” “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God” (1 John 3:1). “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God”(1 John 5:1).
We have been adopted by the Father and accepted into the love of Christ (Ephesians 1:5-6). No one can change that identity and no one can take it away. What happened to us in the past is rendered powerless. How people treat us and what they say about us has become obsolete. Man didn’t give you your identity and man can’t take it away. If your self-image is rooted in what God says and thinks about you, then the insults and opinions of the world around you will have no place in your mind. Your mind will be so occupied with the truth of who you really are, that there will be no room for lies. It’s impossible to be depressed when you understand this! We must understand that the Blood of Jesus is the cleansing agent that totally wipes out the remembrance of our past, and gives us a clean slate—a blank canvas—on which we then see our true and eternal identity, value, and purpose written on our hearts. As we take time to open our Bibles on a daily basis and meditate on the truth, we allow the Word of God to rewrite our self-image. And once your God-given identity is written on your heart—that you are a beloved son of God made in His very own image and likeness, designed for glory and created for victory—no devil in hell will be able to erase that truth from your memory. The pain and suffering of the world clouds your self-image with lies, but the Blood of Jesus purifies you forever, so that no longer have to be haunted and crippled by a past that Jesus redeemed you from. You are a son of God, made new!
I’d like to spend some time explaining the original intent the writers of the New Testament when they wrote about sonship. I’ll start by saying that in our modern culture, being someone’s son means little or nothing to the world. Most people could care less about who your dad is. For this reason, Christians tend to completely overlook the real meaning of being a son of God. In Jesus’ day, who your father was defined who you were. One of the first things that someone would ask upon meeting you would be, “Who is your father?” Why? Everyone wanted to know your lineage in ancient culture; it determined how you were perceived by the world around you. As a man in antiquity, your lineage essentially determined your social status and your reputation. If your dad had a reputation of rebellion and sacrilege, people were automatically prejudice against you, and you were likely going to suffer the consequences of your father’s reputation, even if you had nothing to do with his lifestyle. In the days of ancient Israel, sonship was not merely a title in a family unit; it was a mark of the reputation, character, and importance you inherited. This is why it was considered such blasphemy to the Pharisees for Jesus to claim He was the Son of God. Back then, a claim of sonship to God was actually a claim of equality with God (see John 5:18)! This is the context in which the writers of scripture communicated their message. When John wrote, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1), he did not intend for us just to have our ears tickled at the thought of being a child of God. Most Christians don’t really understand the significance of being a child of God. From the cultural context in which scripture was written, knowing that we have been made sons of God, we can boldly say that our position of sonship to God is actually a mark of the nature we’ve inherited! The New Testament writers intended to reveal to us that as children of God, we have received a nature of godliness. In your spirit man, you look just like Jesus! Being a son of God means that you literally look just like God in your spiritual identity (Ephesians 4:24, 1 Corinthians 6:17, 2 Corinthians 3:18,5:21, 1 John 4:17)! This is what it means to be a son! And relationship with God was intended to be built upon the knowledge of your right-standing with the Father, as being His child.
You can freely and boldly walk in relationship with God because He truly sees you as His pure, holy, and righteous child! And you didn’t earn you spiritual identity! God gave it to you as a free gift! He clothed you in His righteousness when you were born again! Relationship with God was intended to be reconciled in its fullness. Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that we could be satisfied merely with escaping hell. He died so that we could come to know God as He knew God—to enjoy the constant fellowship of a Father to a son, together in an unhindered intimacy, sealed with the perfect blood of a Redeemer. Christ, with His own blood, bought back relationship with God. He died not only to ensure we would make it to heaven, but also to infuse heaven into the our entire being, so that we, through an increasing knowledge of God and His Word, would learn to think like the Father, act like the Father, speak like the Father, reflect the Father in each and every way. In doing so, we become greater representatives of Christ in this earth. And to better represent Christ is to be a more effective witness of the gospel. Eternal life is to know God (John 17:3). To know God deeply and to love Him dearly, is to experience heaven on earth. There is no man stronger and more secure than one who deeply knows and loves his Father.”
– John 1:12-13 – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out this week’s podcast episode HERE.