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1 John 3:1 - Sons of God

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Son’s of God


ADOPTION the giving to any one the name and place and privileges of a son who is not a son by birth.

(a) Thus Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses (Exodus 2:5-10 cf. Acts 7:17-21 cf. Heb.11:24)

(b) Mordecai Esther (Esther 2:7).

What is a Christian?

The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer is that a Christian is one who has God as Father.

1.      The idea that all are children of God is not found in the Bible anywhere.

a)         OT. Show’s God as the Father, not of all, but of His own people, the seed of Abraham (Ex.4:22-23).

b)        The New Testament shows God as the Father, not of all but of those who:

(1)        Knowing themselves to be sinners, put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their divine sin bearer and Master, and so become Abraham’s spiritual seed (Gal.3:26-29).

2.      The gift of sonship to God becomes ours not thought being born, but through being born again.

a)         John 1:12 cf. 3:3

b)        It is a gift of grace

In Roman law, it was a recognized practice for an adult who wanted an heir , and someone to carry on the family name, to adopt a male as his son.

The apostles proclaim that God has loved those whom He redeemed on the cross that He has adopted them all as His heirs, to see and share the glory into which his only begotten Son has already come.

(1)        Gal.4:4-5

(2)        Eph.1:3-5

(3)        1Jn.3:1-2

3.      The OT. stressed God’s holiness.

a)         Isaiah 6:3

b)        His greatness (“the Majesty in heaven” – Heb.1:3; 8:1) & His purity (“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong” – Hab.1:13).

c)         OT. stressed that we must keep our place, and our distance, in the presence of a holy God.

A New Relationship

New Testament Believers Deal with God as Their Father.

1.      Believes approach God with confidence & boldness from the knowledge of Christ’s saving work.

a)         Eph.2:18, 3:12; Jn.14:6; Rom.5:1-2

b)        Heb.4:14-16; 10:19-22

c)         We may approach God without fear, always being sure of His Fatherly concern and care.

2.      God intends the lives of believers to be a reflection & reproduction of Jesus’ own fellowship with God.

The Gospel of John & John’s First Epistle

a)         The first blessing is adoption (John 1:12)

b)        Jesus’ resurrection statement (John 20:17)

c)         Sonship as the supreme gift of God’s love (1Jn.3:1)

d)        Of our love to the Father (1Jn.2:15; 5:1-3)

e)         Of our loving the brethren (1Jn.2:9-11; 3:10-17; 4:7, 21)

f)          Righteousness & avoidance of sin is the evidence of sonship (1Jn.2:29; 3:9-10; 5:18)

g)        Seeing Jesus & being like Him, as the hope of sonship (1Jn.3:3)

God’s Fatherly Relationship to Jesus implied Four things.

1.      Fatherhood implied authority

a)         Obedience to the Fathers will (John 6:38; 17:4; 5:19; 4:34)

b)        As Jesus obeyed God so must His children (1Jn.5:1, 3)

2.      Fatherhood implied affection

a)         God loves His Son (John 5:20; 15:9-10)

b)        As God loved His only begotten Son, so He also loves His adopted son’s (Jn.16:27)

3.      Fatherhood implied fellowship

a)         God has not left Him alone (John 16:32; 8:29)

b)        As God had fellowship with Jesus, so He does with us (1Jn.1:3)

4.      Fatherhood implied honor

a)         God will’s to exalt His Son (John 17:1; 5:22-23)

b)        As God exalted Jesus so he exalts Jesus’ followers, as brothers in the one family (Jn.12:26; 17:24)

The Westminister Confession

All those that are justified, God voushsafeth, in and for His only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption: by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God; have His name put on them, receive the Spirit of adoption; have access to the throne of grace with boldness; are enabled to cry, Abba Father; are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by Him, as by a father; yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises, as heirs of everlasting salvation.


The Highest Privilege.

1.      Justification is:

a)          A forensic idea

b)        Conceived in terms of law

c)         Viewing God as judge

The free gift of acquittal and peace, won for us at the cost of Calvary, is wonderful enough—but justification does not of itself imply any intimate or deep relationship with God the judge.

2.      Adoption is:

a)         A family idea

b)        Conceived in terms of love

c)         Viewing God as father

To be right with God as judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is a greater (John 15:15).

3.      From condemnation to acceptance, out of bondage to the family of God (Galatians 4:1-7)

a)         From legalism & superstition (vv.3, 5, 8)

b)        With their present knowledge of their Creator as their Father (v.6) and their pledge benefactor (v.7)

c)         Paul says this is where you faith in Christ has brought you (v.5 adoption) &(v.7 heir).

