Your adoption as sons is by grace, freely available to all who turn to Jesus and accept his sacrifice by faith. No performance on your part, no great success, no failure, no damning words from other people, can ever change who you are: a son. In Christ your identity as a son of the living God is restored. Your core identity—that which will never change throughout every phase and season of life—is that you are a special creation of God, an image-bearer, and a son of God.

Because of Jesus all that was twisted and broken in the fall is being restored and redeemed. Your relationship with your heavenly Father is restored when you go to Jesus and ask for forgiveness for your many sins. In him, your relationship with your heavenly Father is remade. In Christ, the Father’s words to Jesus also become his blessing on your life, “You are my beloved son with whom I am well pleased.”

Your High Status and Worth

The creation account clearly displays that, as God’s im­age-bearer, you have an incredibly high status. The story of redemption shows that you are a wanted son. Like Father, like son. There is a principle of life at work here: the higher status the father and family, the higher status his children. Since there is no one higher in status than God, his offspring bear high status and worth. A man gains his worth not by what he accomplishes or how he fails. His worth is directly tied to origins.

Jesus’s death for us proves that we are loved and wanted sons.

Did your own father give you the impression you were not wanted? When you don’t believe your own father wanted you, it’s easy to spend your life trying to prove to yourself and others that you are worthy. But you don’t have to do that anymore. Jesus’s death for us proves that we are loved and wanted sons. As you learn to live out of your identity as son, instead of repeating the mis­takes of the past, you will learn to live a whole new life as a son of your perfect heavenly Father. When the Father gave us life in Christ, he restored our worth and status. Knowing who you are in Christ will change your life.

Seeing Your Father Everywhere

While we must know our earthly father story and how it has affected us, as Christ-following men we are on a new adventure now: seeing our heavenly Father everywhere. Since the day we became Christians, the Father has been seeking to show us that our great or average or failed dads no longer ultimately define us.

Difficulties in your relationship with your earthly father are significant and have an impact. But in Christ, you have all that you need. You are accepted and loved by the one irreplaceable Father—your heavenly Father. The Sovereign Creator-Father of the universe completely defines you as his beloved son. As men made in the image of God and adopted as sons, we have been given incomparable worth and high status. We are irreplaceable to our heavenly Father.

He who is irreplaceable counts us worthy to him, and involves himself in our lives every day. Believe in this Father. Make this Father your focus. Allow this Father’s words of love, grace, and acceptance to run through your mind and heart. Doing so will change everything. It will make you into the man you want to be and were designed to be—the kind of man the world needs.

Adapted from the new Key Life book, Like Father, Like Son by Pete Alwinson.