A Basic Concept, #20
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons [children] 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)
The sons of God. God is a Father. He has created multitudes of people, all of whom are, in a general sense, His children. These are the descendants of Adam.
Now God is fathering children in a more specific sense. He has provided that whoever is willing to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior will be born of the Seed of God, thus having the Divine Nature formed in him.
Each of the children so begotten is then challenged to overcome, through Christ, the love of the world, the love of sin, and, finally, his or her own self-will. Each believer who emerges victorious in this fierce struggle becomes a son of God in the final triumphant sense.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:7)
The material creation is waiting expectantly to see the unveiling of the sons of God; for when they are unveiled, the creation will be set free from the bondage of futility and corruption and will enter the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Each victorious son of God will be in the image of Christ, be in total, restful union with Him, and be led by God's Spirit.
When the sons of God have been created and are one in and with Christ, the great Son of God, they will be lords over the entire creation of God—angelic creatures included. They are the heirs of all that God is and possesses.
For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10)
The brothers of Christ.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be changed into the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
"The firstborn among many brethren"!
Here is the Lord Jesus, the Son of God from eternity, surrounded by His little brothers. They are little now but they will grow in Christ throughout the uncounted ages to come.
The Lord does not despise us. He considers us true brothers because we have been born from His Father.
For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. (Hebrews 2:11,12)
Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17)
It is the Lord's greatest joy to refer to us as His brothers. We can hear this expression of joy the moment He came from the cave of Joseph of Arimathea.
Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17)
"Go to my brethren"!
But if we are to be the brothers of the Lord Jesus we must be in His image and in union with Him. Otherwise we would cause harm to ourselves and to others were we to be placed in such an exalted position of honor.
To be continued.