BECOMING A SON OF GOD
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
To become a son of God is the highest aspiration of all. To be given the name “son” is an inheritance far greater than that possessed by any angel. To each one of us has been given the opportunity to become a son of God. But, as in the case of the Jewish believers to whom the Book of Hebrews was written, we are tempted, after we have been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, to turn our attention to lesser objectives.
BECOMING A SON OF GOD
So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? (Hebrews 1:4, 5)
The first chapter of the Book of Hebrews emphasizes the extraordinary importance of God giving Jesus the name “Son.” No angel has been given this inheritance.
It appears that the Jewish believers to whom the Book of Hebrews was addressed had been saved, filled with God’s Spirit, had been persecuted, had witnessed the power of the Apostles, and then had settled back to pursue an ordinary life. This is true of many believers of our day, although it is not true that we have had as much experience with God’s power as was the case with those members of the early Church.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews lifts the Lord Jesus to His supreme position as God’s Son, and then reminds us we have been called to share in such Divine Glory.
Let us think for a moment about the term “son of God,” or sons of God. It is clear that at one time it referred to angels. But since God refers to Jesus as His Firstborn Son, we know that the prior expressions denoted the fact that there were spiritual creatures called “sons” but who were not born of God in the same manner true of the Lord Jesus—or of us, the Lord’s brothers.
And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” (Hebrews 1:6)
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:12, 13)
Regarding those who formerly were called “sons of God,” but not in the same sense of the Lord Jesus or us:
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (Job 1:6—KJV)
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7—KJV)
It is our point of view that the Lord Jesus was declared to be the Son of God when He was born of Mary, His Name being proclaimed by an angel to His mother.
I do not believe our Lord was referred to as God’s Son prior to His birth on the earth. He was the Word, the Expression of God, and the Creator of all. But to be a son of God, a person must be born of woman and then born again by the resurrection from the dead.
To enter the Kingdom of God an individual must be born of water, that is, formed in the human womb in water. He or she also must be born of the Spirit of God, that is, formed in the Spirit. The climax of being born of water and of the Spirit is that we will be raised from the dead when the Lord appears.
How great is the 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. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (I John 3:1, 2)
Right here is the reason why Satan encourages homosexual behavior. The only way in which a new servant of God can be created is by being born first of woman, and then of the Spirit. Homosexual behavior prevents new servants of God from being born of water. The process of reproducing God is terminated. It is a horrible practice for this reason.
Adam is referred to as a son of God. And so he is, coming from the hand of God. But Adam had not been born of the Spirit. Christ had not been conceived in him. Therefore Adam is not a true son of God, because he was formed from dust and not begotten from God’s Person.
Adam cannot become a true son of God until He is born of the Spirit. After he is born of the Spirit, then his physical body, dead because of sin, must be redeemed by being adopted. Until this process has been completed he is not a son of God in the fullest sense, in the sense of actually being the heir of all the works of God’s hands, in the sense of being “man” as God has ordained man to be.
It is one matter to make a profession of Christ and receive the down payment of the Spirit of God. It is quite another matter to persevere in faith until we attain the inward resurrection necessary for the outward resurrection of the body. Our objective, as was true of the Apostle Paul, is to attain to the resurrection from the dead—the resurrection to the fullness of eternal life.
Our sinful flesh, Satan, the spirit of the world, and every other imaginable hindrance will work against our retaining our crown of rulership. This is why it is written that it is the individual who overcomes who will be termed God’s son and inherit all things.
He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (Revelation 21:7)
Have we thought enough about the above verse?
Inheriting the glory described in the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation, and being a son of God, depends on our overcoming all that comes against us during our discipleship.
Every day we are faced with situations that challenge our ability to abide peacefully in the rest of God. Then we are faced with a decision. We yield either to our sinful nature and react in some not Christlike manner, or else we pray and gain the victory, remaining peacefully in untroubled rest in the Father’s Presence and will.
What is true of us if we choose to yield to our sinful nature?
- We do not inherit all the glory described in the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation.
