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Sonship

TWO EXAMPLES

1. The Prodigal and The Older Brother

Jesus tells a story in Luke 15:11-31 about a father with two sons. We are all familiar with the younger son - the prodigal who demands his inheritance, then leaves home and squanders it on wild living. But what about the older brother? Since he was first born, he would have received a double-portion inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:15-17), but what did he do with it? The parable graphically illustrates the two major errors that can ensnare people. The two brothers in the story were both wrong; but whereas one repented, the other failed to see his fault.
The Prodigal Son:
The Older Brother:
What the prodigal did was totally wrong, but the account says that he ''came to his senses''. The older brother, however, continued in his error. He could have enjoyed his inheritance anytime (which included parties with his friends), but he didn't. He was always to be found in the fields with the slaves, and by the look of verse 29, his motive was to gain the approval of his father. With that attitude, he was living as a servant of the house, and not as a firstborn son. Some Christians also have the same approach to their new life with God. They are striving to become good enough to be accepted as sons, when God has already put them in a position of sonship and authority (see Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 1:18-21; 2:6; 1 John 3:1-2).

2. Mary and Martha

In Luke 10: 38-42, we read about two sisters, Mary and Martha, and their reaction to Jesus' presence. Both loved the Lord, but at the heart of the difference between the two sisters there was obviously a question of priorities.
Martha:
Mary:
We need to get involved with Martha's work, but with Mary's attitudes.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SON AND THE SERVANT

The Son

The Servant

We may fall from enjoying the blessings of God's grace in two ways:
SINLAW
LicenseLegalism
CarelessnessCarefulness
Galatians 5:13-21Galatians 2:16,21
1 Peter 2:16Galatians 5:1-4

God's will for us is..............GRACE
Liberty
Carefreeness
Romans 6:14

ONLY SONS CAN TRULY SERVE

When we gain a revelation that we've been made sons (John 1:12; Galatians 4:4-7), and have authority as God's heirs, THEN we offer our lives in service to our Father. This takes all selfish motives out of our service, for we've already received ALL THINGS in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). We are no longer servants striving to become sons. Instead, from our position of sonship, we take on the very same attitude that Jesus had in coming to earth (Philippians 2:5-8)─we now live with a servant-attitude, not to gain a reward or to earn God's approval, but simply because we love Him.

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Copyright © 1981,1996 Paul, Bunty and David Collins. All rights reserved. This study may be freely used and reproduced, wholly or in part, by the Christian Church for the non-profit purposes of study and training only, provided copyright and contact information is included.

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