Chapter 11

Sons of God

If you have been joined to Jesus Christ through faith, being born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, then you are a son of God. That is your reality and defining conscious identity. You are not waiting to become a son of God when you go to heaven; you are a son of God now.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, (1 John 3:2a)
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Gal. 4:6)
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (Phil. 2:15)

Being a son of God is more than a figure of speech or a religious doctrine. Through union with Christ you have been spiritually reborn and re-created. You have been elevated to a place of actual sonship in God's family, sharing Jesus' life, inheritance, and standing with the Father. Knowing that fact is an absolute necessity for understanding the New Covenant and life in Christ.

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor. 1:9)
Faithful is God through whom you were divinely summoned into a joint-participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor. 1:9, Wuest)1
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1)

Jesus Christ is God's only definition of a son. He was the pattern for all the sons that God would ever receive through him. As a son of God in Christ, you become the kind of son that Jesus is. You come to the Father through Jesus and enter the relationship through spiritual union. Jesus' finished work on the cross is accounted to you and you are born again in him. His spiritual life and identity becomes yours. Jesus' relationship to the Father becomes your relationship. You are to live and walk with the Father as Jesus does.

The Father's objective is to bring many sons into maturity and his standard for that is the full stature of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom. 8:29)
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (Eph. 4:13)
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (Rom 8:19)
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. (Heb. 2:10)

New wine cannot be contained in old wineskins. Your new relationship with God, as a son through Jesus Christ, cannot be expressed through the former ways of living that were known before the resurrection. Life in Christ does not work by following the ways of men who were not born again. It was designed to be lived from the perspective of the resurrected Christ: being a son of God, seated at the Father's right hand, perfected in righteousness, living by an inner nature instead of external regulations. This is the key to entering the glorious destiny promised by God.

Sons of God live by the life and power of Christ who is in them, not by a religious system of rewards and punishments that are designed to control their behavior. The Law was a system of rewards and punishments. It was an external constraint. It does not pertain to sons.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Rom. 8:14)

Sons of God support the work of God on earth without the threat of curses or the enticement of blessings. They do God's will because it is their nature. They live like Jesus would live on the earth because he is living in them.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: (Gal. 2:20a)
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)
Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. (Col 1:29)

Sons of God have the nature of their Father. They also share his objectives. They live to accomplish his desires, not something separate of their own. That is why they don't need laws, rules, and principles of giving. They don't need a standard of 10 percent because they have already committed 100 percent. They don't need to be coerced into putting God's purposes first in their life because they were reborn with his purposes in their heart. They aren't locked into a mindless routine like tithing because they have the Spirit of God in them who is greater and wiser than any generic system of giving. Tithing and all of its associated rules are unnecessary and irrelevant.

Children and servants cannot live like sons and they will never know the power or glory of being a son. They have to be told what to do. They have to be regulated and monitored by others. They must have laws to direct them and punishments to reprove them. They must have rewards to motivate them. They haven't internalized the family objective so they have to be treated as hirelings. Children, especially, are self-seeking and self-serving. Their affection is on the things of earth and their personal benefit. The Father's will has not yet become their own.

Very few in the church have an understanding of being anything more than a child or a servant. Both perspectives are Old Covenant mentalities that became obsolete at the resurrection. The church has not comprehended the message that Jesus has given to us through Paul the apostle. So the church continues to pattern itself after Old Testament examples of faith. Most teaching on giving appeals to Christians as children or servants and continues to hold them in a low spiritual realm.

Sons of God are empowered to prosper financially by the grace of God which is upon them through their union with Christ. As they follow the Holy Spirit and do the will of God they will prosper. They are empowered to succeed in every area of life by Christ who lives within them. But they must be taught the truth in order to live as God designed them to.

Sons of God have the same relationship to the Father that Jesus has. Since tithing is not part of Jesus' relationship, now that he has been resurrected, it is not part of their relationship. Since they are one with Jesus, they don't tithe to him either. They are joint owners of all things together with Christ by their spiritual union. Tithing was ordained for a different kind of relationship with God—not for sons.

Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Gal. 4:7)
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; (Rom 8:17a)

Source of Spiritual Life

The source of life and motivation for the Christian is Christ who is living within him.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: (Gal 2:20a)
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)

Proverbs 6:6–7 says that the ant has no guide, overseer, or ruler yet prepares food in summer and gathers food in harvest. The ant has a God-given inner nature to direct its life. How much more should a God-indwelt Christian, who has been reborn with God's own divine nature, be able to be led by the Holy Spirit in their giving instead of needing to follow laws and external commandments like tithing.

Growing Up Spiritually

Children need a law. That is what Galatians 4:1–3 says:

Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

But the message of Galatians 4:4–5 is that in Christ we are no longer children, we are mature sons:

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Christians will be immature as long as they are kept under laws. Following laws will keep them from learning how to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. In order for them to grow up, someone must take away the carnal things they rely on to direct their lives.

Many years ago I heard a story about a group of children on a playground next to a busy street. As long as a fence was up they felt free to run and play anywhere. When the fence was taken down they huddled together near the building out of fear. Preachers have often used such stories to make analogies that promote the necessity of religious laws in our lives. If you think Christians must always be spiritually immature then that conclusion would be correct. However, adults would not react that way and that is the message in Galatians 3 and 4.

God created you to be a glorious demonstration of his life and nature to the world. You are a son of God like Jesus. You are a unique and vibrant new creation in him. You weren't designed live like a dumb sheep who can do nothing but follow laws and obey orders from other people. You have a direct and personal relationship to God. You have a new nature that can be led by the Holy Spirit to accomplish God's purposes without regard to tithing.

The doctrine of tithing distracts people from the real nature of our relationship with God: organic spiritual union and one-hundred-percent commitment. It also disconnects them from the realm of being led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. You cannot live from your new nature in Christ while you are trying to follow external regulations like tithing. The glorious life of Christ that you were created to enjoy comes from being an expression of Christ on earth not by following laws, rules, and principles.

Unshackle yourself from low-realm mentalities like tithing and begin to be who you are from the new nature of your inner man. Let Jesus Christ live through you. Possess the full benefit of Jesus' finished work on the cross and your position with him at the Father's right hand. Take his word and define your life by it. Let it establish your identity. Let it govern your self-image, your relationships, your plans, and your actions. Accept what God has done for you in Christ and enter into it. God planned it and performed it all for that purpose.