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Foundation for Christian Living

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El Zulu

on 6 April 2014

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Transcript of Foundation for Christian Living

CFC Foundations for Christian Living
talk 1: Sons and Daughters of GOD

Our Identity
A Son's Authority
A Son's Inheritance
1. When we are baptized, we become sons and daughters of God.

a) But many miss the significance of this fact and the effects of such a relationship.

b) Many are insecure, worry about needs, have concern for status.
2. Our identity is critical to our well being.

a) Without a proper sense of identity, we are lost and disoriented; we will lack conviction regarding the direction of our lives; we will lack a sense of purpose and confidence.

1. Distinguish between "identity" and "sense of identity".

Identity = an objective fact; a given.
Sense of identity depends on our perception of who we are.

Ideally, sense of identity should be based on actual identity.

2. The problem of Christians is not who they are, but who they consider themselves to be.

Not having the right sense of who we are gives rise to various situations that should not be.
God wants us to have an accurate and well developed sense of identity, to conform to what our identity truly is.

3. So what is our identity?

a) We are children of God!

b) Through baptism we have been changed radically.

c) If we realized this fully, it would make a tremendous impact on our lives.
1 Jn 3:1a
See what kind of love the Father has given to us,that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Jn 1:12
12 But to all who did receive him,
who believed in his name, he gave the
right to become children of God,

This is the most tremendous
fact of our lives.
4. The father son relationship in Jesus' time.

a) A son's identity came from his father.

b) The relationship between the father and son was strong because the relationship was so important in first century Israel.

* Simon bar Jonah. Jesus son of Joseph. The second name is not a family name but the father's name.

* When people know the father, they also know his son.

* Lk 4:22. People marvelled and could not believe that Jesus was Joseph's son, because he was only a carpenter.

5. Thus, being a son of God is a relationship of tremendous depth and substance.

a) We are closely identified with God.
God will train, govern, care for, and pass on His life to us.

b) In fact, such was the case with Adam. In the Genesis story of creation, God gave him a wife, provided food, tasked him to take care of God's creation.
Adam was truly created in God's image and likeness.
he spent most of his time with his father and was trained by him.
the father taught him God's law and also his trade.
he became the direct personal representative of his father.
he inherited his father's social position.
At 6 or 7 years old, the responsibility for a boy's upbringing shifted from the mother to the father.
* No longer the case today.

children are not closely identified with their fathers.
they spend less time together.
they often don't have the same livelihood.

6. Thus our most identifying characteristic as Christians is NOT where you live or what you have, but that you are a son or daughter of God.

a) Jesus had various facets of his identity: Jew, carpenter, rabbi, miracle worker, son of Mary and Joseph.
b) The same thing is true for us.
c) There are three implications and benefits of our sonship: authority, inheritance and access.

1. In Jesus' time, a son bore his father's authority.

a) Parable of the tenants.

b) If the father's authority was limited, so was the son's (even if he was a better person). Conversely, if the father's authority was substantial, so was the son's (even if he was not worthy or less capable).
Mt 21:33 38
33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants[a] to the tenants to get his fruit. 35 And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’

2. Consider the example of Jesus.

a) When his authority was questioned, he pointed not to himself but to his Father.

b) Jesus was a man who exercised authority.

Jn 5:23b
23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

* He taught with authority, gave orders to nature, ordered demons to leave. People were amazed.

* To those who questioned his forgiving the paralytic's sins, he said: "That you may know that the Son of Man has authority ..." (Mk 2:10).

3. For us, as sons, we have the Father's authority as well.

a) Also, Jesus specifically gave authority to his disci¬ples.

b) We can exercise this authority over problems, obstacles, challenges.

Lk 10:17 20
17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Mt 28:18 20
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
* We need not succumb to them.

* We can have authority over our own wrongdoing, over unruly emotions (our servants, not masters), over the work of evil spirits.
4. Since we are our Father's personal representative, we are to wield His authority for His interests and not merely for our own.

Authority helps make our lives easier to live as Christians, but more importantly we can adequately represent and serve our Father.

1. Our inheritance is staggering, because it is everything that the Father has.

a) Son = heir

b) In New Testament times, a father passed on all he had to his son: his fortune, status in the community, trade, responsibilities, etc.

Gal 4:7
7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

2. Our inheritance is not restricted to the future.
Eph 1:13 14.

a) We have just received a down payment, the Holy Spirit. But we have a pledge of good things to come.

b) What we also have received is a foretaste.
We can experience the blessings now.

3. Implications:

a) Col 3:23 24.

* We know of our inheritance, so we can act accordingly.

* We can have direction in life. We are assured that it will all be worth it.

b) Freedom from anxiety.
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
* If we have been promised the kingdom, God will take care of us right now.

* Many fears (economic, social, our children, health) bother us and make life less than what God wants for us. But if God loves us, we can transcend these and live only for Him.

* Mt 8:23 27. Story of Jesus in the boat with his disciples during a storm.

The boat is our earthly life. Though a storm might rage, God is in the boat with us.

A Son's Access
1. We have a privileged relationship with God, the King of the universe.
Eph 2:18
18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

The son of the king can just enter into his presence where others have to wait for the appointed time.

2. We can always come before God and He will always listen to us.

Mt 7:7-11
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

1. We are sons and daughters of God. God went to a lot of trouble to make us such. He sent Jesus, His own Son, to die for us.

a) So God is invested in making the most of His relation¬ship with us.

b) God wants us:

* To be secure, confident, free from anxiety, happy.
* to bear His authority.
* to receive our inheritance.
* to take advantage of our access to Him.
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