The Basis for Our Life

1.      The entire Christian life has to be understood in terms of it.

Jesus always thought of Himself as Son of God in a unique sense, so He always thought of His followers as children of His heavenly Father, members of the same divine family.

a)         Mark 3:35

b)        Matthew 28:9-10 disciples, brothers

c)         John 20:17-18

d)        Hebrews 2:12-13

As our Maker is our Father, so our Savior is our brother, when we come into the family of God

Since the knowledge of Christ unique Sonship controlled His living, so should the knowledge of our adoptive sonship control ours lives too.

The Sermon on the Mount

Christian Conduct

1.      Imitating the Father

a)         Matt.5;44-45, 48

b)        Eph.5:1

(1)        Eph.4:32;  Le.11:45 cf. 1Pet.1:15, 16

(2)        Lu.6:35,36; 1Jn. 4:11

2.      Glorifying the Father

a)         Matt.5:16

b)        Matt.6:9 – we must seek to behave in public in a way that brings praise to our Father in heaven

3.      Pleasing the Father

a)         Matt.6:1-18

b)        Matt.6:4, 6, 18 an extra love token such as parents like to surprise their children when they have tried especially hard to try and please them.

Christian Prayer

1.      As Jesus always prayed to His God as Father, so must His followers do (Matt.6:9)

a)         Jesus could say to His Father, “You always here me” (Jn.11:42).

b)        He want’s His disciples to know that, as God’s adopted children, the same is true of them.

2.      Prayer must not be thought of in impersonal or mechanical terms (Matt.6:7-8)

3.      Prayer may be free and bold (Matt.7:7-11)

a)         We do not always get what we asked for, for God knows what is best & like any good parent God  reserves the right to say “No”, not that, it wouldn’t be good for you.

(1)        2Cor.12:7-9-The Lord graciously left Paul’s thorn in the flesh & strengthened Paul to live with it.

The Life of Faith

1.      Trusting God for one’s material needs as one seeks His kingdom (Matt.6:25-33)

What Our Adoption Shows Us

The Greatness of God’s Love

1.      The Cross (Rom.5:8; 1Jn.4:8-10)

a)         Ancient times, infants were not adopted, but normally young adults who had shown themselves fit and able to carry on a family name in a worthy way.

b)        We are not fit for a place in God’s family.

c)         The idea of His loving & exalting sinners as He loves & exalted the Lord sounds ludicrous, but that is what our adoption means!

2.      The Gift of Sonship (1Jn3:1)

a)         Adoption by the very nature, is an art of free kindness to the person adopted.

(1)        God adopts us because He chooses to not because He has to.

The Glory of the Christians Hope

1.      Promised inheritance.

a)         Rom.8:16-17

b)        Gal.4:7

2.      A share in the glory of Christ.

a)         Rom.8:17

b)        1Jn.3:2

3.      This likeness will extend to our physical being as well as our mind and character.

a)         Rom.8:23 this is our physical side “our bodies”

b)        Rom.8:19-21”all creation is looking & longing for as well”

c)         Everything Christ has will one day be shared with us (Heb.2:10-11)

4.      The experience of heaven will be a family gathering.

a)         Jn.17:24 “I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory”

b)        Matt.5:8 “the pure in heart will see God”

c)         1Jn.3:2 “we shall see Him as He is”

d)        Rev.22:4“They will see His face”

e)         1Cor.13:12 “Then we shall see face to face”

f)          1Thess.4:17 “and so we will be with the Lord forever”

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

1.      The “Spirit of adoption”

a)         He makes the Christian realize the relationship we have with God in Christ.

b)        To lead us into a deeper response to God in this relationship

(1)        The Holy Spirit [prompt’s us to cry] Abba Father

2.      He makes & keeps us conscience that we are God’s children by free grace through Jesus Christ.

3.      He moves us to look to God as a father

a)         Christian’s must respect Him & show Him unlimited trust as natural children do to their fathers.

4.      He impels us to act up to our position as royal children.

a)         By manifesting the family likeness (conforms us to Christ)

b)        Furthering the family welfare (loving the brethren)

c)         Maintaining the family honor (seeking God’s glory)

d)        This is His work of sanctification (2Cor.3:18)

The “Gospel Holiness”

1.      The child of God is to be true to his Father & Savior, the matter of being a good child of God wanting to please you Father.

2.      Being adopted by God’s grace motivates us to “holy living”

a)         Eph.1:4-5

b)        1Jn.3:2-3

3.      God disciplines [trains us].

a)         Heb.12:6-7, 11

b)        Rom.8:28

The Problem of Christian Assurance

1.      The family relationship must be an abiding one.

2.      God will go out of His way to make His children feel His love for them & know their privilege and security as members of his family.

a)         Rom.8:29-30 He called…justified…glorified –- Rom.8:38-39 nothing can separate us

b)        Rom.8:16-17 the Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children”

3.      Being prone to self-deception we would do well to test our assurance.

a)         1Jn.2:3, 29

b)        1Jn.3:6-10, 14, 18-21

c)         1Jn.4:7-8, 15-16

d)        1Jn.5:1-4, 18

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