"Sons and Daughters"
Salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ births born again believers into family relationship with God, as opposed to being merely His creations and servants.
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12).
"Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, and if son, then an heir of God through Christ" (Galatians 4:7).
Certainly we serve God when born (again) into His family. However, we serve as spiritually enlivened beings united to the Spirit of Christ (II Corinthians 5:17). Moreover, we serve God as loving sons and daughters, as opposed to a mere slavish obligation devoid of the realization that God is our Father, and the Son of God resides in our hearts (Galatians 4:7). As I Corinthians 13 teaches us, our Lord cannot and will not be satisfied if we perceive our fellowship with Him in terms of "should… ought to… have to" rather than genuine and heartfelt devotion. God severely chided Israel because "Thou servedst not the Lord with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things" (Deuteronomy 28:47).
What if a son somberly presented himself before his father one morning. "My father, I am here to do everything you want me to do today as your servant. This is my obligation, and I am here to fulfill your every whim and wish." Certainly many dads would love for their sons to express such submission and willingness! However, no loving father desires his son to view himself as merely a servant. He may rightly desire his son to serve, but to serve as a son rather than an indentured possession who bears no sense of loving relationship. A good father would sit down with any son or daughter who gave indication that cold obligation rather than grateful oblation motivates the offer of service. "My child, I am glad you want to serve, but I want to be sure your service flows from our devotion to each other rather than mere duty. We are family. You are my son. I want to lead you accordingly, in love, and I want you to follow accordingly, in love."
The returning prodigal son had no expectation his father would receive him as anything other than a hired servant. He wasn't even sure about that. However, long before he arrived at his father's doorstep, the father raced to arrive at the threshold his son's heart with grace, mercy, and forgiveness. His son. "This my son was dead and is alive again! He was lost and is found!" (Luke 15:11-32). In even our worst moments, born again believers are sons and daughters of the living God. Indeed, the Lord Jesus Christ was "made to be sin for us" in order to spiritually birth us as "dear children" (II Corinthians 5:21). If we fail to realize the magnitude of such sacrifice by failing to realize our family relationship with God, we ignore and neglect "so great salvation" (Hebrews 2:3). "No more a servant, but a son." This is truth. This is reality. This is the Gospel. We serve, no doubt. But we serve as members of the family, "the whole family in Heaven and earth," seeking to love as we have been loved and are loved (Ephesians 3:15). Our Father will never be satisfied apart from our knowing how near we have been united with Him in Christ, nor will He be pleased with works that do not flow from the bond of love that originates in heartfelt devotion rather than cold obligation.
"Be ye followers of God as dear children and walk in love."
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God."
(I John 3:2)
Weekly Memory Verse
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, and if son, then an heir of God through Christ.