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Sons and Daughters are Free

SkateboardI have been posting lately about the Scriptural principle of Sonship. In my last article I mentioned the freedom we have in Christ.

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:34-36

Sons are free in the house. If I truly grasped how deep the position of Sonship is, it would totally revolutionize my walk with the Father.

Think about it in an earthly way. I have three children who are adults at this point. They’re free in the house. If they want breakfast, they don’t need to ask me, “Dad, can I please have a bowl of cereal?”

They wake up, get the bowl, the cereal, and the milk all by themselves. That’s the freedom of maturity. In the spiritual sense it’s the same thing. Jesus said that healing is the children’s bread.

That’s a daily requirement for children. My children don’t even need to ask me for bread – they can take as much as they want, whenever they want. It’s my joy as a father to provide for them. It’s the same with our Heavenly Father. He enjoys bestowing His gifts upon His mature sons.

If we continue looking at what Jesus said in the above verse, we find that a slave has no permanent place in the house. Remember one of the verses we looked at in the first post of this series which said, “Don’t become a slave again to fear.”

You may not be a slave to sin anymore, but have you become a slave all over again to the fear of the law? I’ve found this to be the case in many believers’ lives. I’ve seen fear in their eyes that if they don’t tithe, they’ll suffer financial loss.

Sometimes it’s the fear that if they say the wrong thing they’ll lose the blessing of God upon their lives. It turns out that much of what’s done, is because of this fear and not out of love for the Lord.

Sonship is freedom from fear. When you truly understand your place in the household of faith as a son of God, then fear will dissipate. God does not want us to be captives to this fear. He desires us to walk in the freedom of His love.

We have to get beyond the childish way of thinking. God’s not looking for an excuse to hurt us.

“If I don’t keep my room clean, I won’t get my allowance.”

“If I don’t tithe, God will let the devil steal my money.”

That’s how children think. Adults have a different understanding. I tithe because I love God and I know it pleases Him. He blesses my finances because I’m a son and He loves me. That’s freedom from fear of the law.

Questions: Are there any areas where you’re still in bondage to fear? How can you overcome that?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on December 5, 2014 in Legalism, Sonship

 

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Are You a Prodigal Son?

DonkeyIn Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-52) there are actually two prodigals. Both sons disappointed the father. If I can understand the problem, then I can walk in a way that’s pleasing to God.

You’re probably wondering why I said that both of the sons disappointed the father. Most people teach that only the younger son was in the wrong. Actually, they both had the same problem, they just handled it differently.

The Scripture shows that the two sons had an incorrect view of their relationship to the father. After spending all of his inheritance, the younger brother made this statement.

‘I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’
Luke 15:18-19

He had lived his life on the assumption that his father wanted him to be a servant. As a result, he broke free by demanding his inheritance and leaving home.

The older brother had the same view of his father. But instead of leaving, he lived under it his whole life. It all came out when the younger brother returned and the father wanted to know why the older brother didn’t want to celebrate.

But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.’
Luke 15:29

Did you hear him?

“All these years I’ve been your servant.”

Both sons were under the assumption that the father wanted them as slaves. Nothing was further from the truth. The father was looking for faithful sons who he could entrust all of his possessions to.

It’s the same in our walk with the Lord. How do you see yourself? Do you think that God wants you for a slave? If so, then you’re headed down the same road as the prodigal.

You might turn out like the older brother and spend your life in frustration thinking that God’s treating you unfairly. Or you may respond like the younger, giving up on serving God altogether.

The truth is that God doesn’t want you to be His slave. He’s looking for mature sons and daughters who will carry out His will on the earth.

Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
Galatians 4:6-7

Our goal should be to learn how to mature in Christ. To be a faithful representative of the Lord on earth. The Father is looking for adult sons and daughters who will live according to the leading of His Spirit in us.

Question: How does laying aside the slave mentality help you in your walk with God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2014 in Legalism, Sonship

 

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Have You Transferred Ownership?

contractPaul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God…
Romans 1:1

Paul uses some interesting language in this verse.  He calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ – literally a slave.  It’s interesting, because on various occasions Paul made a point of proving his freedom.

Once he was arrested and he asked the guard why he was being denied his right to a trial as a Roman citizen.  The guard explained that he, personally, had to buy his freedom.  Paul, on the other hand, said that he was born a free Roman citizen.

At that time, if you were born a slave, you were expected to be a slave forever – there was no escaping it.  Under Roman law, a slave could find out his “sale price” from his master.  Then, if he saved enough money, he could pay the buying price to and have the ownership transferred to one of the many Roman gods.  Then, as a slave to that god, could serve as a free man.

