"Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
September 2011 Newsletter
SONS TO GLORY!
“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” Heb. 2:10.
To have dominion in the world to come
For what purpose is God bringing sons to glory? Verse 5 gives us the answer in the context of the passage: “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.” Rather, God created man to have dominion, and in the restoration that God is bringing to pass through Jesus Christ, God is restoring man [male and female] to again have dominion in the age [world] to come.
In verse 5, the Lord is speaking of a new world. This is the “new heavens and new earth” that Peter refers to in 2Peter 3:13, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” The new age is not given to angels but it is given to man. Peter says that we are to be “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (v.12) in which a great change will take place and the new age will appear.
The writer to the Hebrews quotes from Psalm 8:4-6.
“What is man that You are mindful of Him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him?
You have made him a little lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honour,
And set Him over the works of Your hands.
You have put all things in subjection under His feet.”
Man’s place in God’s creation
These verses speak about the exalted place that God has given to man in His creation, and in His creational purposes. God is speaking about man’s role in governing God’s creation. This role is not for angels but for men. For God’s creational purpose, He created man, “a little lower than the angels”, but He has “crowned man with glory and honour and set him over the works of Your hands.” The Psalmist said, “You put all things in subjection under his feet.”
This was God’s intention when He first created man. God said, “Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” Gen.1:26.
Man’s fall brought forth the sin nature
Man fell into sin; man turned away from the one who created him; man ate of a different tree – he no longer ate from the tree of life. Man received something from the devil that changed him and he was no longer ‘in the image and likeness of God’. Instead man took on the attributes of his new master, even his new father.
Jesus told the Jews who opposed Him and sought to kill Him, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own, for he is a liar and the father of it” Jn.8:44. When man disobeyed God and obeyed the devil, little did he realise how much change that would bring in his and her personalities.
Jesus came so we could become sons
Because of man’s fall, “we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus” (Heb.2:8c-9a). God’s promise is that He will restore all things (Acts 3:21), and He is doing this through Jesus the Christ. God came to earth in Jesus – “God manifested in the flesh” (1Tim.3:16). Jesus came to the earth to redeem the earth and all of its inhabitants back to God. To do this God is “bringing many sons to glory” (Heb.2:10). We are to become like “the Captain of our salvation” (v.10). Jesus was perfected through suffering. We can only come to the glory through suffering (Rom.8:17).
God manifested as a son in the earth. He was not only the son of God, but He became the Son of Man. Now through Him we are being sanctified, that is, made holy and set apart for God, being separated unto Him (Heb.2:11; Eph.5:26).
Jesus is not ashamed to call us brethren “I will declare Your name to My brethren: in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You” Heb.2:12. Jesus is the first among many brethren (Rom.8:29). Jesus redeemed us “who were under the law [the law of sin and death], that we might receive the adoption [placement] as sons” Gal.4:5.
Jesus came to reveal the Father
Jesus is also “the Everlasting Father” (Isa.9:6). He calls us His children: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me” (Heb.2:13). God’s purpose can only be fulfilled through Jesus; who through His coming in the flesh and through suffering, was perfected, and through His sacrifice “has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb.10:14).
Jesus is found in the midst of His church. The word assembly is the Greek word for church. Jesus is leading many sons to glory, that is, sons to God, and He is doing that in the midst of the church. The church is meant to be the children of God growing up, becoming servants and then coming to that placement in maturity which the Bible calls adoption.
Jesus is our Father; we are His children; we are His seed: the seed of Abraham. “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” Gal.3:29. The Scripture then tells us that while we are still children, even though we are heirs, we cannot inherit but must pass through a time of tutelage and training and then to receive fully “the Spirit of His Son” (Gal.4:1-6). We are destined to be sons, not to remain as servants only (v.7).
JESUS IS SEATED FAR ABOVE
When Jesus was raised from the dead, God “seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. He has put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things to the church” Eph. 1:20-22. The church is “His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph.1:23). God has also raised the church and “made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6). God intends for the church to grow up into this realm of government, far above all principality and power.
There is a purpose in God saving us. We are to “grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ” (Eph.4:15). This is so “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:7). God is preparing us for the world to come.
The first sons
Adam and Eve were created as sons to God; created in maturity, not as babies. They were meant to reflect and manifest the very image and likeness of God (Gen.1:26-27 & Gen.5:1-2). They were meant to exercise dominion over the creation that God had made (Gen.1:26&28). Adam is called the son of God (Lu.3:38), and he was created as a son. As sons Adam and Eve were to rule and reign in God’s creation, filling it with the blessing of the glory of God manifest in Godly offspring growing up to maturity in the image and likeness of their Father, their Creator (Gen.1:28).
The rest of us - and even Jesus in the days of His flesh - have to grow to maturity: from babyhood, through childhood to adolescence and then full maturity, to walk as sons in the earth doing our Father’s will and making known His glory.
Jesus grew to the age of maturity
At the age of twelve Jesus was taken to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. He spent more than three days with some of the teachers and when His mother found Him and complained to Him about His absence, He said, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business” (Lu.2:46-49). However at that time He was still only a lad and He went back with His parents, “and was subject to them” (v.51). Jesus had to grow to the age of maturity, even being trained and working as a carpenter (Mk.6:3), so that He could come to the age of inheritance. This was the age of thirty (Lu.3:23).
Jesus manifested as the Son
Jesus came for baptism at the age of thirty and at His baptism He manifested as the Son of God, by receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit. From that time Jesus was known as the Son of God. The voice from heaven declared Him to be so (Lu.3:22). From that time Jesus acted like God, His Father, in word and deed.
Believers receive the Spirit of sonship/adoption
Believers receive the spirit of sonship or spirit of adoption (Rom.8:15) from the time of the new birth and baptism into Christ (Gal.3:26-28). But like Jesus in the days of His flesh, the believer is to grow from being a child of God (Rom.8:16). As a child the believer is an heir; but the heir must grow up to be able to inherit.
Trained to serve
A necessary part of growing to maturity is to be trained and equipped to be a servant: to be able to serve in the Father’s house. But the goal is not to be a servant. The goal is to come to the age of maturity, receiving the full measure of the adoption which is spoken of as “the Spirit of His Son” (Gal.4:6). We know as children that God is our Father. But as we grow to maturity the Spirit of adoption works in our hearts bringing us into the fullness of relationship with God as a Father to a son. This relationship is much more intimate than that of a servant/master relationship.
Walking as sons
Many ministers and believers are caught in a servant mentality and do not know the joy and fulfilment of walking with God as a son to a father. This is a son who is mature. Sonship is outworked much more effectively in that the Father is now intimately involved in our lives, directing our footsteps and revealing Himself to us as the Everlasting Father.
As sons we begin to walk by revelation (Eph.1:17), led by the Spirit of God (Rom.8:14). As Jesus said, we only need to do what we see our Father doing (Jn.5:19).
There is a future!
There is a new world coming! “Things will not always continue as they were from the beginning of creation” 2Pet.3:4.
There is a “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2Pet.3:13). Therefore we need to consider “what manner of persons we ought to be in holy conduct and godliness” (2Pet.3:11).
“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” 2Pet.3:14.
It is the sons who are planted in the present world by Jesus to demonstrate and show forth His righteousness (Matt.13:37-38). In the fullness of the age they will “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt.13:43). Then the new age will have fully come!