- God is not our God and we are not His son.
So we see that the present Christian teaching concerning our being finally and fully sons of God on the basis of an initial profession of faith may be incomplete.
Let us turn now to the Book of Hebrews to see what is involved in being a son of God. As we said, the writer emphasizes the Name of Jesus as God’s Son. This is the inheritance of Jesus. The writer does this in order to point out the heavenly calling that rests on the members of the royal priesthood, of whom the Lord Jesus is the supreme Head.
But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. (Hebrews 1:2)
The writer sets the stage for his exhortation to the Jewish believers to press into the rest of God, by showing the high position to which God has appointed the Lord Jesus. Jesus Christ is Heir of all things. We share with Him in this. God made the universe through Jesus Christ. We do not share with Him in this.
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:3)
The Lord Jesus is not the Father. The Lord Jesus is the “exact representation” of the Being of the Father. This means that whoever has seen Jesus has seen the Father, because Jesus is the exact representation of the Father.
So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. (Hebrews 1:4)
The Name Jesus has inherited is “Son.” We Christians may not realize what an honor it is to be termed a son of God.
For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? (Hebrews 1:5)
God has become our Father because we have been born of Him. Our body is adopted, it is true. But our inner spiritual nature has been born of God. If we choose to nourish the Divine Seed that has been conceived in us, the result one day will be a son in the very image of the Father.
All other religions consist of human beings seeking to please God. But the true Christian salvation consists of the crucifixion of our old nature and the birth of the Son of God in us. That which is in us is Divine. It is the Divine Nature. Therefore we can bear the fruit of righteousness and holiness to an extent that never can be true of any other religion, philosophy, or plan of salvation.
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. (I John 3:9)
The above does not signify that once we “accept Christ” we never can sin again. Rather, in the light of the entire epistle of First John, it means we ought to be careful to nourish that which has been conceived in us. If we do this, instead of yielding to our sinful flesh, we will not continue to sin.
But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8)
Prior to being born of woman, the Person we call Jesus was the Word. He was the Expression of God’s Being through whom God created all things, including the angels.
The Word then was among numerous angels of high majesty, splendor, and power. If I am not mistaken, and I very well could be, such angels, and other orders of which we know little or nothing, such as the order of Melchizidek, were companions of the Word, although obviously not as exalted as the Word who had created them. The Word was surrounded by creatures He had brought into being.
It reminds us of Adam being surrounded by the animals, although Adam, of course, did not create the animals. The animals no doubt were a comfort to Adam, but they could not serve as helpers suitable for him, as could Eve.
Then Satan, one of the two guardian cherubim, rebelled against the Father. The result of this rebellion was that the angels and other creatures had to make a choice between righteousness and wickedness.
The Word chose righteousness to such a degree that the Father elected to make Him God, Christ, Lord, Son, and the possessor of supreme joy.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. (Hebrews 1:9)
It is conceivable to me that “your companions” could refer to the brothers of Christ, the other sons of God who would be formed after Christ’s resurrection. But all things considered, I am of the opinion “your companions” refers to heavenly beings who existed prior to the creation of man.
I think the Word received the oil of joy to a greater degree than was true of the other denizens of Heaven.
If I am correct in this, then the Old Testament is addressing two individuals, primarily: the Word, who is the Creator of all; and Satan, the rebel against God, the author of the Antichrist spirit that is in the world.
I think the Ten Commandments are addressing Satan directly.
There are numerous other passages of the Scripture that address the Word directly, informing Him that God has placed Him on the highest of all thrones and has given to Him all authority and power. Also, that He must suffer and die as an atonement for mankind.
Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. (Psalms 45:6)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? (Psalms 22:1)
I imagine the Boy Jesus, as He grew and studied the Scripture, became aware of His destiny.
The Word had become flesh!
When God says “Today have I begotten you” I think God means the day the Word was born of Mary. Christ again was declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead.
For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? (Hebrews 1:5)
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
And who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 1:4)
The Word was termed the Son of God by His physical birth and by His resurrection.
