Summary: The world is waiting for God’s children to discover who they really are and in so doing begin to fulfill their God-given purpose of standing out so significantly that the world will want to be who we are!
The phrase that captured my attention: “…the glorious freedom of the children of God..”
Creation longs to be released from corruption in the way that God’s children have been in Christ.
Do we truly understand what it means to be the children of God?
Why is this considered such a ‘glorious freedom’?
Some people are never really happy with who they are – or rather – who they perceive themselves to be.
They don’t fit the mould - There are moulds that this world has established by which it judges the quality of people.
Romans 12:2 (J.B.Phillips) ‘Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its mould’
The church has its ‘moulds’ too. It has models and patterns by which leaders, churches and believers are judged.
God deals in uniqueness - In creation he made flowers, vegetation, animals, continents, climates, environments that all reflected his immense diversity.
Even in making man he established diversity. Initially in creating Male and Female. And we all know how different they are from one another.
I am ME! – and if I fail to be ME because I am attempting to be like someone else I am neglecting God’s desire for uniqueness within his creation.
God does not believe in clones – if he did he would have made one!
We must move deeper than the veneer of life in our world to discover the truth of who we are and there begins to experience and express our unique purpose in life.
OUR ORIGINS – where we came from! - John 1:10-13
• God’s Children
John 1:12(The Message) ‘But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their TRUE SELVES, their child of God selves.’
This means we are legitimately God’s children. We are legally his offspring because of the work of the cross. This means we are HIS descent, a result of HIS decision an act of HIS will.
“God doesn’t have any Grand-children” - that is offspring that are the result of another’s actions.
• No Accidents
Psalm 139:13 “You created my inmost being: you knit me together in my mother’s womb”
Albert Einstein: “God doesn’t play dice”
God was neither surprised by your conception or your birth.
Rick Warren: “While there are illegitimate parents, there are no illegitimate children”
God’s purpose even took into account human error and sin.
OUR IDENTITY – who we truly are! - Romans 8:15-17
• Sons – God doesn’t have any slaves, only Sons!
Slaves are ruled by fear – by duty and responsibility
Sons are governed by love – by devotion and affection
1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has LAVISHED on us, that we should be called the children of God!”
The Father of the prodigal refused to accept him back as a slave – only as a Son! (however well rehearsed his speech was)
• Heirs – God shares responsibility with his family
Galatians 4:6,7 “ you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.”
Being an heir is not only about the rights to possess – but the responsibility to carry out the Fathers purposes.
Too many Christians are consumed with their supposed rights that they have neglected their responsibility – Mission and Ministry.
• Co-heirs – God positions us alongside Jesus in his eternal plans
Ephesians 2:6 (The Message) Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
I could happily live with being well behind Jesus in heaven’s pecking order, yet God has made us joint-heirs with Jesus – WOW!
OUR DESTINY – who we will be! - 1 John 3:2
“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”
Does this mean that we will be something MORE than we already are?
I’m not sure. I think it means that we will finally FULLY understand who we REALLY are!
Remember the story of the UGLY DUCKLING (Hans Christian Andersen)
A mother duck is bemused when one of her eggs, larger than the others, takes longer to hatch. When it does a small bird is born that is noticeably different from the other ducklings. He is mocked and attacked for his grey tardiness and ugly appearance, eventually fleeing in search of respite and identity. Following a severe winter the bird decides to seek out the royal birds he had seen before and dreamt of being like. He finds the swans, expecting they too will reject him.