I opened the top section of the refrigerator, and there it was—my favorite ice cream, chocolate-almond chip. I had worked hard all day in the summer’s heat on the farm, and that ice cream would be just the perfect treat at the end of a long day.
Did I hesitate? Did I pause to consider whether I could have it? No. As a son in the Chavoustie family, I had every right to help myself to anything in the refrigerator. I grabbed the ice cream and began to heap big scoops into a bowl. It was refreshing and delicious. I could freely avail myself of all that was available in that refrigerator, because I knew my position as a son in the Chavoustie family.
That’s how confident we can be of our position in God’s family. We have rights as children of God, and we can claim them with confidence. The second step in the process of renewing the mind is “Recognize our position in Christ as sons of God.”
To understand how to practically apply this step, we will go to the Word of God and look at our sonship and our God-given rights and privileges that we can claim. We will also look at how we recognize our position in Christ as sons of God. Then we’ll consider some practical ways to help us do that. God wants us to recognize our position in Christ as sons of God so that we can freely avail ourselves of all that we are entitled to as His children today.
First let’s define some of our terms in this second step to renewing the mind. To “recognize” can be defined as to realize or perceive clearly. What is it that we recognize or realize? Our position in Christ as sons of God! Because of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us, we have the position, the standing, as sons of God.
Let’s see some of what the Word says regarding our sonship.
I John 3:1 and 2:
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God….
What a section of scripture! Our heavenly Father has bestowed His love upon us. And verse 2 tells us the when of our sonship—now! We are not expecting to receive our sonship at some time in the future—because we are born again, we are sons of God at this very moment. Right now, even as we read this, we are the sons of God. Let’s look at the Church Epistles regarding our sonship and see that we are not only God’s sons, but sons with rights and privileges to claim.
Galatians 4:6 and 7:
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
In Galatians we see that we are no more servants, but sons of God and heirs of God through Christ. We are not servants who have limited or even no privileges or rights in the family. We are sons. And we are not adopted sons, as was the case of those in the Old Testament. Because of the new birth, we are sons by seed with God in Christ in us. This is a powerful truth to acknowledge and take notice of, both doctrinally and practically—we recognize our position in Christ as sons of God.
The truth that we are sons of God is certainly inspiring, but our wonderful heavenly Father did not stop at just making us sons. As His sons, He gave us rights and privileges to claim and utilize. Just as I had privileges within my earthly family, such as access to the ice cream in the freezer, we have access to benefits that are ours because of our spiritual heritage as children of God.
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ….
We are children of God; we are heirs of God; we are joint heirs with Christ! Children, heirs, and joint heirs—what a one-two-three crescendo of truth regarding our position in Christ! What are some of those privileges we have as His children, as His sons? Let’s see what the Word says.
I Corinthians 1:30:
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
We have been made righteous; we have been sanctified, redeemed, and we were justified. What’s more, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation.
II Corinthians 5:18:
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
Every born-again believer has these five sonship rights just listed. Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille, the Founding President of The Way International, told us even more about our legal rights and privileges as sons of God in The New, Dynamic Church:
You have a legal right to eternal life because of what Jesus did. You have a legal right to victory over all sin and the consequences of sin….You have a legal right today to a home in heaven. You have a legal right to use the authority of the name of Jesus Christ in prayer in order to get results. You have a legal right to the Father’s protection, care, and guidance….You have a legal right to receive the indwelling presence of the holy spirit. You have a legal right to be changed at the second coming, if you are alive at that time. You have a legal right to an immortal body. You have a legal right to an inheritance in the new heaven and the new earth. This is only a portion of the legal rights because of what Jesus Christ did….
Heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ, five sonship rights, eternal life, the indwelling presence of the holy spirit—what a list! What wonderful rights and privileges we have to claim because of our position in Christ as sons of God!…
This is an excerpt from the September/October 2015 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2015 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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