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Winners Series 2
This Bible passage is referred to later in this lesson (here).
Joshua 6:3-5 - "Have all the warriors march around the city one time; do this for six days. Have seven priests carry seven rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the horns. When you hear the signal from the ram’s horn, have the whole army give a loud battle cry. Then the city wall will collapse and the warriors should charge straight ahead.”
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Lesson 5: I am a Son of God
The moment we are born into the family of God, we come into great blessings—beyond anything we could ever imagine. A tiny baby is not a very important person himself; everything depends on the family he is born into.
The first son born into the family of a great king is called “the crown prince.” He becomes at once the heir of all the riches and glory of the king himself. As a tiny baby he has no idea of all the wealth and position that belong to him. Nevertheless, it all belongs to him, and one day he will inherit all that the king has.
So it is with the believer. The moment he trusted Christ as his Savior, he was born into the family of God. As a tiny baby in Christ, he has no idea of the wealth and position that belong to him. Nevertheless, it all belongs to him, and one day he will inherit it. Believers are sons and daughters of the living God, and God’s Word says,
“All things are yours…” (1 Corinthians 3:21).
God’s great salvation
God’s great salvation is what God has done for us in the person of His Son. Let us consider the wonderful things He has done for us.
All my sins are forgiven.
The One who took all our sins upon Himself is now seated at the right hand of God. Since this is true, where are my sins? They are gone—gone forever.
I am a new person in Christ’s new kingdom.
Not only has Christ removed my sins, but He has removed the “old me”—the one who did the sinning. My old life ended with my death with Christ. I was buried with Him and I rose with Him as a new person in a new kingdom—“the kingdom of God’s dear Son.”
I am seated with Christ in heavenly places.
Once God put me in Christ, everything that happened to Him also happened to me because I am in Christ. When He died, I died with Him, when He was buried, I was buried with Him, and when He rose from the grave, I rose with Him as a new person in Christ.
But that is not all. When Christ ascended back into Heaven, I ascended into Heaven with Him. When He was seated at the right hand of God, I was seated with Him. This is my new spiritual position—the way God sees me.
I am perfectly righteous in God’s sight.
God gives me a perfect righteousness the moment I take Christ as my Savior. I can never lose this righteousness because it is not a “thing”—it is a Person! God gives me Christ as my perfect righteousness, and I can never be separated from Him.
Christ lives in me.
Because I am in Christ, I am accepted by God in Heaven. Because Christ lives in me, I have the power to live for Christ here on earth. It is a wonderful day when you can say, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”
Why does God do all these wonderful things for us? He does them because He loves us! The Bible says,
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loves us, even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us [made us alive] together with Christ, (by grace you are saved); And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6).
The gift of sonship
God’s great purpose is that we shall be holy and without blame before Him as His sons and daughters. God is doing this, not just for our happiness, but for His own satisfaction and pleasure. God has given us the gift of “sonship.” This means that God accepts us and loves us as He accepts and loves His own beloved Son. The following story illustrates this.
The only son of a godly pastor was robbed and brutally murdered by a young man. He was arrested and brought to justice. The judge sentenced him to death.
At this moment an amazing thing happened. The father of the murdered son stood before the judge and said, “Since I do not have a son now, I ask you to allow me to adopt this young man as my son. I will be fully responsible for him. I will love him and care for him as my own son.”
The judge granted the father his request. The young man was so touched by what the father had done that he broke down in tears. He could not believe that anyone could love him like that. In time he became a Christian and brought honor to his new father.
What does it mean to be “a son of God”?
To understand what it means to be a “son of God,” we must look at the Son of God Himself. By faith we see Christ raised from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and seated at the right hand of God. All of God’s glory and delight rests on His Son.
To be a “son of God” means that I have the same place before God as Christ Himself. I am “accepted in the Beloved.” The Father loves me as He loves Christ Himself. Speaking of believers, the Bible says,
“…as He [Christ] is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).
Let us look again at the story of the prodigal son.
We have seen how the father of the prodigal provided “the best robe” for his son. God’s “best robe” is Christ. God gives Christ to us to be our righteousness. But the father provided two more things for his son—the ring and sandals. He said to his servants, “Put a ring on his finger and shoes [sandals] on his feet.” Let us see what these mean.
The ring in the Bible signifies honor and authority. When a king gave his ring to someone, he was saying, “I am honoring you by allowing you to represent me.” God has chosen us to be Christ’s representatives in this world. Think of the great honor that God has bestowed on us—being chosen by God to represent Christ here! The Bible says,
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ…” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
What is the meaning of “the sandals”? The sandals speak of sonship. Servants did not wear sandals in the house; they were barefooted. Only sons wore sandals in the house.
What was the father saying to his son? He was saying, “You are to be with me, not as a servant, but as my son.”
This is exactly what God is saying to us. Because of what Christ has done for us, God is saying, “You are loved and accepted by Me, not as a servant, but as My son.”
The robe, the ring and the sandals made the prodigal conscious of his “sonship.” He was conscious of the fact he was a son and that his father loved him and delighted in him. The father of the prodigal did all these wonderful things, not just for his son’s happiness, but for his own satisfaction and pleasure.
God does all these wonderful things for us because He loves us. God is saying to us, “I want you to always remember that you are My son, that I love you, and I delight in you.”
The secret of the parable.
