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Sermon of the Week 
Friday, March 17 2023


When I put this message together, I didn’t realize that March 4th was national Sons Day. So the Holy Spirit must be ready to say something to someone, if we’re listening.....

Nancy Gibbs, says that when her mother celebrated eachbirthday, the grand kids always asked her age. Year after year, her reply was the same: "I’m 29." And Her 8 yr old daughter, Becky, accepted this answer until Nancy’s 30th birthday. After Nancy opened her presents, her daughter sadly informed her, "Mamma, you're 30, and Grandma is 29. I hate to tell you this, but I think you must've been adopted."

Jesus by His grace and mercy, adopted us, and through that transformative act, we went from orphans to sons and daughters of God and He moved us into His own house.

Galations 4:3 “We were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those in slavery to the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship (“Huios”, a full heir with full privileges). 6 Because you are become His sons (Huios), God sent the Spirit of Sonship (Huios) into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child, and since you are His child, God has also made you His heir”.

There are two ways to relate to God. You can relate to him as an heir, or you can relate to him as an orphan. An orphantries to become acceptable to his master by presenting him valuable service, or by what he does, but the heir knows that he has access to his father’s house by virtue of sonship or whose he is.

Growing up as an adopted child, with a sister and brother who were biological, they would try to push my buttons when they would yell “your adopted, you’re not really our brother”... my response was “At least they wanted me, and chose me, they must feel terrible cause they HAD to keep you”... they took whatever came out!!!

(I should feel bad now about it, but not really) If it hadn’t happened, I couldn’t tell you about it!!

In biblical times, the firstborn was given certain unique rights, responsibilities, and privileges. A married couple’s firstborn male child was given priority and preeminence and that involved a double portion of the household estate and the leadership of the family if his father became incapacitated or was absent for some reason.

God has no second born children, only first born. He has no grandkids, no nieces and nephews.... no step children, only firstborns.                                      John 1:12 “But to all who receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the power “exousia” (Delegated authority and jurisdiction) to become “ginomai” (ordained to be made) the children of God”.

Winnie and I had gone by Ray’s carpet store and we were talking to Matthew. I said, Matt, you look like your daddy, you act like him, you talk like him, and it’s easy to see that you are his son. Do people watch us, and know that we are God’s sons and daughters, or is it the best kept secret in town. They know that we’re His children by our what? (fill in the blanks here) We could start with “Christlikeness”

In the Bible story of the prodigal son, which I will call “the prodigal brother”, we are given a glimpse of the older brother who stayed at home, and was obedient, and the firstborn, but didn’t understand sonship....we can see this by what he says...

Luke 15:29 “These many years I have worked like a slave for you, and I never disobeyed your commands. Yet you never gave me even a goat so that I could celebrate with my friends!”

He was a son, but he was thinking, acting and speaking like an orphan .....(the orphan thinking began to bring resentment and jealousy into him.. He was on the inside, but thinking like an outsider.... Look at the words of the father.....

Luke 15:31 “And he said to him, ‘Son (teknon), you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.”

The Greek word “Son” can also be interpreted “teknon,” which is an affectionate term of love a parent calls a child. Even though the older brother was initially referred to in this story as the firstborn son, he never saw himself that way, which led to his self-righteousness, bitterness, resentment and anger. He was performance-oriented instead of being conscious of his father’s love toward him. He lost sight of his position and his sonship.... He had it all, and HE WAS ANGRY OVER NOT GETTING A SERVANT’S PORTION!(a goat)                     You can grow older without growing up! (tell someone, grow up)

When you look at the coaching career of Bobby Knight, the winningest coach in division 1 basketball, you see that he has coached some pretty impressive players. He has coached Isaiah Thomas and Michael Jordan (who played on the Olympic team as well) as well as other very notable players and an examination of the greatest players ever to wear an Indiana uniform shows that 70 percent of the top 10 was coached by Knight. So, which one do you suppose was his favorite player to coach?

There was a picture of Bobby Knight in the newspaper at the height of his coaching career at the end of a regular season crying and hugging a player. He was not known for showing a tender side. His reputation is based more about his bad temper. But here he was hugging Pat Knight who was finishing four years of playing for his father. The caption to that picture stated that Coach Knight said his son Pat was his favorite player of all time.