The Word was termed Lord and Christ by the Holy Spirit speaking through the Apostle Peter.
Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36)
The resurrected Word now possesses all authority and power in the heavens and on the earth.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18)
It is God’s intention to bring forth a family for Himself. Of this family, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Firstborn, the elder Brother, the One on whom and from whom all else is fashioned. Christ has been proven in the fires of tribulation, and now has become the Captain of our salvation.
The writer of Hebrews is pointing first to the Glory of Christ, and then to the other heirs of the Divine inheritance. By doing so the writer does not bring Christ down to us, he brings us up to Christ.
What now is the role of the angels? The angels are sent to serve all those who will inherit the Divine salvation.
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14)
Notice how the writer has switched from the great Heir of salvation to “those who will inherit salvation.”
Next the writer is going to warn us to pay more attention to our salvation, because the destiny of man is not just to be saved but to rule, under Christ, all the works of God’s hands.
How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. (Hebrews 2:3)
Sometimes the above verse is preached to the unsaved, that they should “accept Christ.” In fact, the verse is addressed to seasoned Christians who are not pressing forward into the fullness God has promised to man.
Now the writer will talk about the destiny of man:
It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor And put everything under his feet.” In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. (Hebrews 3:5-8)
The first “Man” to appear on the earth is the Word made flesh. The reason the Lord Jesus has dominion over the creation is not because He is the Son of God but because He is the Son of Man. The rulership of the creation was given to man in the beginning and never shall be withdrawn.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9)
The above verse tells us that the first Man to enter the earth paved the way for His younger brothers to escape the power of death.
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. (Hebrews 8:10)
The writer of Hebrews spoke of the supremacy of the Son of God in order to bring our attention to the calling that rests on the sons of God. Before God could work His will with the sons of God He first had to make the Author of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Now follows a most important concept. It is that we Christians are not merely destined to be saved from Hell, our calling is to be the “brothers” of the exalted Son. For this reason we cannot be saved, filled with the Spirit, and then go about our business as usual. To do this is to die in the wilderness before we reach the land of promise. Our land of promise is transformation into the moral and physical image of Christ; untroubled rest in the Father’s will and Person; and life lived in the fullness of incorruptible resurrection power.
Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. (Hebrews 2:11)
The adamic man can never be the brother of Jesus Christ. To be a brother of Jesus Christ we must be fully human and fully Divine. We must be son of God and son of man.
When Christ is formed in us we remain human, but our humanity has transcended the sinful adamic nature. The Christian religion sometimes makes people less than human. In their religious zeal the believers act and speak in a manner that reveals a lack of integrity, character, and common sense.
God wants us to be fully human in the best sense of the word.
And because we have been born of God, we are destined to become fully Divine. By fully Divine I do not mean we become a rival of the Father, I mean we become an integral part of the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus is not half human and half Divine. He is fully Human and fully Divine
We are not to be half human and half Divine. We are to be fully human and fully Divine.
We are a lot smaller than the Lord Jesus and do not, except through Him, have any authority or power. We are not Lord and Christ. God did not create all things through us.
Yet what we are is genuine. It is not a mixture of the human and Divine. We are at once fully human and fully Divine.
A son of God is not an adamic personality who is imitating Jesus, or an adamic personality with the touch of Christ on him. Rather he is a new creation of God. All the old has passed away. All has been replaced with that which is of God. Nevertheless, the new creation is at once fully human and fully Divine. It is not a mixture of the old personality and Christ. It is not an anointed natural man, as was true of all the prophets who lived prior to the resurrection of Christ.
As I stated, we are not attempting to bring Christ down to our level. Rather we, in faithfulness to the statements in the New Testament, are seeking to encourage all believers to press forward to the stature of the fullness of Christ.
We truly are sons of God. Our inward nature has been born of God. In the Day of Resurrection our flesh and bone body will be raised from the dead and clothed with the body from Heaven that has been formed as we have sown our present body to the death of the cross.
But if we choose to live in the impulses of our sinful flesh, we will not be raised into glory but into corruption.