I believe this was in the back of Paul’s mind as he penned these words.  We are all born under slavery to sin.  That was our unfortunate lot for the rest of our lives.

Jesus Christ paid the “slave price” for us.  Now, just as Paul did, we need to transfer the ownership of our lives over to God.  As God’s slaves we can now serve as free citizens of the kingdom of Heaven.

We have to live under this knowledge if we are to have a fulfilling life in Christ.  We don’t own our lives.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:5-8

Christ, Himself, set the standard of living that we need to follow.  He said that He came to live a life of service.  That should be our attitude as well.

The Apostle Peter understood this truth.

Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.
1 Peter 2:16

In the first verse above, Paul said that as a slave, he was called to be sent forth as an apostle.  Once we’ve transferred the ownership of our lives to God, our callings will open up to us.  We are now free to serve Him to the best of our ability.

Paul finished off the verse by saying that he was set apart to the Good News.  That literally means that we are set off by a boundary.  The Good News is our field of service.

This is the attitude that will push you to great things in the body of Christ.

Question: Have you transferred the ownership rights of your life to the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Encouragement, The Gospel

 

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The 5 Warning Signs of Legalism

Many Christians are bound by legalism.  Are you one of them?  The trouble is that legalism can be very deceptive.  You can be caught up in it and never know it – unless you see the warning signs.  I hope this will be both a challenge and a blessing to you.

1. Elevating works over position.  Do you worry about what you can do to please God?  The correct answer is – nothing!!  It’s the blood of Christ that makes me acceptable to God.  Nothing I do can make Him love me any more or any less.  While works can affect my rewards and blessings, they will never change God’s love and acceptance of me if I’m in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

2. Seeing yourself more of a slave than a son.  Yes, we do serve God and are expected to obey Him in all things.  But the way we obey is as mature sons and daughters.  As spiritual children we learn servanthood.  It is the training ground for our growth in Christ.  The purpose of servanthood is so that we can walk in maturity.  The Lord desires sons and daughters to represent Him to the world.  (Galatians 4:1-7)

3. Relying more on your confession than God’s grace.  I believe in the confession of Scripture.  Rehearsing and memorizing it is an important part of the believer’s life.  Just as important is the reason we do it.  The purpose of confessing God’s Word is to increase our faith in Him.  But ultimately, it’s not my confession, but the power of God that will bring about the changes that I need.  (II Peter 1:3)

4. Giving more time to studying Scripture than to intimacy with Christ.  Scripture study is very important – it is one of my passions.  I couldn’t live without it.  But, spending quality time with the Lord is even more so.  Jesus rebuked the Scribes and the Pharisees for diligently studying the Scriptures, yet not going to the Christ that they pointed to.  It’s not enough just to know about Christ.  I need to have an intimate, personal knowledge of Him that only comes from time spent in His presence.  (John 5:39-40)

5. Being confident more in the comparison with others than abiding in Christ.  Comparison is a deadly trap.  the problem is that I can always find someone less committed than me.  It gives me a false sense of security because I’m no worse than anyone else.  On the other hand, I can spend my days feeling worthless, because I look at others who are farther along than me in the faith.  I can’t base my self-evaluation on someone else’s life.  My goal is not to be better than you, but to be like Christ.  (II Corinthians 10:12)

Question: Have you battled with legalism?  How have you overcome it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Legalism, Power of God, Revival, The Church

 

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A Child of God

John 1:12-13
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

I can’t think of a greater blessing!  We can be children of God.

This is not for everybody.  You have to want it.  It comes by faith in God and what He has done through Christ.  It has to be received, if we believe in His provision for us on the cross.  If Jesus Christ is our Savior, then we are God’s children.

Some people look at themselves as slaves of God.  Then they get the attitude that it is hard to work for Him.  They have an angry look on their face and act like serving God is the worst thing you could do.

Now I do admit that children are supposed to obey their parents.  In that sense we must “serve” God.  I know that on more than one occasion I accused my parents of treating me as their slave.  The fact is, even when you have to do what you’re told, the parent-child relationship is far superior to that of a master and slave.

This verse tells me that I am not just treated like a child of God.  He doesn’t just call me His son.  It is much greater than that.  I have the right – with all the responsibilities and privileges – to be a child of God.  This is an amazing thought.  God views us as full fledged sons and daughters.  That is why He both blesses and disciplines us.

Spending time with our Father should be the most natural inclination.  It should be where we want to go for love, support, encouragement, and strength.  Spend time with the Lord today, knowing that He wants you to experience the best that being a part of His family has to offer.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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