One of the great debates in Christendom is the nature of our inheritance in Christ – did Jesus die to make us servants or did we become sons through Him? Someone asked me, “Does it even make a difference?” The answer is, emphatically, yes!
We were slaves under the law – before Jesus, we were slaves to sin and, by proxy, slaves to the law because the law served to reveal sin.
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Lessons of the Law
The law came about because the people did not want to hear from God directly (Exodus 19 & 20). It was not God’s intent to have Moses be a mediator, it was His will to speak with the people directly. The law was never intended to make anyone holy or righteous, God gave the law to expose sin.
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
Liberated From the Law
The only person to fully uphold the Law was Jesus and, in doing so, fulfilled it. This means He satisfied the requirements of the Law. Because the law was a curse upon mankind, Christ’s fulfillment of the law set us free from the curse of the Law
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse:for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident:for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Found to be Friends
Friendship is a form of intimacy. True friends share their thoughts, feelings, and – often – secrets. Jesus revealed the secrets of the Kingdom of God to his disciples and, by His written Word, to us. Some friends share a bond that is even greater than family, such as David and Jonathan.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth:but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Set Free by the Son
Some slaves have limited authority (for example, Joseph); However, Sons have the authority of the Father. Jesus said He only did what He sees the Father do (John 5:19-20). He gave his mission statement in Luke 4:18-19, to set captives free. Unfortunately liberty only has power when it is exercised.
It is also important to understand the revelation of liberty as it pertains to sonship because, without it, we are reduced to powerless religion instead of the empowered sainthood Jesus came to restore us to. Freedom is power – power to do the greater works Jesus commanded us to do!
And the servant abideth not in the house for ever:but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Graduating to Grace
The law was a tutor – grace is our inheritance. One of the great problems among people, in general, and in the Body of Christ is that many of us want to cling to “glory days.” You know, like the high school quarterback who lives in his glory of his past and refuses to embrace the future. Likewise, there are many who find security in the Law and its ordinances. I’ll never forget receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior as a teenager then being told to memorize the “Ten Commandments” in order to secure my salvation and ensure holy living.
The truth is, God wants us to grow in grace. This is why He set the “five-fold” or “five-faceted” ministry gifts in place (Ephesians 4:10-16) – to equip the saints and bring them into maturity. We mature when we understand and manifest the fullness of God’s love and grace.
Because of the advent and revelation of Jesus, we are partakers of His grace and, through Him, graduates of the school of the Law.
Galatians 4:1-7 (Amplified)
NOW WHAT I mean is that as long as the inheritor (heir) is a child and under age, he does not differ from a slave, although he is the master of all the estate; But he is under guardians and administrators or trustees until the date fixed by his father. So we [Jewish Christians] also, when we were minors, were kept like slaves under [the rules of the Hebrew ritual and subject to] the elementary teachings of a system of external observations and regulations. But when the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born subject to [the regulations of] the Law, To purchase the freedom of (to ransom, to redeem, to atone for) those who were subject to the Law, that we might be adopted and have sonship conferred upon us [and be recognized as God’s sons]. And because you [really] are [His] sons, God has sent the [Holy] Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba (Father)! Father! Therefore, you are no longer a slave (bond servant) but a son; and if a son, then [it follows that you are] an heir by the aid of God, through Christ.
Secure as Sons
One of the most wonderful products of God’s grace is security in our sonship. Now, I believe “once-saved-always-saved” is flawed doctrine because someone can receive Christ and later reject Him (Hebrews 6:4). In other words, you cannot lose your salvation but you can, indeed, give it away. Short of rejecting Jesus, you can always return to right relationship with the father through repentance – that is, changing your mind!
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
(This is what religion wants you to believe)
And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe (symbol of relationship), and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand (symbol of authority), and shoes on his feet (symbol of inheritance): And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
The father of the prodigal son neither decried his departure nor resisted his return; rather he anticipated his arrival. This is how our Heavenly Father looks at every lost soul. God stands at His gate daily awaiting the return of His children and, every time He sees one approaching, he runs to them!
Refuse to Return
The children of Israel began to believe life would be better if they simply returned to Egypt. Today, many Christians want to retreat from liberty in Christ and return to religion. Religion is thought to be easy because it provides a step-wise approach to redemption. However, even though relationship with the Father through Jesus may seem like work to the untrained eye, it is far simpler than any religion. After all, Jesus, Himself, said His yoke is easy and His burden is light!
Galatians 4:9 (Amplified)
Now, however, that you have come to be acquainted with and understand and know [the true] God, or rather to be understood and known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly and worthless elementary things [of all religions before Christ came], whose slaves you once more want to become?
There is no turning back! You don’t want to go anywhere God’s will isn’t
2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom).
Jesus came to elevate us from servants to sons; from servility to empowerment. It’s time for the Body of Christ to rise up and walk in the authority reserved for sons! And sons serve out of love – because they choose to – not out of obligation!
© 2013 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)