Why was Pat Knight his favorite? Pat never received the great honors of many of the others. In the four years he played he was never a starter. So why was he the coach’s favorite? The reason is obvious. It had nothing to do with scoring ability or ball handling. He was the coach’s favorite only because he is the coach’s son. This tells us a lot about the power of Sonship.

As a believer, you are God’s favorite.. All the Father’s sons and daughters are His favorite. (Tell someone, I hope you know, you’re His favorite) You are highly favored, that’s right, you are deeply loved, and honored by your Father. You might see others who are more talented, more capable, who have risen to the top of the heap.... and you may compare yourself to them, but stop it!! That’s orphan thinking....Be the best you can be, God has the capacity in His great plan, for all of us to be His favorites.... that’s right.

Thank God, He has given us the spirit of sonship! Becoming a Son is immediate through new birth, but there is also a process of revealing and bringing forth all the potential of our sonship.                              1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons 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”.                                                                                                 

We have all heard the saying “Coming of Age”.... that statement explains why, we put covers over the outlets when we have small children, why we have child seats to strap them in, we put special covers over the door knobs so children can’t open them, we keep chemicals out of their reach, we have high chairs to hold them in place and locks on everything.... we don’t let them cross the street by themselves, and all the other things we do.... but there comes a time, when they come of age, and we hope we have taught them well, and trained them to handle the life of liberty and independence when restrictions are lifted off and they make their own choices and decisions.

We teach them responsibility, and accountability, and how to live life well. Hopefully if we get it right, they will learn to think for themselves, they will succeed on their own and not live on our couch and eat our food and drive our car the rest of their lives.....

The same is true in the kingdom of God... Paul says in...  

Galatians 4:1–2. “As long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set (the set conditions approved) by his father”                               We may wonder why this or that is happening to us, or why we have so many problems. But God has set the conditions which will come to us and go through us, so we can develop as we need to in order to become His heirs. 

In Christ, the Holy Spirit is working through many channels that we might come of age. The Father already knows what our potential, and our purpose is, so He is certainly able to bring us through it and to it.

It’s called Godly character.... you can be very gifted, but lack the character to succeed in your gifting and skill set.

Character is defined as the qualities, values, and integrity, acquired through experience and training that determine how a person handles challenges, other people and situations of life.                                                                                                So how does this apply to sonship?....

1. The Spirit of Sonship makes the Mind of Christ available to us.

1 Corinthians 2:16 “For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”— (a fool does not regard sound teaching) You can’t tell them anything. They know they need to change, they just don’t want to make the effort....It’s not that they can’t, it’s that they don’t have the desire to do it.

2. The Spirit of Sonship Believes and Expects the full Manifestation of God’s Promises. They know and understand that they share in the full family provision.

Isaiah 55:11 “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”—

3. The Spirit of Sonship Lives According to the Spirit, not the flesh

Romans 8:13-14 “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”—                                                                The flesh and the carnal mind are at constant conflict with sonship. So living according to the spirit is denying and giving no authority to those thoughts and feelings which are contrary to your Divine purpose and potential.... 

4. The Spirit of Sonship Has Confidence in it’s Identity and Purpose

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”—

It was right around the end of the war, about spring of 1865, that a boy named George was born. Though he was a slave, his life would help shape the course of US history. His father was killed in an accident shortly after George’s birth. While he was just a baby, he and his mother Mary were kidnapped and taken to Arkansas. His slave owner traded a horse for him to get him back. Though George was found and returned, his mom wasn’t. The orphaned slave-child returned home to what was then called Diamond Grove, to the farm of his owners, Moses and Susan.

Though they were slave owners, they had supported the Union all throughout the war. But they took it to another level, andGeorge was given the family name, and the Carvers raised him as their own son, George Washington Carver.

If he had remained an orphan, we would never remember his name today as a great agriculturalist and inventor? He would never have risen to the position of professor and teacher? Carver’s a good example of what can happen when an orphan is given sonship, a family name and a future as an heir.

