Sermons

Summary: What does it mean to be "sons of God"

Brandesburton 4th January 1999

Sons of God

I have been wondering over the last couple of weeks: Does Christmas really have any Christian relevance to us today.

Or is it all about giving presents and enjoying the Christmas turkey?

And if it does have a Christian relevance, what is the significance to me today of Jesus’s birth two thousand years ago.

Is it just a nice little story? I don’t think so!

As Martin Dunning, in his Christmas day message, said (and I paraphrase)

Once we can believe that the Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe became a man and was born in a stable in Bethlehem, then the concept of the Resurrection is not so difficult to get our heads around.

I want to extend this further and say:

Isn’t it astounding that God - who came to earth as a little child at Bethlehem over 2000 years ago - and who died and rose again - can be bothered with me, sitting here at the end of the 20th Century.

Hasn’t he got better things to do with his time?

For me the key to Christmas is understanding that the purpose Jesus came to earth was to enable us to have a relationship with God.

In other words, to become His sons and daughters.

And this brings me to my text this morning, which is taken from Rom 8:15

..but you received the Spirit of Sonship. And by Him we cry "Abba, Father...

I would like to look at three points this morning:

1. How can we become sons of God (v.15)

2. What rights do we have a son (v.15-17)

3. What obligations do we have (v. 11-14)

1. How do we become sons of God.

I think the words of St. John 1:11 & 12 are critical - words indeed that were read all over the country in many of the Christmas carol services held.

He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, children not born by natural descent nor of human decision nor a husband’s will but born of God.

Very simply, we receive Christ, when we ask Him into our lives.

In other words, we become sons of God by asking Jesus to come into our lives and fill us with His Spirit. In exchange, we agree to follow God’s direction in our lives.

And Christ gives us His Holy Spirit as a guarantee of eternal life.

2. Our rights as Sons of God

2.1 Eternal Life

As a son, we are heirs with Christ to eternal life.

In other words, if we have the Holy Spirit living in us we will spend eternity with God. We will live forever.

Jesus himself puts it so well in John 14:2-3

In my Father’s house there are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me - that you also may be where I am.

If you want to read what heaven will be like, just look at Rev. 21:1-4 and 22:1-5

2.2 Father-Son relationship

We also have the right to a very special relationship with God.

Let us look at Rom 8:15 again

..but you received the Spirit of Sonship. And by Him we cry "Abba, Father...

You may recall that when I last spoke here, we looked at a part of the Lord’s prayer - "Our Father".

The very words imply a special relationship that we can have with God.

Indeed, we should perhaps be saying: "Our Dad, who is in heaven" in the Lord’s prayer.

Donald Guthrie, a well know theologian in his book "New Testament Theology" talks about this special relationship as follows:

(The use of the term "Abba") by Jesus shows how completely his view of God is divorced from any formal approach. The "Abba" form conveys a sense of intimacy and familiarity which introduced an entirely new factor in man’s approach to God.

This relationship means that - like Jesus- we should want to do the will of God in our lives.

Put another way, God has a plan for each one of our lives - that is unique and different.

As the Apostle James so succinctly puts it: The Christian does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires but rather for the will of God. (Jas 4:2)

God will lead us in the best direction for us to go, if we will let Him.

Story: In the late 19th century, Blondin the famous tightrope walker had a wire placed over the Niagara Falls.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion