Throughout my childhood my favorite Sunday School song has been “I am a child of God”. Its message resonated with my little soul and gave me a sense of belonging and family with Heavenly Father. Its message is still sweet and comforting.
As a spiritually mature adult, I have found a divine sonship which is profoundly more empowering. If I wrote a song to enthrone and teach this greater sonship, I might well entitle it “I am a child of Jesus”. Let me explain.
Being a child of Heavenly Father is wonderful, and speaks of our eternal possibilities, but it is not unique. Every living person is a child of Heavenly Father. Even those who reject and fight against Him are his children. We are told He loves them all, even when He must withhold blessings and eternal rewards. Their divine sonship does not entitle them to anything above anyone else.
Heavenly Father sent his son Jesus Christ into this world to prepare a way for us to return to Him. We come unto the Father, by coming to Christ, taking His (Christ’s) name upon us, and becoming His (Christ’s) spiritual sons and daughters. When we become Christ’s children, we take upon ourselves His name because we are his spiritual offspring – his children. He thus becomes our spiritual father. As His children we then are entitled to His atoning sacrifice, and his advocacy with the Father. As His children Christ brings us back to the Father “in His name”.
Having Christ as my spiritual Father is saving, and it is exalting. It is the means whereby my relationship with Father continues throughout eternity and whereby I eventually may become like Father – not equal – but like Him, and most importantly – with Him.
The prayer within “I am a child of God” is “teach me all that I must do, to live with him once more.” The answer to that prayer came in the person and mission of Jesus Christ. What must I do? I must come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.
So, when I want to sing of divine kinship, of exalting fatherhood, and saving sonship, I sing of Christ – whose love and grace and spiritual fatherhood elevates me, so that as a son of Christ, I can live with Father once more.
© April 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved for the contents of this blog and website.