Elder Raymond Cottman

St. John 1:12

12 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:

Who is like our God to create so many uniquely designed things? Think about it. From beast in the fields, fowl of the air, to the creatures of the sea, to plants and flowers, and the earth and all its splendor. Consider the vastness of the universe, planets and solar systems. Everything has it’s own design. While some are similar, all are unique and they are all the work of His hands.

Man is a special creation. We are the only creation made in His image and likeness, yet each of us has our own DNA. Psalms 139:14, says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Hence, it only makes sense that he knows us inside and out. He understands how we are wired. Even our likes and dislikes are unique to us. And it doesn’t matter whether you are saved or not. You are God’s creation. Atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, Jehovah Witness, Muslim, Mormon, or otherwise, are all God’s creation. However, just because you are God’s creation, it doesn’t make you a Son of God. So then, what makes us a son? I’m pretty sure we could expand this list, but I’ll share three examples that could help us in determining the credentials of a son. These three examples are:

 

1. The Spirit of Christ

2. Obedience

3. Chastening

 

The Spirit of Christ

Galatians 4:5 says, “…, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

When you truly accept Jesus Christ into your heart, you open the door for a lifestyle change. Words that you speak, thoughts that  you have, bad habits, places that you frequent… all begin to change. Your desires and ambitions start shifting in a way that pleases God because he has your ear and has taken permanent residence in your heart. But it only happens when you receive the Spirit of Christ.

Obedience

St. Luke 6 46 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Jesus is standing on the mountainside teaching his disciples, and a collection of people who had gathered to him, when he speaks this verse in Luke chapter 6. He says, “Why call me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” James 1:22 encourages us to be doers of the word and not hearers only.

There are many people who attend church on a regular basis.  They praise the Lord, give an offering, and say amen to the preached Word. However some of those people are only there for church sake. They have no intention to obey the Word of God or live a lifestyle that is pleasing to Him. These people are hearers of the Word, and if asked, many of them would claim to be saved and have intimate relationship with God, and would probably be offended for you to think otherwise.

Jesus indicates the existence of these people when he speaks in St. Luke chapter 6. They call him Lord in name, but not in the position or role he has in their lives. He wants to be your Lord. He wants to be a Good Father. He desires to be the one who gives you counsel and protects you as a father, but we must be willing to be a son. We must be willing to hear his Word and do it because when we do, James 1:25 says we shall be blessed in our deed. God’s way prospers us.

Chastening

Heb. 12: 7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards.

A father is many things, but one thing he is for sure is a disciplinarian. His words may be harsh, and he may punish you, but he loves deep. A good father corrects because he loves his children and only wants the best for them. It is not his goal to terrorize or be a dictator. He doesn’t exist to bring headache, heartache or fear. His counsel and instruction is to prove you and help you grow.

However our role as a son in this relationship is to receive chastisement. The Bible says if you do not receive chastisement, you are considered a bastard or a fatherless/parentless child. But if you endure chastening, God deals with you as a son. This is our blessed hope, that we are Sons of God. 

If the Word of God never convicts you, then you need to check your relationship. If you’re always comparing the Word of God to everyone else’s situation, then you need to check yourself. If you’ve been saved for a good period of time and you’re still living the lifestyle you had before you came to Christ, you need to reconsider if Jesus Christ is really living in your heart because that’s what happens when you are a son.

The beauty of being a son is found in the name you carry. While daughters take a husband and change their name, the son continues the name and lineage of the father. And as Christians, we carry the name of Jesus. When He ascended to heaven, the bible says he led captivity captive and gave gifts to men. He released authority in the earth to those who believe. And to those who believe, we are the sons of God. The authority Jesus had is the same authority we now have because we are heir of God through Jesus Christ. While there are many men in the world all of whom are created by God, there are not many sons.