What makes you a son of your father? To put it crudely, your father impregnated your mother and you are the result. That is what makes you the son of your father. You are the same bloodline. It is a biological matter. You might be adopted and loved dearly, but you are not a blood son. A good friend once said that a certain gentleman was like a father to him, but that did not make him a blood son. You are a blood son of your biological father. That is what makes you his son. Normally a married couple decide or chose to have a children and once they do, those children, sons and daughters are their blood children.
1) What makes you a son or daughter of God?
Mt 5:45 “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
It all started in eternity past when God chose a people for Himself for all eternity. God chose to “Father” a family that would be known as His People or His Kingdom. Then, be it in the Old Testament period (from creation), to the New Testament period … to the Church Age … right up to when Jesus returns … those whom God chose before the creation are born human, to human parents. From the “Before Christ period” to His presence on earth to after his return to heaven … and until He comes again, God the Holy Spirit, through grace, empowers the elect to hear the message of Messiah and believe in Him. In the Old Testament believers looked forward to Messiah … in the Gospels, believers looked to Messiah who was present and since then believers look backward to Messiah who came. In which ever epoch it was, believers look to Messiah and become children of God. The process is not just forgiveness and salvation! It all started with God choosing … God the Father electing that some be predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.
Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Rom 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.
The person is born, like all, spiritually dead and under wrath … but through God’s grace and mercy, He permits the Gospel to be heard and whether the person is a young child, teenager or adult … when that person believes the Gospel Message and understand his or her need to escape God’s wrath, God the Spirit enables saving faith. Once this happens, the person confesses their need to God for pardon and salvation. God pardons and saves and enables the gift of repentance. That moment the person is “Born Again” … becomes spiritually regenerate, is redeemed and adopted as a son or daughter into God’s forever family through the Blood sacrifice of Jesus, sanctified as in positionally set apart for God and sanctified as in being made one of God’s holy people, even though still a sinner. What is so glorious about this doctrine is that you were a son or daughter of God the moment He chose you in eternity past. Before you were born you existed in God’s eternity although the process of being born, hearing the Gospel and believing still needed to take place. This is what makes the eternal security of the saints so precious. What God choses to do He does. In eternity past you were His child. In the history of this world you were born and came to faith because of His choice and become His child. In eternity future, forever you are His child. This is another proof that what God says … He will do! This is why a positive response to John 3:16—
Jn 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life
—is so very important!
2) Works of any sort do not make you a son or daughter of God.
Mt 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
Loving and praying for your enemies and for those who persecute you do not make you a son or daughter of God. Don’t read the text that way. Being an obedient blood son or daughter of your father does not make you a blood son or daughter. It proves you are his blood son or daughter. The same is true of verses 44-45. Being loving towards and actively praying for those who are against you and hurt you proves you are God’s son or daughter. Although the sinful nature cries for retaliation, revenge and hurt, the Gospel nature says obey God through displaying the character of the Lord Jesus. Remember …
(1) Jesus requires righteousness that reflects a heart that has been changed by the Gospel.
(2) Jesus requires a higher righteousness compared to the Pharisees whose righteousness was “works” orientated.
(3) Jesus requires we His people create platforms for evangelism by “turning the other cheek” and “going the extra mile”. You prove to God and you prove to yourself as well as those around you and those in the world that you are God’s son or daughter by doing what he requires of you. You also turn the tables on the enemy and persecutor when you respond to their hatred and onslaught in a Gospel manner. You take the power away from them! May we become provocative again?
(a) As you reflect on what makes you a son or daughter of God, would you say you are His son or daughter? Has there been a decisive moment in your life where you were convicted of sin and its consequences and fled to the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and salvation for your soul? You see friend, it is easy to want to believe this has happened, but has it? Are you able to say that apart from feeling you are a Christian and apart from wanting to be a Christian … are you truly a Christian? Can you say categorically that you know for certain you are redeemed by Jesus’ Blood?
(b) Do you prove you are Christian? This is where “Lifestyle Christianity” is called for. You cannot say or believe you are Christian if you don’t live the life Jesus requires. The Jews had a legalistic approach to the Law. It was a “Works Religion”. They thought that through “doing” they were! Christians have a Gospel approach … we don’t “do” to get saved … we do to prove salvation out of thanksgiving and love for Him who died to save us.
Our Father, understanding what makes us your son or daughter causes appreciation, obedience and love. Please help us to be Gospel people as we seek to be Your witnesses. Amen.