Unto Us a Son is Given… Many Sons

jesus-and-child-1For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6, KJ2000)

In this familiar verse prophesying the Christ and His attributes, I would like to focus on the first one mentioned, “Unto us a Son is given.” When the Father sent Christ to walk among us, He did not come in the form of a prince or king, born in a palace. Neither did he come as a candidate for the position of High Priest in the temple. In fact, He was not even born a Levite, but rather of the tribe of Juda. Though it was prophesied that an eternal scepter would rise in the tribe of Juda (see Genesis 49:10), Christ had to first come as a lowly carpenter’s son in a back water town called Nazareth in downtrodden Israel, a nation that had been continuously conquered and oppressed for hundreds of years.

Yes, a Son has been given us. Why did Jesus take the lowly title of “Son of man?” He came to lead the way as the prototype of what the Father wants. He was the First Born of the many sons (and daughters) of God! Paul wrote in the book of Romans saying,

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. (Romans 8:28-29, RSV)

The sonship of man as sons of God has been in the mind of our Father from the beginning. When we read the genealogy of Christ in Luke’s gospel we read, Kenan was the son of Enosh. Enosh was the son of Seth. Seth was the son of Adam. Adam was the son of God. (Luke 3:38, NLT)

T. Austin-Sparks wrote,

But in the same eternal counsels which determined that Christ should be the center and sphere of universal fullness, by divine appointment and undertaking the church, His body, was linked with Him to be “the fullness of Him that filleth all in all“; those are the closing words of Ephesians chapter one.

That means that unto that sonship the church is brought, and so we have a parallel revelation in the New Testament concerning the sonship of believers as God’s full thought, and you have this remarkable word at the beginning of this letter, in verse [Ephesians 1:] 5: “Having foreordained us unto the adoption as sons by Jesus Christ unto himself.” *

What a high calling! We who belong to the Father in heaven are all called to be His sons (and daughters). All the workings of God in our lives are for one reason, to bring us into full sonship after the image of Christ. One important thing we must realize is that just as we are born to our mothers as infants, we are born into the kingdom of God as spiritual infants. There is a growing-up process that God requires each of us to go through. Christ had to learn obedience through the things that He suffered, and so it is with us (See Hebrews 12:5-8).

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” In the economy of God, children are born (“you must be born again”), but sons are given by the outworking of our loving Father in us.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. (Ephesians 1:3,4 NLT)

Austin-Sparks continued:

That which has been chosen before the foundation of the world and which has been foreordained unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, has been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies. That is the fullness of God’s thought for His own, as a full, comprehensive, utter thought. We have not yet come into all those blessings, not because God has not given them, but because we have not grown up into them. We have not grown up into Him in all things. That is the point of our word, the urge to come to God’s thought, the measure of Christ. What is God’s thought? The full measure of Christ, the fullness of the stature of Christ. *

There is the principle of life and death in spiritual growth. You cannot have one without the other. Paul wrote, If, because of one man’s [Adam’s] trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17, RSV)

Jesus was even more specific saying,

He who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his [soul] life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:38-39, rsv)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. (John 12:24-25, KJ2000)

Finally, let me conclude by quoting once more from brother Sparks.

It means that death has continually to work in the realm of that which is rejected of God, in order to make room for that which is accepted of God. In other words, it is a case of death operating continually to get us out of the way in order to bring Christ in. The increase, the fullness, whether it be in life or in ministry, must ever and always be by the operation of death to all that is of the old creation about us, and resurrection in which only Christ appears. Resurrection implies Christ. God has never raised the old creation. He has, in the death of Christ, crucified it, buried it, and He has never raised it. What He has raised is that which is wholly acceptable to Him.

So it proves. We go into experiences of deep, dark and painful suffering, in which some more of the self-life is slain; some more of our own natural strength of mind and will is brought to the grave; some more of the “I” is put out, and we come up out of that deep experience each time with something more of the Lord, an increase of Christ. So we grow by the law of death and resurrection, the law of the grain of wheat.

