by H.D. Shively