Genesis 1:1 (ESV)
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:26 (ESV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
When you read on in Genesis you see that Adam, the male, was created first and then Eve, the female was created from Adam’s rib. This is no myth but is history. The Bible presents this as literal history, the Jews for centuries believed it as literal history, and Jesus Christ affirmed it as literal history. That’s enough authority for me.
Men and women were created in God’s image to be in a close personal relationship with God. We are thus creatures in that we didn’t surprisingly, shockingly and against all odds merely evolve from chemicals and organic matter that just happened to be in existence from some non-understandable or eternal source. Neither am I convinced that aliens constructed us and placed us here as some grand project. We were lovingly and carefully invented and constructed by the All Powerful, one and only God and put here on this planet to be in a relationship with Him. Now God is a Person. He is, He has an intellect, emotions and will, the hallmarks of personhood. He is holy and righteous in His being. To have a relationship with us we needed to be persons too, and so God made it so. People too have the ability to think, feel and act. We were originally made with God’s holy and righteous nature and character so we could have a relationship with Him. We are creatures specially created for relationship.
Let’s focus on us as men. I don’t know about you, but for me to be called a God’s creature has a great deal of dignity attached to it, much more than being a surprising bit of flesh and bone that just happened onto history’s scene. To be called God’s creature bestows dignity. To be called God’s son takes it up a notch to an even higher, relational level. God created us to be sons in a personal relationship with Him.
Of course, if you know Biblical history, you know that by Genesis 3, the world as God intended it came unglued. Adam was given the power to follow God as His son and delegated ruler of earth or to disobey Him. For us, for everyone, Adam made the wrong and fatal choice. He was the first son who was the first earth leader, and he made the first sinful move.
The Bible is a powerful book. It explains life. It tells us how we got here, Who put us here, and why the world is the way it is right now. The Bible hangs together in its narrative as it unfolds, and so by the time of Jesus we see that in fact Jesus Christ came to restore life. The Bible is thus the book par excellence that explains and restores life.
These verses reveal that the Bible story hangs together and that history is going somewhere better than we might have thought:
John 3:16 (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 10:10 (ESV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John 17:3 (ESV)
3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Ah, but don’t miss this key passage which belongs in order before the ones above:
John 1:12-13 (ESV)
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
What Jesus Christ has come to do and accomplish by His death, burial and resurrection is to actually restore to us as men our core identity as sons now until He restores all things completely in the future. By Christ, through faith in Christ, by being in Christ, a man can regain that foundational life identity that can never change again. We can become sons.
Now what does that really mean? I’m glad you asked because it’s supremely important. To regain our core identity as sons by Christ’s accomplishment is to finally find the clarity of who we really are as men, to find the acceptance we want as men, and to experience our value and worth as men.
Let’s talk about it.
Clarity. Who am I really? Jesus tells me that I am a son; that I was created to be a son and then rescued by Him to regain that position as a son in a personal and close relationship with God. Well wait, I thought I was a worker, a husband, a father? Aren’t I those things too? Yes and we’ll talk about them, soon. But the clarity a man needs is to first and foremost understand that he is a son.
To be a son of God is to be in a real high position. Since God is the Supreme Being of the Universe, and actually bigger than the universe and completely outside of time, to be related to Him is to be related to the best, biggest and most wonderful Person that could possibly exist. Dignity comes from paternity. And God is your father, your dad, your abba to use the familiar Hebrew idea Paul uses, which carries loving familiarity.
We Christian men need to think and meditate on this high position more often than we do. In fact we need to think about it daily. Every morning we need to remember with great clarity our foundational identity as God’s boy because Christ made it so.
Sometimes it’s difficult for us to feel close to God as sons and feel the great privilege of being His sons because we didn’t feel close to our earthly fathers. Often our dads hurt us, ignored us. Many if not most men I know are wounded by their dads by their neglect or active actions. Since we transfer to God the feelings and attitude we had toward our earthly fathers, no wonder we don’t feel the joy of being God’s sons.
A fundamental change can come over us however when we meditate on and become transformed by our foundational identity of men as sons of God because of Jesus Christ. Earthly dads could never ever manage to approximate the incredible goodness of God anyway, so we need to focus on God’s perfections as we grieve our dads' failings, and move beyond our earthly fathers, being redefined by our Lord and Savior.
That I am a son gives a man the internal clarity that we have always wanted. Who am I? Because of Jesus, we are God’s sons, forever. Because God is God, a son IS forever.