Ministry is on that basis. Those who have the greatest measure of Christ and His riches to give are those who have suffered most, because in their suffering, that which was in the way of Christ has been removed; and all suffering is to that end. What a shame that so often we do not allow the suffering to do its work. We either revolt and rebel against it and become bitter, or resist the thought of what it is unto and take the martyr attitude of self-pity. No, God’s dealings with us in all suffering are unto an increase of Christ, firstly for our own enlargement, our coming to a greater measure of His fullness, the stature of Christ, and then that we may have more of Christ to give. For ministry this law operates – death and resurrection. It is the way of divine increase.

So let us take God’s thought again, the fullness of Christ, and see that His thought is made to govern all His dealings with us. And surely we shall consent, and yield to Him if we truly see that God is working. It may be though haply by the difficult, painful, breaking, grinding way in order to save us from that of ourselves which occupies the place that Christ should occupy. This is so that He in all things might have the preeminence, be all and in all, fill all things, and then that others should come into the increase of that ministry, where the members are able to minister Christ. It is a very blessed thing, and this is the way. *

Paul wrote, “For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you.” (2 Corinthians 4:11-12, KJ2000)

* http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/003331.html

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12 comments on “Unto Us a Son is Given… Many Sons

  1. Excellent, Michael! ⭐

    Indeed, ONLY through suffering and surrendering in our pain more and more to God, we will get more and more mature. There is no selfish superficiality and shallowness that might spring from taking up our crosses – ever. Whoever tries to flee into a self-made (soulish) joy and keeps enjoying his old life has been deceived by Satan. Even though such people might use Scriptures that seem to affirm that they had been saved, the cross is still awaiting for them. Jesus told us to “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Mt 7:13-14 ESV)

    It is the easy way that leads to destruction! I hope and pray that we will wake up if we find ourselves on that way…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Susanne. I think a real sign of maturity in a saint of God is when they embrace the cross that God has given them and have come to know by experience that truly ALL things do work for the good of those who love God and are called according to HIS purpose… and that purpose is many sons and daughters unto HIS glory, the glory of Christ that shines forth from their faces as they manifests what He has put inside of them. This is NOT the power of positive thinking! But rather coming into alignment in our hearts with our Father’s will just as Jesus did.

      Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2, rsv)

      Truly, Jesus is our Pattern Son in all things. Thank you my dear sister, it has been wonderful watching our Father work His maturity in you over the last two years I have known you and to read your wonderful openness with which you write on your blog. You have been an inspiration to me in so many ways as I have thrashed about. Your openness draws me to do the same. ❤

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well said. I really like Cynthia Occelli’s quote, “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for sharing that quote, Gabrielle. Yes, Cynthia encapsulated what God is doing in our lives. It is painful, but even the world knows that where there is no pain, their is no gain.

      “O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit. Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalms 30:4-6, rsv)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Becky Johnson says:

    Michael, first off, this quote will gnaw at me all day: ” God has never raised the old creation.” My, my, my! ‘Tis so true. So very true.

    Secondly, I recall an online group of women I was part of four years ago. At that time I’d been four years into this journey and there had been much grinding, much death…my old creation, which is not how I saw it then, was decades long lived in the far-off country. My way of doing things was exactly that – MY way. The dealings were painful, they stung to the core, every part of my very identity, or that which I used to identify myself, was quite literally shattering, and what seemed like all at once. There were times I felt I couldn’t catch my breath from the shock of it. Back then I was unsure of God, very little awareness in my heart of His goodness. I presumed since I had been so “bad” that this was my own doing. He has shown me so much these last eight years. I just told Him yesterday, “Thank You! You’ve been faithful in my lifetime before I even cared. And beyond my lifetime, You’ve been faithful. Thank You.”

    Back to the group of women, I recall a conversation of my expressing the grinding, the chipping away, etc. And they, almost in unison said, no…that’s not what God does. Huh? Than what’s wrong with my life? What has been happening to all these shattered bit & pieces of my life that lay strewn across the path, unable to be picked up again? I’m no longer connected to them, but this post reminded me what all the death was and is and will be for.

