On Sonship (Part V)
The last few weeks we’ve been discussing the implications of sonship on our walk with Christ. If you’re interested, you can check out the previous posts in the series here:
God fathers us Himself.
God has always been a father. He was the father of our Lord Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world (Colossians 1:2-3, John 17:24), He was a father to Israel (Hosea 11:1), and He has been a father to the church of every generation. God has designed the world so that even though children are born without fathers (or born with terrible fathers), He will be a father to the fatherless. Psalms 68:5-6 describes how God protects the orphan and sets the lonely in families. This is something God does because He is a father.
We see this play out specifically when a man or a woman turns from their sin and accepts Christ as the leader of his or her life. At that point God gives us “the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15). This radical adoption breaks off every form of fear and abandonment and it is God’s answer to the harsh reality that not everyone has a good dad to call their own.
This Spirit of adoption is not just a warm, fuzzy love feeling, it’s much more practical than that. I know of one brother who really had very little fathering growing up. When he became a believer, he found himself totally unable to do simple things that a father usually teaches a son. His testimony is he held on to the promise that the Lord would be a father to him and God literally fathered him into adulthood. God would actually speak to him things a father would teach his son. But even if you’ve grown up knowing how to function in life, a father gives more than just instructions. His fathering presence frees us from the fear and insecurity that plagues mankind and stops us from every really achieving anything significant. Do not minimize the impact of being fathered by the One who created the role Himself.
When we come to know Christ, we gain access to God as our father. But like we started this series off saying, many people come to know Christ but never transition out of the orphan mindset. There are several major reasons for this, but one main reason is we were designed to relate to beings with skin. God hasn’t left us alone in that arena. He’s even prepared for that. We’ll look at that next time…