with Jeremy Westcott –
Jesus is the firstborn Son, but the Father always desired a larger family.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Rom 8:29).
It is my destiny and yours to be His son (this is not about male or female but about our relationship with our Father and our position as heir). Now, it is all very well knowing as a piece of factual information that we are sons, and even knowing in our head that God sees it that way, but the question we must ask ourselves is, do I feel, think, and act like His son? Am I experiencing that, and living it out? And if not why not? If I am not fully embracing everything God says about me and thinks about me, then I need to know what is preventing me so that I can overcome it, and enter in.
A heritage of slavery
We all started out as slaves. Mankind was in slavery because of what our ancestors, Adam and Eve, did in the Garden. Therefore we are all born into slavery, and we are all spiritual orphans, separated from God. Adam and Eve became spiritual orphans because they were ejected and expelled from the Garden, sold into slavery because they chose to follow the pathway of the knowledge of good and evil, rather than the pathway of the tree of life that God had designed for them. God wants us to turn away from following the pathway of the knowledge of good and evil, to come back and embrace the tree of life. Even good things, if we do not get them from God, can still lead us into slavery.
So because of Adam and Eve’s sin, naturally speaking slavery is our heritage. It affects how we feel and think about ourselves and about God. Keep going that way and we end up with a wounded soul as a result of trying to meet our own needs in the only way we know how – from the world – and our spirit is separated from God and dead to Him. That is what is in our natural family line, and ‘sons of disobedience’ carry on the family tradition.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest (Eph 2:1-3).
People who do not know God as Father, and do not have a relationship with Him, will carry on in the pattern set up by Adam and Eve. All of us either have lived or do live like that. Yet He never intended any of us to be ‘children of wrath’, and that is why He has made a way for us to live differently.
Whose slave are you?
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? (Rom 6:16).
Adam and Eve chose to present themselves as slaves to sin, and the result was death, both physical and spiritual. But Jesus has given us a choice now: we can present ourselves to God.
So, whose slave are you? Who is your master?
One master brings life; the other brings death. We have a choice about who we serve, and it is a choice offered to every one of us. I choose to serve the perfect God of love rather than a fallen being who wants only to destroy me.
God so loved
This is how God made that choice possible for us:.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Take out ‘the world’ and substitute ‘me’. It is too easy to read the words ‘the world’ and think it means other people, everybody else, but not ourselves. No, it means ‘God so loved me’. It means that by believing in Jesus I can enter into life rather than continuing in death.
The Amplified version says that ‘God so dearly loved and prized…’ You are a prize, to God. He deeply desires intimacy and relationship with you. As a result of that, He was willing to give His Son so that you could become His child.
Paul puts it this way:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) (Eph 2:4-5).
God sent him [Jesus] to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children (Gal 4:4).
It is by God’s grace and God’s power, through the victory of Jesus on the cross, that we can be saved from the path we were going down and be brought into this relationship with Him: from death to life, from slavery into freedom, from separation to intimacy.
We are royalty
God has paid the price, and bought us back so that he could adopt us as His own children, just like Jesus. Awesome! How would we feel if the Queen of England adopted us, gave us the run of the palace and access to all the people she has advising her and looking after her? If she said to us, ‘I want you to inherit all that I have’? How special would we feel? That is what the God who made the whole universe and keeps it all together has done for us!
We have been redeemed, bought back from slavery by Jesus, given a new home and a family. We are adopted as sons into the family of the King. We are royalty: princes and princesses, regardless of our history or background. What we have done, what has been done to us, none of that has any effect whatsoever on how God sees us. We look just like Jesus to Him, holy and perfect and righteous. God does not hold our past against us, unlike the devil who constantly accuses us and tries to cause us to remember our past. Since God chooses not to remember it, neither should we!
We have been born again into a new family with a new identity. We have a new heavenly home (which we can engage with now, not only when we die) and are ourselves a home of God. We have a new, heavenly citizenship, and a new (yet eternal) identity and purpose. We have come into sonship, into a relationship with our Father.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you (John 14:18-20).
…and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom 5:5).
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:35-39).
So let’s fully embrace all that God has done for us in His love, so that nothing, nothing, nothing will ever remove us or separate us from the fullness of all that He has for us as His dearly loved children.
Related articles from Freedom ARC
- Restored to Original Condition
- God’s Eternal Purpose
- The Song of Our Destiny
- A Journey Quest for Identity
- No Longer a Slave but a Son
Other resources from Freedom ARC
- Engaging God subscription, for the Joshua Generation – click here for details
- Destiny: Identity mp3 audio teaching series by Mike Parsons (this post has been drawn from session 2). The mp3 audio of session 1 is available free of charge here
- Exercises: How To Enter The Spiritual Realm and Interact with God (YouTube video)
- Freedom Apostolic Resources website and Freedom ARC Facebook page
- Arc Angel – on earth as it is in heaven, our curated online newspaper
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Soundtrack: Jake Hamilton – The Anthem
Sons Of Issachar is a blog edited and maintained by Jeremy Westcott on behalf of Freedom Apostolic Resources. ©2016 Freedom Apostolic Resources Freedom Apostolic Resources is a trading style of Freedom Trust, a charity registered in England. Registered charity number 1039290. Registered office: Freedom Centre, 1 Howard Avenue, Barnstaple EX32 8QA, UK.