    Thanks, Michael! I hope you and your wife & family have a most wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Dear Becky, Thank you so much for your heartfelt reply. It is a real joy to know you and to hear you speak of seeing that our Father’s loving hand upon us is always for our good, even when He applies it to our “seat of learning.” 🙂

      These women you were meeting with truly had missed out on the whole message of the New Testament! I call this “designer Christianity.” It is no different than that of the pagans who carve out a god in their own image and worship at its feet and they do this by picking and choosing only the feel good verses to read and talk about.

      It truly is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of our Living God… at least at first, until we finally see how much He loves us in EVERYTHING that He allows to happen in our lives. I remember one time when I was younger Christian, He gave me a month or two that was free of the “grinding process” I had been in. I found myself wondering if I was no longer His son, but rather had become a bastard as it says in Hebrews ch. 12. It was not long before He started to reassure me once again that I was His son. 🙂

      God bless you, dear sister! ⭐

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you for the excellent piece. The truth that God has enough power to conform us to the image of His Son is beyond my comprehension. But I believe that He does. In this regard I think of Psalm 103, where it says the children of Israel knew God’s acts, but Moses knew His ways. I believe that I can honestly say ( May God correct me if I can not ) that I love His ways.

    Love in Him,

    Pat Orr

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Pat, for writing. It is a wonderful revelation once we see that God not only has the power to change, but really wants to transform each of us into His sons and daughters just like His First Born Son. I hope you can take the time to read the rest of that chapter that I linked to at the bottom of this latest blog. T. A. Sparks really went quite deep into how the whole Bible points to this truth.

      For this reason Paul (I believe) wrote in Hebrews,

      “But you are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, who are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:22-24, KJ2000)

      We are His called-out ones, the assembly of the Firstborn and are just men and women made perfect by the blood of Christ and the perfecting work of His Spirit. Jesus is our Mediator and High Priest who stands before the Father ever making intercession for us. God did not leave anything undone when it comes to our full salvation.

      God bless you, dear Pat,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  5. psturges1 says:

    Amen! Such TRUTH! This is not taught in the churches anymore. What a shame. Many Christians suffering and not even knowing why. thanks for this post Michael!
    God bless, Pat

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michael says:

    Patricia, Thanks for your encouragement. You are right. For the most part churches do not teach about the Kingdom of God, Christ as the Head of the Church and those who believe in Him as those many sons and daughters whom Father is perfecting through suffering. It is hard to fill pews and build mega-churches without tickling ears and Jesus never preached a gospel that catered to the flesh of men.
    Thank you for your comment,
    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for this profound message on the role of suffering in the life of a Christian, Michael.

    An understanding of the way God works — an insight into His great love for us, and the necessity of dying to our worldly selves — is essential to our endurance. Otherwise, we feel merely battered by circumstance, and the temptation is to bitterness and despair.

    This is precisely why the “prosperity” gospel is so dangerous and destructive. When our homes are not filled to bursting with material goods, and our efforts do not yield financial gain, when our bodies are racked with pain, and our souls with loss we may mistakenly conclude that God has forsaken us.

    But that is not the case at all. Not only is He with us through every trial. He uses those very trials to conform us to the image of His Son.

    Blessings,

    A.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Anna, I am glad that you were touched by the blog I shared. I know that you have suffered so much in your life, but isn’t it good to know that what the enemy has done to you for evil, God has turned it to the good. Your heart shows His refining touch in what you write. I am so glad that His work in us has kept us from becoming bitter and unforgiving as has happen with so many. What a wonderful God we have!

      Yes, the prosperity gospel totally misses the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Father’s kingdom message. It is a scary thought for me to think what I would have become without our Father’s strong correcting hand in my life as well as His loving touch when needed.

      May we all set our sights on the goal of His high calling of Christ being formed perfectly in us and not settle for anything less. Bless you, too, dear Anna, as you continue to seek His will in your life and may His glory shine forth from your face to all those around you. Amen.

      Liked by 2 people

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