Family Life Series Part 1 – Life As a Son
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. This week I’m continuing the Family Life series. You can check out the intro from a few weeks ago here. The topic for this week will be all about life as a son, which does not exclude females by the way. When I say life as a son I’m referring to life as a child of God with the basis being the Father/Son relationship that Jesus and the Father had along with the in Christ realities.
I’ve been reading Tim Tebow’s new book Shaken. In the second chapter he talks about the disappointment of being cut from the Patriots and how he had to go back to remembering his identity in whose he was, not what he did. I’ve had to do the same thing a lot recently, so I could relate. This is the whole son vs. servant concept that I talk about often and fits in with the family life concept.
He gave an analogy of God’s ability which was meant to encourage us. The example Tim talked about was a Chicago Bulls basketball game in which Michael Jordan had one of his best performances ever. He scored 69 points and led the Bulls to an overtime victory. During the postgame interviews, a rookie on the team Stacey King gave a memorable quote. Stacey only scored one point in the game and he said, “I’ll always remember this as the night Michael Jordan and I combined to score 70 points.”
Michael Jordan, as great as he was, does not possess even close to the amount of strength and ability that God has. Life as a son of God is living with God on your team. He’s actually on our side regardless, but when we start to get a revelation of this, the possibilities are endless. You can go through the toughest of circumstance and believe for the greatest victories when you know God is with you. I hope the rest of this blog helps you better understand what it’s like to have God on your team and enables you to experience life as a son of God.
God as Our Closest Family Member
A common argument between little boys when they are growing up is whose dad is the toughest. Whose dad can beat up the other one. It gives the boy confidence to think that nobody wants to mess with his dad, whether that’s true or not. I think many times we get this picture of God being kind of a wuss because the Romans soldiers killed him, the turn the other cheek concept, etc. This doesn’t breed much confidence and in turn gets us into self reliance. However, there is something that God has shown us He will rise up against, and it’s not people…it’s death. When we look at this, it gives us our swagger back and allows us to stick our chest out a little bit.There is something that God has shown us He will rise up against & it’s not people…it’s death. Click To Tweet
In the Old Testament there was a concept of the kinsman redeemer in the Jewish culture. How this worked is that if a Jew were sold to someone else and became a slave, the Jews had a right to come back and buy him if he was ill treated. They even had the right to take out revenge and act as a kinsman redeemer which would be to take a sword and kill the slave owner, if the slave was beaten to death. The kinsman had to be a male that was the closest family member.
When we read into this spiritually and look at it through the lens of the cross with God as our kinsman redeemer, God is saying my people willfully sold themselves to Satan and he killed them but I’m going to take their death on for them and bring them back into the Family. This means God regards Himself as your closest family member. He’s closer than a brother, mother or father. He’s your closest family member ever. He came and redeemed us from death and gave us a place in the Godhead. Glory to God.
“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death.
Where, O death, are your plagues?
Where, O grave, is your destruction? Hosea 13:14 NIV.
Worthy Is The Lamb
Speaking of the kinsman redeemer who takes on our death for us. Below is a Facebook post from Bertie Brits which beautifully puts the phrase “worthy is the lamb” into context.
“When we sing that song, “Worthy is the Lamb”, what comes to your mind? I remember years ago what I would see is the holy Jesus and how holy He is. But as I started to understand the Gospel, I started to see myself differently. It puts you in the equation. God couldn’t find anybody that would be worthy of you, so He came Himself! That is why we can say, “Worthy” with great joy, “Worthy is rich enough, to buy my freedom, is He, because I am expensive” That is the whole revelation of, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.” That is why the Bible says, “Worthy.” It’s all about worth.
If you are in jail and somebody has to pay your bail and it’s five hundred thousand rand, you need somebody who is worthy of five hundred thousand to get you out of there. The day a person arrives, who is worthy, who has the worth, who has the weight to pay that, you will rejoice and say, “Worthy is this person to pay for me.” So you are very, very valuable! Know that! You are precious to God. You are highly loved by God! There’s not a moment in time when God looks at you without adoration in His heart because He knows the truth.
The Bible says, “If your heart condemns you, God is greater than your heart!” Then it says the following: “For He knows all things.” The reason why your heart condemns you is because of a lack of knowledge but He knows all things and it is even greater than your heart that can condemn you.
We are here with God who is unending good! There are no limits. His love is limitless! He is a good Father. He is the One who loves you and only in the presence of a message of true love can your mind really relax so that you can be reprogrammed to the original design that God has for you to have the life that He planned for you. Amen!” ~ Bertie Brits.
