Sunday 12 October 2014
The Jews were the only people who were meant to be members of God’s family because of God’s promise to Abraham. However through Jesus, we the Gentiles become members of God’s family by adoption. As soon as we receive Christ as our Lord and personal savior, we are born again—born into God’s family (John 1:11-13).
Although we are not the original beneficiaries of salvation (not being Abraham’s descendants by blood) , we rank exactly the same with blood descendants of Abraham if they repent. We have the same rights, responsibilities, privileges and promises. This is what Romans 8:15-17 states and that is why we are referred to as heirs.
Babes & Children of God
As it is in human families, every addition is by childbirth; so we all joined as babies and the only means of growth is by feeding. When mothers go for post natal checks they basically weigh the baby and compare its weight at birth with its weight on the day of the visit, to see whether the baby is thriving, growing or dying. This is why Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 2:2-3 was basically calling on everyone that joins the family of God to immediately seek spiritual food desperately, so that the person can grow into a healthy child of God. The later part of that text (verse 3) underscores his surprise or even disappointment that spiritual newborns are not seeking milk desperately (their only source of sustenance) unlike physical newborns. That’s why he ended the statement with “indeed”.
Peter’s concern was deep because as long as the spiritual newborns were reluctant to seek milk desperately, they would hardly grow out of that extremely delicate and vulnerable position of babyhood fraught with a high mortality rate for the infants, and a serious growth challenge for the family, any specific church and the entire body of Christ as a whole.
Apostle Paul also showed concern on the preponderance of spiritual babes and children in the church of Jesus Christ. I would like to think of babes as those believers who still indulge in obvious sins: fornication, fighting, lying; stealing etc., while children are those who seem to have overgrown obvious sins but are living in the sins of the heart. In the eyes of God, there is no difference because Jesus said in Matthew 5:28 that whoever looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Therefore God views sinning outwardly and sinning at the heart as the same.
So babes &children are not too different in that they exhibit the about the same characteristics as enumerated in their behaviour pattern as not “spiritual but carnal people” in 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 as follows:
Envy (wishing that the good that happen to others could happen only to them)
Strife (quarrelsome, easily provoked, eager to identify a human enemy, etc)
Divisions (ready to form factions, eager to disapprove of others)
People Loyalists (too dependent on others for spiritual things, prayer, visions)
Selfishness (Always thinking about themselves, give-me mentality)
Behaving like mere men (no difference b/w them and unbelievers)
This state of spiritual childishness is usually long-lasting, once a spiritual new born does not desperately look for milk and grow out of it quickly, it lingers and some people actually do not grow out of it for their entire lives: See Paul’s reference to time horizon in verses 2&3. This is so because you may fall into obvious sins or the unseen sins of the heart so often that you start thinking that everyone else is like you and that there is no one living any better. Our enemy, the devil will even encourage you to stop being too hard on yourself after all every other person is struggling like you.
Sons of God
According to Galatians 3:26-29, there is status of sonship in our walk with the LORD irrespective of gender, earthly nationality and social standing. We attain sonship when we grow above both outward sins and sins of the heart and devote ourselves to the pursuit of the LORD. At this level our hunger and thirst for Him is continuous and insatiable.
Sonship is a stage of maturity in God’s house when we begin to take responsibility for the choices we make in our walk with God and stop blaming the devil for the things we do. At this stage of growth, we forget about ourselves, become selfless and begin to look out for God’s need (soul winning) and the needs of other brethren beyond those who are close to us (beyond blood relations, associates, friends, activity group members, kinsmen etc) and start seeking the specific will/purpose of God for our lives.
To operate at the level of sons of God means pride will leave completely for humility which is not an easy thing. Matthew 5:9 confirms it by saying that “peacemakers shall be called sons of God” You cannot imagine how much humility is required to make peace reign in all your relationships with men. This is when “your righteousness exceeds those of the Scribes and Pharisees”. Matthew 5:20-48 lays out a higher level of righteousness which are the characteristics of Sons of God. Many Christians have been deceived into thinking that Jesus was philosophizing when He taught us about this level of righteousness that graduates us into sonship. Jesus was just speaking directly as in all cases even when using parables. The Bible is the simplest book on earth; it is direct and does not mince words. To operate at this level of righteousness, you need to be full of the Holy Ghost. That is why the scripture says in Romans 8:14 that “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. At the level of a son of God, you are:
- Led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14)—Led by God so you don’t make mistakes in your life
- Not walking by the flesh (Galatians 5:16-18) No sins, perfect, permanently pleasing God
- Walking by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) Not missing out on any of God’s promises
- Overcoming the devil at all times (Matthew 4:1-11) frustration for the devil (some break)
This delusion of thinking that this level of righteousness (sonship) is impossible is a grand plan of the devil to keep God’s people at the level of babes and children for their entire lives for a purpose. Galatians 4:1-2 reveals that difference between being a child of God and a son of God is like the difference between night and day.
- Most promises stated in your Father’s will (the Bible) are inoperative until you grow up and become a son Galatians 4:1&2.
- All you have as a child is authority, there is no power, unfortunately, just as it in physical world very few people obey only authority while everybody bows to power, and the demons that are obedient to authority are very few, so you need power to enforce your authority. Power/Anointing is not available to children otherwise they will certainly abuse it and destroy themselves and others with it.
- God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Ephesians 3:20.
Power is released to you according to the level of maturity you have attained in God’s family not the number of years that has passed since you joined or how desperately you desire it. Throughout the New Testament, Luke 9:51-56, Acts 13:6-12 the power of is never used to protect personal pride but to advance His purpose, hence the complete humility, love and selflessness of the vessels attained through maturity into sonship is a necessary condition.
Outstanding blessing from the LORD (not crumbs from His table) cannot come to you unless you mature into a son. (Proverbs 10:22)
HOW TO JOIN GOD’S FAMILY & GROW TO SONSHIP
1. Give your life to Christ and receive a measure of God’s spirit instantly. That measure of the spirit (the indwelling) keeps you aware of God John 1:12
2. Receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost (the outpouring) of the spirit of God. Speak in tongues at every opportunity especially in private prayers for continuous self-edification (Acts 10:44 and 1 Corinthians 14:4). Remain conscious of the Holy Spirit and ask Him for leading regularly (John 16:13).
God himself will begin to reveal Himself and mysteries and secrets about life and His ways to you, precept upon precept. Walk in the revelation you receive and more will come.