The Sons of God: Part 1
Mar 02, 2006
The Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:19, "For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing ["unveiling"] of the sons of God."
How does a person become a son of God? The primary example in the Old Testament is identified in Hosea 11:1, "When Israel was a youth, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son."
The great example in the New Testament is found in Jesus Christ, who was taken to Egypt for his protection from King Herod. The prophetic reason for this is given in Matt. 2:14 and 15,
"And he arose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed for Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod, that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, Out of Egypt did I call My Son."
When Jesus was baptized by John, the dove appeared over His head, and a voice from heaven said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
We should also mention that in Luke 3:28, where we are given the genealogy of Jesus back to Adam, it says, "the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God."
What does the Bible mean when it speaks of "the son of God" and "the sons of God"? Is Jesus the only Son of God? John 3:16 speaks of Jesus as being "the only-begotten Son of God." How, then, can the Apostle Paul tell us in Rom. 8:14, "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God"? How can the Apostle John tell us in John 1:12, "But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name"?
The simple answer to this seeming contradiction is that when these words were written--and even to the present day--Jesus was the only-begotten Son of God. We who believe in Him are in training to become the sons of God.
But someone will quote 1 John 3:2, which says, "Beloved, NOW we are the children of God..." Which is it? Are we children of God NOW or LATER? It all seems so confusing, until we read the rest of the verse: "...and it has not appeared as yet what we SHALL BE. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."
In other words, John says that in one sense we are NOW the children of God, even though there is a "hope" for something that "WE SHALL BE" in the future. In other words, though we are children or sons today, this does not mean that we have it all today. We are "heirs," not grown-up sons who have already received their inheritance. This is in full agreement with Paul in Rom. 8:16 and 17, saying,
"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him."
Like the nation of Israel, we have come out of the House of Bondage and are on a journey to the Promised Land. God has called His sons out of Egypt and is bringing them to their inheritance. The purpose of the second coming of Christ is to bring us into our Promised Land. This is not a matter of going to heaven, as if to say that heaven is our inheritance. It is a matter of the heavenly tabernacle coming down to earth and clothing us with His glory--the glorified body. That glorified body is what Adam lost at the beginning when he sinned. It is the lost inheritance that is to be restored.
How can a person become a son of God? The great example that we have been given is the manner of Jesus' birth. Matthew 1:18-21 says,
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus [Yashua, "salvation"], for it is He who will save His people from their sins."
Jesus had a heavenly Father and an earthly mother. This is the divine pattern for all the sons of God as well. In our flesh, we have two parents, both earthly, which makes us the children of our earthly parents. But to become a son of God, one has to have a heavenly Father.
How can this be? Nicodemus came to Jesus and asked about this as well. John 3:3-6 says,
"Jesus answered and said to him, 'Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is begotten from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?' Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born [or begotten] of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' That which is begotten of the flesh is flesh, and that which is begotten of the Spirit is spirit'."
To become a son of God, one must be conceived by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the seed of the Father. Our earthly bodies are the mother, and the soul is the womb that receives the seed of the Holy Spirit. In other words, to become a son of God, one must first be begotten from above. One's soul must receive the Holy Spirit.
When this occurs (by faith), a person--whether male or female in the flesh--becomes pregnant with Christ. This embryo begins to grow and mature until the time comes for it to be brought to full birth. Paul speaks of this pregnancy in Col. 1:27, "this secret among the nations, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." The "hope" of every embryo is to be brought to birth.
Concurrent with the second coming of Christ is the birthing of "Christ in you, the hope of glory." This is the son of God. It is the real you. In a way, it is like the next generation. It is what you are becoming. You are its earthly mother, its "Virgin Mary," so to speak. Christ in you is both heavenly and earthly, because this "son" has two parents. And like Jesus Himself, this "son" will have authority in both heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18).
In our coming studies, I will show more details of this and how I believe it will actually work out in practice.
This is the first part of a series titled "The Sons of God." To view all parts, click the link below.