The surprising thing about this parable is that we are not told the secret. The secret is the death of God’s Son. How can we have the robe, the ring, and the sandals? The death of Christ on the cross is the explanation of everything.
Why am I received by God as a son? I am received as a son because Christ died for me. From eternity past it was the purpose and will of God that we should be “holy and without blame before Him” as His sons. It took the death of God’s Son to bring this about. The Bible says,
“…when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son…” (Romans 5:10).
To be “reconciled to God” means that God has made us entirely suitable to Himself. Dear friend, have you realized that, because you are in Christ, God delights in you now as His son? Every believer has the place of sonship before God. The Bible says,
“For you are all the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26).
Do you know what it is to be a son of God? It is to be the object of God’s love and delight.
I may feel, “I am just a poor, weak person. I do not feel like I am a son of God.” Yes, I may feel that way at times, but feelings are not facts.
What is the fact about my place before God? The fact is that I am a son of God, accepted and loved by God in the same way He accepts and loves His own Son. The Bible says,
“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God…” (1 John 3:1).
I am to live as “a son of God.”
God’s purpose in creating us and redeeming us was that He might have many sons like the Lord Jesus. The Bible says that Jesus is “bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10).
God wants His sons to have the power to live as the sons of God, so He has given us “the Spirit of Christ.” The Bible says,
“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6).
As a son of God, I can bring honor or dishonor to my Father by the way I live and the things I do. Instead of saying, “I don’t see any harm in it; besides, everybody is doing it,” my thought should be, “How can I bring the most delight to my heavenly Father who loves me so much?”
Think of the honor and dignity of being a son of God! If we realize who we are, we would never want to do anything mean, or little, or unworthy of God.
The Bible says,
“Do all things without murmurings [grumbling] and disputings [arguing]: That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14-15).
God wants us to understand that we are called to the blessing of sonship. God’s heart of love can only be satisfied by having us before Him as sons and daughters. We are loved as Christ is loved. He prayed, “…that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26). Soon we will be in the Father’s house as His sons, like Christ, and with Him forever.
Joshua—the mighty conqueror
“…so Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord said unto Moses….” Joshua 11:23
When Joshua crossed the Jordan river, he faced incredible odds. He was trying to lead a band of former slaves against the fortified cities of Canaan. The first city he faced was Jericho—the most powerful city of them all. Jericho represents the power of the enemy in the spiritual realm.
Jericho was on a hill and it was surrounded by two huge circular walls which looked insurmountable. Joshua did not have a battle plan. He walked out to get a better view of Jericho. He met a man with a drawn sword. Joshua asked, “Are you for us or our enemies?”
“Neither,” he replied, “but as the commander of the host of the Lord.” It was Christ Himself appearing as a man. Joshua fell on his face before the Lord.
The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given into your hand Jericho.” The Lord gave Joshua His battle plan. He told Joshua to march around the city with all the armed men. Seven priests carrying ram’s horns were to go before the ark. They were to do this once a day for six days. On the seventh day, they were to march around the city seven times. Then the priests were to blow the horns and all the people were to shout, and the wall of the city would fall down flat. (See Joshua 6:3-5.)
Joshua did exactly as God had told him. On the seventh day, when the people shouted, the mighty walls of Jericho fell flat. Joshua and his army destroyed Jericho and burned it. The layer of ashes and the pile of bricks are there to this day.
There were 31 powerful enemy kings in the land of Canaan, but Joshua conquered them all, one-by-one. The Bible says,
“…the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand” (Joshua 21:44).
God had given Joshua the secret of success before they entered the land. God said,
“This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do all that is written therein: for then shall you make your way prosperous, and then shall you have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
Joshua was born a slave in Egypt, but he became a mighty conqueror. There were three reasons for this:
- Joshua meditated on God’s Word continually and taught it to the people.
- Joshua depended on “the Commander of the host of the Lord.” He was the true leader of the people of Israel.
- The people acted in faith. God has great pleasure in faith because faith says, “All glory belongs to God.”
The Quiet Time
The secret of a strong Christian life is a daily “Quiet Time.” This is a time spent alone with God in the study of His Word and in prayer. Here are some suggestions that will help you form the habit of a daily Quiet Time.
Choose a Time and Place
When possible, the early morning is the best time to meet with God. It is far better for us to meet with God in the morning and get our hearts in tune with Him before the day’s work begins, than it is to meet with Him at night and have to confess many failures.
When musicians give a concert, they always tune their instruments before the concert, not after!
Choose a place where you can be alone. After you choose a time and place, stick to them.
Use a Bible that has good print and is easy to read. Have a plan for reading. Read the Gospel of John first. After you have finished John, begin with the Gospel of Matthew and read through the New Testament.
As you open your Bible to read, close your eyes and talk to God. Confess your sins; ask Him to speak to your heart through His Word as you read it. Remember, you are in God’s presence.
After reading and listening for God to speak to your heart through His Word, take time to pray. Thank Him for His word to you; thank Him for His blessings—name them one by one; thank Him for the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sins; thank Him for answering your prayers; thank Him most of all for the Lord Jesus, your Savior.
Do you want to ask for something? Tell Him the desires of your heart. He answers our prayers according to His own perfect will.
Remember to pray for your family and friends. It is good to make a list of those for whom you are praying.
Get to know God.
All blessing and joy and power come from the knowledge of God. The Bible says,
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2).
The way you get to know God is by spending time alone with Him each day, reading His Word and talking to Him in prayer.