5. The Spirit of Sonship Welcomes Godly Discipline and accountabilitywhich is the foundation of good character.

Hebrews 12:7-8 “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are orphan children and not sons.”—

6. The Spirit of Sonship abides and is positioned in Full Acceptance.

Ephesians 1:4-6 “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”—

(We are accepted!) (say “I am accepted)

7. The Spirit of Sonship is highly favored and Has Access to Every Spiritual Blessing, in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”—

When we get to eternity, this short life will seem like the blink of an eye. But our faithfulness here as we handle what is given to us, will determine the positions and all that we will be entrusted with in eternity, after the judgment seat, when our rewards and positions are assigned . We are told that no matter how much we receive in this life, it is nothing compared to what we will be given there. 

Jesus gave the story of a faithful, trustworthy man, ....

Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful one. You were faithful over a few things. I will put you in charge over many things. Enter into the joy of your master’.                                                                                                                                                              In our humanity, we are now so limited, its hard to imagine God ever giving all things He says He will give to us…                                                                                      Revelation 5:10 And He has made us to our God, kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (it’s already been decided, we just need to receive it and act like it)                                                                                      if your limited mind were looking up into the sky, gazing at the          un-countable numbers of stars, you would only be seeing a fraction of what is out there, based on what we currently know about the universe with our gigantic telescopes and equipment. There are so many stars out there that if you were to start counting them at 1 per second it would take you 1 trillion lifetimes to count… but the mind of God can take it all in!                                                                                 Psalms 147:4 “He tells the number of the stars; he calls them all by their names”.......Not only can God count all the stars but he can call them all out by name. (billions of them)                                                                                                                              Romans 8:17 And if we are His children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ— if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us.…                                                                                                               He not only has intimate knowledge of the vastness of the universe but that knowledge applies to the number of hairs on your head.      

And get this next verse.... 1 Corinthians 13:2 For now we see only an unclear reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

We are reading about your inheritance as a mature, spirit born, blood bought, child of the heavenly Father..

Ephesians 3:19 “That you might know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, so that you might be filled with all the fullness of God”.

In our natural state, we can’t get a grip on that, but that’s what’s ahead and soon coming for those who have received sonship!

Friends, no matter what challenge we face, no matter what hardship befalls us, no matter the test we may have to deal with, it is for our good, that we may learn the lesson, overcome the trial, grow and mature as heirs of God, and step into the next level of rulership. 

The founder of the Asbury College, where the revival broke out in Kentucky, just weeks ago, was sent out by Charles Wesley to evangelize the American colonies along with many other circuit riding preachers in 1771. Most of these died by the age of 20 from the hardships and sickness. Francis Asbury became the leader of the 2nd Great Awakening. It’s estimated that he traveled 270,000 miles on horseback preaching the gospel. Asbury wrote: “We must reach every section of America, especially the untaimed frontiers. We must not be afraid of men, devils, wild animals, or disease. Our motto must always be FORWARD!" He never married, perhaps because he knew his sacrificial lifestyle would be difficult for a wife. He was so loved by his Christian brethren that more than 20,000 people followed his coffin when he was buried in Virginia after his death at age 70.

What a life, what a heritage.... FORWARD.... IT WILL BE WORTH IT!

Oh, my, to be part of all the sons and daughters of the most high God, who will fill their places and make up the family that rules the universe, what’s that worth?. Can someone say “Forward”!!!

You are a child of God, who bears the name of Christ, live worthy of your family name. Do you realize how special you are? I hope you do.

When God created fish, He spoke to the sea. When He created trees and all the plants, He spoke to the earth. But when He created man, He turned to Himself and said “Let us make man in our image and in our likeness. It reminds me of what Jesus said when He told Lazarus to come forth from the grip of death, and he walked out of the tomb, still wrapped in grave clothes. He turns to the disciples and said, “Loose him and let him go”.... or Let him become what I’ve called him to be....

Is it worth going out of your way to introduce someone to the Lord and let them become what God called them to be. Is it worth, bringing someone to church with you. Is it worth buying someone a meal, that may not have one if you don’t. Is it worth, visiting someone at the hospital and bringing comfort and encouragement. Is it worth volunteering your time in the church, and see children and young people find their purpose in the kingdom?....                   

The church is called to be a home to spiritual orphans who are looking for sonship. We have been entrusted with the process of unveiling and revealing and unwrapping orphans and discipling them as sons and daughters of God....

“For God has sent the Spirit of Sonship into our hearts, the Spirit that calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s children, and since you are His children, He has also made you His heir”. 

The revival which is spreading everywhere, is the spirit of sonship, calling out to orphans that are searching for the Father’s heart...

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