Sonship is not a word we use very much in Church. To be honest, I had never heard anyone use this term until about 2 years ago, although I have read it in my Bible many times. The first time I noticed it was when I was reading Romans 8, specifically verse 15. In this verse, it refers to sonship as a spirit that Holy Spirit teaches us about. So apparently it is very important, because one of the jobs/roles of Holy Spirit is to teach us about Sonship.
What is it? Sonship, according to Romans 8:14-17, is a spirit that is revealed to us that helps us to understand that we are heirs to the throne of God, co-heirs with Christ, adopted children of God, and not orphans any longer. So what kind of spirit is this? Well, there are 2 different uses of “spirit” in the Bible: 1) a garment that you are clothed in/with (Isaiah 61:3)- such as a garment of praise, or a spirit of fear, a spirit of infirmity, or a spirit of rebellion. Without getting too deep into this (a blog isn’t the best place to teach), these spirits operate as a covering that encompasses us and motivates us either to sin and rebel, or to draw closer to God. 2) a mentality/perception that dictates the way I live (Ephesians 4:23)- some translations actually remove the word spirit and say attitude of your mind. I believe the spirit of Sonship is the 2nd kind of spirit. Holy Spirit brings a way of thinking into our lives that helps us to see things differently than we used to. He changes our perspective, our attitude, and our perceptions.
The concept of Sonship is beautiful. Before we are given this mentality, we are taught that God hates sin, can’t stand when we do, and that we need to stop sinning. We spend our entire lives trying to remove sin from our lives, and many people refuse to even talk to God “until I get rid of this issue.” We believe these lies, and live by them, but if we can grasp the truth of Sonship we will realize they are lies. God doesn’t hate sin. Now, I am not saying He likes sin either… Sin is not part of His Kingdom. But if God hates sin and can’t be around it, then why and how did He go to the Garden to see Adam and Eve? They sinned, and He came to them. He clothed them and talked with them. Scripture says love covers sin (Prov 10:12), and God is love so God covers our sin. That doesn’t sound like He hates… nor does He let sin remain, and Paul wrote in Romans 8 that the Holy Spirit gives us the spirit of Sonship to remove sin from our lives.
This is why Sonship is so important. Holy Spirit gives us the spirit of Sonship for a purpose: to help us put to death the misdeeds of the body and to remove our sinful nature. If we can grasp the reality of our Sonship, our lives will truly change. What is the difference in the behavior of a Son raised by good parents and an orphan that doesn’t know their parents? A Son has learned that his parents will provide everything he needs for this life. They are content, patient, and full of trust. An orphan does not have that luxury. Before you knew Jesus, you lived as an orphan- as did I. But we now know our Heavenly Father, we know He is love and that He pours it out constantly, we know He pours out grace as a gift/reward for our faith in Him. We know faith requires Love, Hope, and Trust. Faith that is missing any one of these three is not faith at all. And we know that God has provided and is providing everything we ever need.
Our responsibility, then, is to believe and receive this new way of thinking, this attitude that is a gift of God. Is it easy? No. It’s actually very foreign and can be extremely difficult to remove the lies and old habitual way of thinking. But that spirit of fear, the one God didn’t give you, the one that is the opposite of the spirit of Sonship, that spirit causes us to use fear as a motivator all the time. We must learn to use love as our motivation. Thankfully, Holy Spirit is with each of us right now, just wanting to reveal more and more to us. Today, in this moment, take the time to pray to Holy Spirit, and thank Him for the Spirit of Sonship He has given you. Invite Him to reveal more to you. And finally, love people, love yourself, and love God. He is your Father, and you are His heir, His son.
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