Sons of God – William E. Wallace

William E. Wallace

To be among the sons of God is to be a member of the only enduring family which has for its future eternal contentment. To be among the sons of God means that one has been adopted by God (Gal. 4:4-6). It means one is to be like him, the image of God, perfected in one’s obedience (1 John 3:1-2). It means we are united with Christ; he is our elder brother and we are his brethren (Heb. 3:6). Our relationship to God, as sons of God, is something that challenges our utmost attention in fulfilling responsibility to our Father.

From John 1:12 we learn that all who receive Christ have power to become sons of God. “To them” who receive Christ is given power to become sons of God. If receiving Christ is conditioned to our becoming children of God, then all who do not receive Christ have no hope of becoming children of God. Thus the wheel of responsibility turns on the hub of receiving Christ. But what does it mean to receive Christ? Receiving Christ consists of accepting him for what he professes to be (Note John 20:31). Those who receive or accept Jesus as the Son of God, have the power, the right, the opportunity to become members of the family of God. But it takes more than a mere assent or acquiescence to a truth. Paul said in Romans 8:4 that “as many as are led by the Spirit are sons of God.” All who are led by the Holy Spirit are sons of God. What right then, does one not being led by the Spirit have, to claim membership in the family of God? If after receiving Christ we must be led by the Spirit in order to become sons of God, it becomes of great pertinence that we find how we can appropriate this leadership of the Holy Spirit.

The word of God and the Holy Spirit have such a close relationship in conversions we can hardly speak of the work of the Holy Spirit without speaking of the word of God. In fact everything that the Holy Spirit does for the individual in conversion is affirmed as being a property or performance of the word. There is an inseparable unity in the work of the Spirit in conversion and the influence of the word. The Holy Spirit employs the word as his weapon (Eph. 6:17). The very purpose of the word of God is the very aim of the Holy Spirit. We are not saying the word of God and the Holy Spirit are identical, that they are one. We are saying that the word of God is the means or medium by which the Spirit influences the will, emotion and intellect of man. The Holy Spirit leads, the word of God is the halter with which the Holy Spirit controls and leads the action.

Ephesians 5:18 exhorts us to be filled with the Spirit. Be filled with the Spirit—accept and surrender to his leadership. Note that the command implies action on our part. How can we be filled with the Spirit? Colossians 3:16 admonishes us to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” To “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” indicates exercised will on our part—action. Ephesians 3:17 teaches, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” So again we see the necessity of action, exercised will.

We have the following things before us: Receiving Christ, the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the indwelling Word. How can one receive Christ lest he hears of the Saviour? How can he hear without the Word? We learn of Jesus Christ through the word of God. The word of God convinces us of his divinity, and we ask, “What shall we do?” Where will we find the answer to our question? Paul said, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). Thus the Spirit has a law—a law—that will give us life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit is not the law anymore than a lawman’s weapon is the lawman himself. The law of the Spirit is the medium through which the Holy Spirit exercises influence on the mind of the receptive individual. It is His weapon, his sword. (Eph. 6:19.) When the receptive one hears and obeys, submits to that influence, he then is being led by the Spirit of God, and he is numbered with the sons of God. The word of God is the law of the Spirit and that law says: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:26-27). Are you numbered among the “as many”? Have you let Jesus come into your heart? (Eph. 3:17). Does the Spirit dwell there? (Eph. 5:18). Christ will dwell in your hearts through faith, and faith will come upon hearing God’s word (Rom. 10:17). The Holy Spirit will dwell within through the influence of his law, the word of God dwelling in you richly (Col. 3:16). Being numbered with the sons of God, you will experience God sending “forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father” (Gal. 4:6). “The Spirit of God beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:16).

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