CHILDREN OR SONS? Part One

Children or Sons?

PART ONE

“Beloved, now are we the sons (Greek children) of God,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him;
for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself, even as he is pure”
1JOHN 3:2 – 3

This powerful, liberating truth of God speaks to all those who by FAITH have been born anew into the family of God; “…we are God’s children NOW”! This is not determined by the feelings or circumstances of life; this is the certainty of God. We are now children of His whereby we cry “Abba, Father”. To most of Christendom this is as far and as deep as things go. The beginning has become the end and we have manufactured a doctrinal thesis to keep this as the status quo. We see here in First John that there is to be a living hope that beats within our hearts of us growing into the full undimmed expression of HIM in our lives…that when HE appears we SHALL BE LIKE HIM! This is manifested by the maturation of a growing purity within the hearts of those who know of this living hope.

Doctrinal hopes have no power to convey this quest for life. It is simply a teaching that we believe which lays no claim to our personal lives. It is a religious concept that robs the WORD of its power and authority (Mark 7:13). There is little or no cost associated with such a “belief” and the adherents of such go through life with very little change. Children of God, loved of HIM, yet bereft of experiencing the glory and privilege of growing and developing into the sons of God. In the New Testament the Greek words used to differentiate between these two (for children and sons) are distinct*. As a child develops added responsibilities are given and with these responsibilities the added privileges of life. We do not give a three year old the car keys. God measures out to His own the pounds and the talents according to their “ability” and we see the withholding of truth to those who are unexercised in the development of true spiritual discernment.

“For every one that useth milk
is unskilful in the word of righteousness:
for he is a babe.
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil”
HEBREWS 5:13 – 14

And again:

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual,
but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:
for hitherto ye were not able to bear it,
neither yet now are ye able”
1CORINTHIANS 3:1

Strong meat belongs to those who have grown from a child toward that full-aged development by the exercising of their senses to discern “good and evil”. Discernment is developed by growing into a pure heart so that we can see clearly and objectively (1Corinthians 2:15). “Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him” (Malachi 3:18). It is only by us becoming pure in heart that we shall see God and have the ability to discern between good and evil.

“And everyone that has THIS hope in him purifies himself as he is pure”

The revelation of our hope is revealed in a growing purity. That hope is the bridge between what we are now and what we will be when HE appears. All we need to do is to look at the parables of Jesus. They all speak of faith as a living, growing dynamic that is filled with HIS very life. The parable of the sower clearly states that the fruitfulness of a life is completely dependent upon the soil of the heart into which the precious seed falls. The seed that fell on the stony ground is the SAME seed that fell into the soil that brought forth the hundred fold harvest. The only difference is the soil; not the seed.

*NOTE
Huios (son) at times refers to a legal heir and thus, by implication, an adult. It seems to underscore the character or maturity of the individual. Teknon (child or children) is a more general designation for offspring and contemplates the individual as one who is parented, one who has been born to another. For example, Jesus is never designated as teknon or teknon Theou (gen. of Theos (G2316), God), Son of God, but always ho huios, the Son, the Son of God or the Son of Man

Also:

“The difference between believers as “children of God” and as “sons of God” is brought out in Rom. 8:14-21. The Spirit bears witness with their spirit that they are “children of God,” and, as such, they are His heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. This stresses the fact of their spiritual birth (vv. 16, 17). On the other hand, “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God,” i.e., “these and no other.” Their conduct gives evidence of the dignity of their relationship and their likeness to His character.” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testaments Words, by W.E. Vine)

Brian Troxel

TITUS 2:14 PART ONE

TITUS 2:14 PART ONE

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.”

Titus 2:14

PART I

“A New Nature”

The Good News is this, that “God so loved the world that HE gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever…” God initiated; God was moved toward His creation by the simplicity of a Love that loves because it IS Love. We look for reasons why, we try to understand the sense of it all. We look for value within our own heart and find none. Love is its only reason. Love is the beginning, the journey and the end of man’s relation to GOD. In all of this HIS design is to replicate His nature within us. For nature determines relationship. Without the new birth from the old Adam into the NEW, there can be no relationship with God. Jesus said “you must be born again”. Nature is the result of BIRTH not teaching. We think by knowledge we have access to God, but without the new nature HE knows us not. The reason we are the offspring of God is because in Christ we have been born anew.

Nature is the Foundation of Relationship

Adam beheld all of creation. He named them and understood with great wisdom their creation and design.

“Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field
and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam
to see what he would call them.
And whatever Adam called each living creature,
that was its name”

GENESIS 2:19

What great delight must have been God’s to see what man would call the creatures HE had created! For it is always the joy of the Father to see his children function and live as distinct and active beings! We read in verse 2:18 that it was God’s desire to bring forth a help “meet” (fit or suited) for Adam. So God “brought” every beast of the field and fowl of the air, both male and female, to pass in front of Adam and in so doing HE caused Adam to see and understand the wonder and wisdom of companionship in the midst of creation. In so doing there was a cry that awoke within Adam for his own counterpart; something that was of his own likeness, something that was of his nature with a corresponding ability to answer to the cry of his own heart for relationship. The result of this desire is summed up in verse 2:20 “… but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him”. In the verses that follow we see the glory of God bringing forth one out of Adam that answered the cry of his own heart; one that was “bone of his bone and flesh of his own flesh”. One called “Woman, because she was taken out of man”. God well knew that man would not find that deep companionship with the rest of creation, good as it was. For Adam was of a different nature; and that companion must be of the same nature for there to be a true and deep relationship.

So it is of great importance that we begin to see that our relationship with HIM is only true and real according to the measure that HIS nature is formed within us. Do we not read in the Psalm 42 that “deep calls unto deep”? (Psalm 42:7) Should not this be norm for the true people of God; the depths within us calling out to the depth of our heavenly Father? How can a doctrine, teaching or activity replace this cry for trueness of being? For it is written as we have borne the likeness of the earthly, even so we shall bear the image of that which is heavenly and eternal? Even as Eve came out of Adam so must the Bride of Christ arise out of HIM that we may know of this likeness and companionship. Brought out of HIM by the sovereign Grace of God that we might be presented UNTO HIM that we might ever be WITH HIM throughout eternity that in the ages to come God may show forth the manifold wisdom of God in Christ Jesus! So Peter exhorts us…

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises
that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption that is in the world
through lust.”

IIPeter 1:4

If in our fallen condition, God took upon Himself the initiative to give HIMSELF for us, our partaking of that nature would freely cause us to give of ourselves to HIM and to ONE ANOTHER that we may see the reality of the Body of Christ in the earth. For it is in loving one another that we reveal our love for HIM (I John 4:20). Nature is the result of birth not teaching. Conduct is the doing of that which is in the nature of a man; by this we know that we are the children of God;

“…and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”
I John 4:7

“Conduct is what we do,
Character is what we are”

E. M. Bounds

Brian Troxel