(Summary of Sunday Sermon, 29 Mar 2015)
SONS OF GOD
O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
4 What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels,[
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
7 All sheep and oxen—
Even the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth!
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Last week, we learned that there is no distinction between male and female, Jews and Greeks, slaves and free men. Galatians 3 says that we are all sons of God. The book of Romans says that all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A SON?
Often we don’t want to talk about Jesus because we are embarrassed and worried about people’s opinion about us. Last week, we heard the story of Mr. Greg Simons. He was a successful businessman who died a tragic death in an accident. He was taking his children and friends to see a waterfall when he met with the unfortunate incident. After his death, his son wrote a moving letter to one of their family friends. In the letter, his son describes what his father’s death meant to his family. He states that his grandparents lost their son, his uncle and aunt lost their brother, his mother lost her husband. But, he painfully writes that he lost his father. This young boy probably inherited his father’s wealth. But the enormity of his father’s death was irreplaceable.
We have a wonderful Heavenly Father who calls us not slaves but Sons. He showers us with His love. The question arises whether we are living for the blessings and inheritance as sons or out of a desire to be a genuine son.
Being a genuine son implies being a responsible person in the family who knows the Father heart of God.
Christianity is not only about blessings, healing or deliverance. It is about being a good son of the Father God who revealed Himself through His one and only begotten Son Jesus Christ. We cannot live as a son except through Jesus. Often we end up doing things which we do not want to do. Without Jesus we cannot do our best.
WHAT DRIVES OUR LIVES?
Stephen Hawking is a famous scientist who suffers from a degenerative disease called ALS. In his book he writes, ‘as creations, we just came into existence. For the next 100 years, as humans if we can somehow keep ourselves without hating each other, we will live very powerfully. Because after 100 years, science will come out with an invention where man can be transferred to many planets and there will be space and we can live very peaceful lives’. Today, we are led by power, technology, innovations and inventions.
Charles Darwin, another scientist propounded the theory of evolution. He said that man came from monkeys. Mr. Darwin was of the opinion that something greater will come after man.
On one side, science leaves its mark on us while on the other, we are influenced by celebrities. We experiment with fashion and hairstyle because some celebrities have done it. We read about actors and cricketers who live with their girlfriends without being married. We should be careful about the things that we imitate from these stars. Sometimes we model our lives after the opinions and theories of others. We seek God only when we need help.
CREATION AND BEGETTING
The Bible says that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. Adam and Eve were the first created man and woman. But the first born of all creation is Jesus Christ.
Maday is an artist and a sculptor. If he tries to create a sketch of his wife Shailaja, the sketch won’t be able to replace the real Shailaja. The Madam Tussaud’s wax models of Sachin Tendulkar and Amitabh Bachchan cannot be like the real life personalities.
God created man and woman. But He begot Jesus. When we accept Jesus into our lives and the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, we beget Jesus. Slowly we become like Jesus and only by that can we please the Father God.
Through our elder brother Jesus, we are predestined to be conformed to be in His image. Jesus is the only truth and life. The more He grows in us, the more we will live a life pleasing to Him.
In John 4, we read about Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman. When the disciples returned after buying food, they were shocked to find Him talking to the woman. They asked Him if He wasn’t hungry. Jesus replied that doing the will of His Father was His food. We cannot understand or live for the Father unless we understand the Word called Jesus who became flesh.
HOW CAN WE BE A GOOD SON?
It is important to draw nigh to Jesus because without Him we cannot know the Father. Jesus became the visible image of the invisible Father. He had two main purposes –
- To reveal the Father God and to reconcile us to Him.
- To reveal what it meant to be a Son of God.
Jesus said that in this world there will be tribulations but we can overcome them through Jesus. The heart of a good Son is to please His Father. There were times when Jesus was sad. In the garden of Gethsemane, He cried out, ‘If possible take this cup away from me. But let not my will but yours be done, My Father’.
As children, we know how to please our fathers but when we grow up we forget how to do that. Jesus says, ‘Until and unless you become like little children, you can’t enter the Kingdom of God’. My son’s nursery school had an anniversary program recently. Our son, Jhuni, is very shy and has stage fright. We have had experiences in the past where he would bawl when he was on stage. He was terrified of being in the limelight. This time around, I promised him that I’d buy him a remote controlled car if he danced well. So, when he went on stage to dance, he would look out for us. The moment he focused on his principal and other dignitaries in the audience he would get tensed. But when he saw us, he would be encouraged and dance smilingly. Later, when we returned home, he approached me and declared that his dance was over. I understood his subtle reference. But wanting to hear it from his mouth, I asked him what he meant by that. Finally Jhuni told me that he wanted the remote controlled car that I had promised.
My point is that the heart of a good son wants to bring joy to his father. Even though the son is shy or under pressure, when he sees his father he is encouraged.
Our Heavenly Father cheers us, encourages us and lifts us up when we fall. Our Father will run to us when we fall down or when we are alone. But have we given up on Him? Jesus was a good Son in every situation of His life and we too can model that. When we understand what it means to be a son, we won’t go to wrong places or speak wrong things. We will live our lives responsibly.
Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a son even if we have done something wrong. We may fail but our Father hasn’t given up on us. The Bible says that people perish because of lack of understanding. We can’t be a child of God if we don’t understand the Father. We can’t win people to be sons of God through rules and religion. It is possible only with love that is good and tough.