Christ is offering us His throne. There is no higher throne. It is the position of highest authority in the universe.
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)
It is no wonder the writer of the Book of Hebrews chastised his readers so severely. They were coming short of the glory that had been promised. They were growing careless as so many are today.
He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” (Hebrews 2:12)
The Lord Jesus has declared the Name of the Father to us, His brothers. Many times when we are singing praises to God, Christ Himself is singing along with us.
In the second Psalm, the Father invited His Son to pray for the nations and the uttermost parts of the earth. This is interesting, because the Father through the Word had created the nations and the farthest parts of the earth.
But the Word cannot inherit us merely by creating us. He has to gain our love and trust. In order to do this, He Himself had to be born of woman. Also, He had to redeem us from the authority and power of sin and death.
Therefore the Word of God became a human baby. How wise God is!
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14, 15)
For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:17, 18)
The Lord Jesus is our faithful high Priest. He continues to make intercession for us, His younger brothers, before the Throne of God in Heaven.
Since we share the heavenly calling with the Lord, we are to look to Him at all times in every area and situation of our life on earth.
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. (Hebrews 3:1)
“As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
The Spirit hovers over us at all times, guarding us jealously that He might present us to Christ as holy brothers. We are exhorted in the Book of Hebrews concerning the danger of neglecting our great salvation and dying in the wilderness of disobedience and unbelief.
The writer admonishes us to grow in the ability to reject evil and choose that which is good. He cautions us against lingering in the elementary principles of the Gospel. He reminds us that the plant that bears thorns and briers, instead of the fruit of the image of Christ, is near to cursing and burning.
The epistle addressed to the Jewish believers contains stern warnings to Christians everywhere. It states that if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth we will be considered an adversary of God and will be destroyed.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, But only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. (Hebrews 10:26,27)
The warning to the Jewish believers, and all other Christians, is not always being given in our day. Consequently Christian people are living careless lives, being persuaded that even though they are not living as disciples they are without condemnation in God’s sight. They will hear “Well done” even though they have not done well.
The truth is, anyone who believes and teaches that he is not required to obey God’s commandments in the New Testament because he is “saved by grace” is blind, ignorant, and foolish. He or she will come to a hard end.
We have been called to be God’s sons. This is the highest of all callings. Numerous pressures, deceptions, difficulties and temptations will be permitted to come against us. Why is this? It is because God’s sons, under Christ, are the rulers and judges of the world to come. God wants to be sure of our obedience, humility, and love, before He entrusts us with the rod of iron of the Spirit of God.
Multitudes of believers in our time are dawdling about, thinking that at any moment they, in their lukewarm state, are going to be caught up to Heaven to live in a mansion.
They are not certain whether they are going to govern from their mansion or return to earth with Christ on a white war stallion. All they think about is how rich and how free from trouble they are going to be.
Such is our Christian mythology.
The truth is, God is looking for saints who gain the victory over the enemies of God. He is going to employ them as rulers and judges of the works of His hands.
No Christian believer who is not pursuing the life of victory in Jesus has any hope of being resurrected and caught up when the Lord appears, or of inheriting the nations with Christ. The promises are to the overcomers, not to those who take the “four steps of salvation” and after that live as do the majority of Christian believers in America.
Many prophets and other leaders are sounding the alarm in America. The Lord is requiring that we repent of our worldliness, of the lusts and passions of our flesh and soul, and of our self-will and self-centeredness. We are to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus Christ at all times and in every situation.
If enough Christians take heed and obey the Spirit, we yet may save our nation. But if the Christians keep talking about “grace” and do not repent and begin to keep God’s commandments as found in the New Testament, preferring to trust in the unscriptural concepts of Dispensationalism, then America is doomed to become a third-rate nation of minor consequence in the world.
Let us not be among those who neglect our great inheritance as sons of God. Let us lay aside all else in order to gain Christ. If we do this, God will regard Himself as our God and us as His sons.
(“Becoming a Son of God”, 3541-1)