THE SONSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST
"And we announce to you the gospel of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fully fulfilled this promise to us their children in raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second Psalm, "You are My Son; this day have I begotten You." Acts 13:32, 33
The Fatherhood of God
There were two main things that the Lord Jesus talked about while He was here on the earth. You are not really going to find anything outside of these two subjects. These two things are the Father and the Kingdom. This article will discuss the former.
Jesus talked a lot about His Father. He was constantly referring to God as His Father. This made the Jews very uncomfortable because they had never heard anyone do this before. To them, God was the all holy, all powerful, untouchable Supreme Being whose name could never even be uttered by a human. God was too holy for us mere mortals to even speak His name. And along comes this man who calls God His Daddy! This act alone was considered by many to be blasphemy.
But why did He do it? I mean, why did Jesus constantly refer to God as His Father? He could have just referred to Him as "God." He could have told everyone that "God" had sent Him here and that "God" gave Him the words to say and the acts to perform. He could have said that He came to fulfill the will of "God" and to please "God." But instead He used the term "Father" to explain all of these things. Why would He do that? Was it just so He could upset everyone? No, of course not. He referred to God as His Father and to Himself as the Son for a very definite purpose. He wanted us to realize that this is all about a relationship. That God wants to have an intimate relationship with His people. He wants to be our Father. There can be only one reason to refer to God as Father. It's because He has children! Isn't that what makes someone a father? The only reason you would call someone your father is because you are his child! Jesus was showing us God's heart. His heart is to have a family of children.
The Sonship of Christ
We all know that inside of the Triune God, there is a community of three Persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are the one God. The Son has always been inside of the Father. (John 1:18) He is the eternal Son and has always been the only begotten Son of God.
However, on the day that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, something new was added to His relationship with the Father. He became the Firstborn Son. Prior to the resurrection, He was the only begotten Son. Now He had become the Firstborn Son. In His resurrection, His humanity had been lifted up into His divinity so that now He is the glorified Son of God. He became the Firstborn Son for one reason and for one reason only: SO THAT HE COULD BECOME THE FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BROTHERS!
"Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers . . ." Romans 8:29
You see, when He was raised from the dead not only was He lifted up and glorified, but a whole new race was also raised up with Him. (I Peter 1:3) These were the many brothers. Why are they called His brothers? Because they too, are now sons of the living God! God's plan was to have many sons who would be fashioned and conformed after the image of His Firstborn Son. His Firstborn Son was the prototype or model after which all His other sons would be fashioned. This would take place by the Father placing the life of His Firstborn Son into all of His other sons. They would contain His life, so they could express Him.
Why Only Sons?
Now please notice with me that God did not have many sons and daughters. He only had sons. This is not because God is chauvinistic or sexist. There could only be "sons" because of the fact that all the new sons would partake of the one "Sonship" of Jesus Christ. In other words, we are not talking about two separate sonships here. There is only the one sonship of Jesus Christ. You and I, as believers, all participate and live in that one sonship. We are only God's sons through and in Christ. He is our Sonship. We cry "Abba, Father" because He cries "Abba, Father." We call God "Father" in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is difficult to explain but we all share in the one sonship of Jesus Christ. We are sons of the Father in and through Christ alone. In fact, our relationship to the Father is the Son! Our relationship to God is Christ. We have no independent relationship with God apart from Christ. He is the Relationship. He is our Sonship to the Father. The relationship that Christ has with the Father is the exact same relationship that we have with the Father. That relationship with the Father can only be found in Christ! So we can call God our Father just as He calls God His Father because we share the same Sonship. And that Sonship is Christ!
So, as far as our relationship to the Father is concerned, we are all males, all sons. But as far as our relationship to Christ is concerned, we are all females, we are His Bride. (Eph. 5:31, 21)
Notice that God is called our Father. This Sonship is invested in one new corporate Man who expresses the life of the Son and calls God his Father.