We who are born again are the most privileged people on earth!
God, by His love and through His infinite Grace and Mercy has given us something that every human can experience and enjoy, but many have yet to accept God's offer, while many more flatly reject it!
But those of us who have accepted it and received it, we are given the right to become the sons and daughters of the One True God!
Think of it! God, the Creator and Maintainer of the universe of nearly countless galaxies, stars and star systems, solar systems and planets ... this God wants us to be HIS children!
What is even more incredible, it that He wants us TO KNOW HIM AS OUR FATHER!
Up close and personal! WOW! Beginning in the great here and now, not waiting until we are in the great by and by!
"At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God." John 14:26-27
Jesus tells His disciples this just prior to the conclusion of His ministry as the Son of Man. John's opening remarks to his Gospel account include this statement which is verified by what Jesus just said ...
“But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
Imagine! Having a power greater than the power over unclean spirits! Or having a power greater than the power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy! As Christians we have a power far greater in importance than any other spiritual power or authority!
Well, God doesn't intend that we imagine! God does want us to realize that, in fact, we have been just so empowered! More than this, we need to realize that our "power" doesn't begin with the above but with what is not only a far more important power to ever have, but also what is, in fact, the foundation upon what all other spiritual power and authority that is ours is based upon!
What is this greatest power? When we are born again, we are empowered to become God’s true children! What does this mean? We must understand that by virtue of the born again process, or if you will, the adoption process (Romans 8:15; 9:9; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5), we are in fact made God’s children and it is that very fact that empowers us to become – or to change our reality to that of being – God’s sons and daughters!
In other words our legal status has indeed changed, but God wants us to have a living experience of being His sons and daughters beyond a status change! Yet, that word “become” means that a process of change must take place and that process is learning how to experience a transformation of realities! However, this transformation does not occur by osmosis! Neither does it take place by some mystical metamorphosis.
This transformation takes place by our learning how to be His sons and daughters! But how can we learn to be the sons and daughters of God?
First we must desire to learn. If we have the desire then we will be receptive to the instructive leadership of the Holy Spirit who Father sends to be our Teacher and Guide into all Truth. Second, we must rely on the Source to learn from! Just as a child learns by watching and following the examples of the parents, so must we learn from God’s instruction which we can only get from His Message to us, the Bible.
But how can we “watch” and learn from the Bible? God sets forth such an awesome system for us to draw from, a system that establishes sure ways to successfully undergo that process of “becoming”!
The Apostle Paul instructed the readers of his epistles to "imitate" him as he "imitated" Christ! And what an example Christ is! He only spoke what He heard the Father say to speak; He only did what He saw the Father do.
So we can safely conclude that Apostle Paul successfully imitated Christ in these things and because of his success God led Paul to instruct us to likewise imitate him! Now Paul was not telling us to be phonies or copies of copies ... but to learn from his life how Christ is to be DUPLICATED in us!
This "duplication process" is that, a PROCESS! Rather, it is THE process of “becoming” the sons and daughters of God! Furthermore, we can do so with confidence in knowing that it is God’s will for us to do so!
As I shared in Sunday's message, there are 3 steps in this process ... First, we must actually and really GET IT ... get the genuine experience of redemption in Christ followed by the getting the Truth of God integrated into our lives! Second, to LIVE IT in order to Third, GIVE IT!
Many of us begin to "Get It" and in our excitement with the new life in Christ, or in the thrill of finding new Truth for our lives in God's Word; we try to jump right into "Giving It". The missing piece and the reason I believe why, not only our ministry efforts are less than we desire, but also why our own spirituality is often lacking is that we do not spend time in the "Live It" part!
We must all come to the place where we are finally and fully committed to the objective that our lives do not just include Christ, not merely centered around Christ or that we base our lives on Him ... but that our lives BECOME CHRIST! That Christ becomes our life from beginning to end!
That is what Paul did which is why he instructed the saints to imitate him as he imitated Christ!
You see, that is the way, the only way, that we will BECOME the sons and daughters of God as God Himself desires for us to become! DUPLICATES of Christ ... to allow Christ to become our L-I-F-E! So much more than a Sunday exercise of religious rituals! So much more than rote religious routines but actually being so conformed to the image of our beloved First Born Brother among many brethren that we now, as He did in the flesh, walk through every day and situation and circumstance with the full assurance and in the strength (power) of not only what we are, but who we are … God’s child!
So how do we begin “becoming” a son or daughter of God Who is our Father? As with all changes that we choose to undergo, the first step is to make a decision! What decision do we need to make? The answer to this, as to all questions of eternal importance, is given by our Heavenly Father …
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Col. 3:1-3
Dr. Timothy Hoflund
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