What It Means To Call God Father
When we see how good the Father is, it will make us want to call Him our Father. When we believe in His goodness and desire to be a part of our lives, it gives him access into our hearts (belief system, the place we reason from and make decisions). God wants to Father you by His love and bring forth His life in you. He’s not your commander, He’s your Father. I thought it would be good to take a look at the definition of Father, so we know what we are doing when we say that:
Definition of Father – the originator or transmitter of anything. The authors of a family or society of persons animated by the same spirit as himself. (Thayers)
So spiritually speaking, when we call God our Father is when the life inside of us originates and comes forth from His Spirit.
Life as a Son
In our spiritual lives, when we cry out to God and believe in Him as the Father of our life, is when we say we are saved. The life that results is the life of a son. Now, there is a way that life should be as a son and a way that it typically is because of the way the Gospel is traditionally preached to us. So, with the help of an analogy from Bertie, I’ll describe below what life as a son usually looks like and how it was originally intended to be.
The Gospel Inside Family Dynamics
Imagine a father has two sons. The father is in America preaching and his sons are home overseas. The father sends one son a message and tells him, “son I’ve got great news for you.” In the meantime, the son is at home and sins. He decides one day to get drunk and takes the car and wrecks it. Then the father’s other son comes home and says dad is very upset at you. All the while the father is not actually upset, just thankful his son didn’t die and thinking about how the thing he has promised him is going to bless him so much.
Then the other son says, I think if you can do some good things for dad to show how sorry you are, that will make dad happy. But, even if you do, dad is still going to beat you because you brought shame to the family name. You will still need to be punished. Then the other son says, I spoke to dad and he said he’s going to beat somebody else for you. Imagine how the son feels now. The son will feel bad because he caused someone else to get beaten and he will think his father is an angry man always conscious of all these bad things. The other son says again dad can give you the promise if this other one gets punished and you can do these good things…then dad will give you the promise.
Then the dad comes home and finds his son who wrecked the car scared of him. He’s hiding under the bed and won’t look him in the eye. Here is the narrative that follows:
Father: son what’s wrong?
Son: well I know you are mad at me.
Father: I’ve never been angry, I’m just glad you didn’t die. I will do anything that you will not have to go through that turmoil ever again.
Son: but dad what about the other guy that you had to beat up?
Father: son I’m not beating up anybody.
Son: wow that good news! But what good must I do so that this forgiveness remains?
In this story, the father is God, we are the son and the other son represents religion. Now after the Father has removed all the rubbish, what is the good news that the Father had in His heart from the beginning? The eternal life which God has promised from the beginning. A few scriptures below to support this and describe what that means:
Titus 1:1-2 – Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time. NIV
John 17:3 – Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. NIV
The word know in this last scripture is the Greek word ginosko. One of the definitions is a Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. This is the type of intimacy that God has called us into. It’s not a casual knowing, but a deep intimacy. Your objective on this earth is to get to know God this way.
The Benefits Of Being In Christ
Unfortunately, we often times get our focus off of relationship with God. It’s easy to make life about our ministry, rather the relationship with God…especially with the messages the church typically preaches to us. Listen to what Paul says in Galatians 5:1-2:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. NIV
So Paul’s concern is that Christ would have no effect on them. What effect is it that Christ should have? A life that is like God’s since we are created in His image and likeness. That God would bring forth His life in man as the originator of that life. Galatians chapter 5 goes on to describe the fruit of the spirit which is a further description of the effect this root should have which is; love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And earlier in Galatians 5, Paul describes the life one has when Christ has no effect; sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. Sound familiar? I remember reading this when I first became a Christian and thinking, how the heck did he know exactly what my life was like without Christ? It’s a scripture that really confirmed to me that the Bible was true. Unfortunately this is also the same life that many church goers still have because Christ is not being preached to them. Christ has liberated us from being deceived into works righteousness. He has freed us from only being happy when we have money, when people like us, etc. Nothing else has to happen for us to be happy and have life. He who has the son, has life (1 John 5:12 KJV). Period.Nothing else has to happen for us to be happy & have life. He who has the son, has life (1 John 5:12). Period. Click To Tweet
I hope this blog has helped further your understanding of your sonship. That God is well pleased with you (Matt. 3:17) and you can’t fail at being a son. That you are a son and not a servant (Gal. 4). That you do not lack. Just like when a college kid comes home for the holidays, you can just go in fridge and make use of what is already provided in Christ. Enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:1-2 NIV