Lesson 9 – A Son of God

A Son of God 

Lesson Aim:     To show the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the development of sons of God.

Scripture:         Romans 8:14-17.


By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious; anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.  I John 3:10

It was a grand and glorious occasion for Christians when we became sons of God “in Christ.”  It is even more glorious when it becomes obvious to our fellow Christians we are sons of God by virtue of our lives.  We have learned from our previous lesson how the Holy Spirit helps us follow the law of life and how these same laws are transferred from the Bible to our hearts and minds.  This is the intent of God’s new covenant (Heb. 8:10-12).  One result of accepting the new covenant is Christians practice God’s righteousness and we love our brethren (Rom. 12:9; 13:8).

The Apostle John had several interesting things to say about a son of God who is keeping the commandments of God and loving his brother.  The result of keeping God’s commandments will be to practice God’s righteousness.  He declared God and Christ will abide in those of us who are accomplishing these things in our lives.  We will be aware of the presence of God and Christ by the presence of the Holy Spirit in us.

And this is His commandment that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.   And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us.  I John 3:23, 24

No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.  By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.  I John 4:12, 13

How can we know God is writing His laws on our hearts and minds?  Since these laws are the nature of God and His nature is love, we can know when we decide to love our brethren.  To love or not to love is a decision Christians make.  We do not need to wait to be moved by some force.

And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.   God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  By this love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence on the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.  I John 4:16, 17


Our interest in this lesson is in exactly how does God answer the prayer Paul prayed in his letter to the Ephesians saints:

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Eph. 3:16-17

When we are able to put to death the selfish deeds of our body we will be able to turn our attention to other people and give our time and energy in a service of love for them.  The Holy Spirit will lead us in this program as it is spelled out in the word (Rom. 5:3-5; Eph. 4:20-24; Col. 3:5).  Our brothers  and sisters will begin to recognize us as sons of God (Matt. 5:9).  The Holy Spirit will also bear witness with our spirits that we are truly sons of God (Rom. 8:16).  This will be a natural role in which we can function because it was for this reason God made us.  In other words, we will have found ourselves.  The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are sons of God.  This establishes our identity.

Adolescents who fail to establish and accept “who they are” have problems moving forward into their lives as adults.  Identity is one way the Holy Spirit strengthens Christians’ inner man.  We may have been nobody “in Adam” in the world but now we are somebody “in Christ.”  We are not only called sons of God, we are recognized as sons because we love like our Father loves.

Our love may not always be returned but this will not stop our flow of love because the Holy Spirit witnesses to us; our lives are approved by God.  We know in all the adversities we might suffer, they are shared with us by Jesus.  We are not in this world alone even if the entire world turns against us.  God and Christ share our lives by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:15-17).  Fellowship on a higher level than our own is another strengthening factor.  “Bad company corrupts good character.”  I Cor. 15:33.

 Jesus answered and said to Him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him.  John 14:23

One of the things that makes the kingdom of God “in Christ” so exciting and interesting in these last days is this; it is the only time the Holy Spirit has worked so intimately with the citizens of the kingdom.  Saul, David, and Solomon ruled over God’s kingdom but the Holy Spirit was not the administrator as He is now with Christ as king (II Cor. 3:8).  There is a reason the Holy Spirit is able to work with Christians in a more intimate way than He did before Jesus was glorified (John 7:37-39).  It is because of the law of faith working for us in conjunction with the blood of Jesus.  This is the same reason God is able to manifest His righteousness to us now, whereas there was a problem before.  See Part II, Lesson Six.

We can understand how we must be looked upon as righteous and holy before God would allow His own Holy Spirit to dwell within us.  The Holy Spirit would not be able to work with us the way He does if we were under a law of works system because of our dual nature.  Our flesh still has a strong tendency to serve the law of sin (Rom. 15:15, 16; Gal. 3:2, 14).  Let us now consider how the Holy Spirit enhances our communication with God in our prayers.

And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  Rom. 8:26-28

Our fellowship with God is not a silent one, we can talk to God as our Father and He will cause things to happen.  God will not operate outside of His own will but He can and does intervene in our lives (I John 5:13-15).  We do not always understand God’s will and apparently God does not always understand us.  The Holy Spirit now acts as an intercessor between us and our Father.  The Holy Spirit understands us because He dwells within us.  He also understands God and is understood by God (I Cor. 2:10-12).  Therefore, the Holy Spirit is able and willing to improve our lines of communication with our Father while we still remain in this world.  Of course, Jesus is Christian’s ever present advocate in His role as high priest (Heb. 4:14-16; I John 2:1).

The establishment of the “in Christ” realm in this world has become a realm in which the Holy Spirit functions to serve those of us who have been born again.  If we will accept the Holy Spirit as a Person, we will have the benefit of God and Christ in our lives each day.  We know the value of being in the presence of a person with strong character.  We can understand how we can be known as sons of God, if we continually are associated with God and Christ by the Holy Spirit.  It should not be necessary for us to tell our brothers “in Christ” we are sons of God (II Cor. 3:3).  They should be able to see it because of the fruits of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Gal. 5:22, 23

The Holy Spirit strengthens Christians in another way and this is by assuring us of a new spiritual body after we die.  We will investigate how the absence of the fear of death gives us courage in our next lesson.

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.  Romans 8:11

Questions for Discussion

  1. What are the two groups of children according to the Apostle John?
  2. What is the result of accepting the new covenant and practicing God’s righteousness in our attitude toward members of the church?
  3. Who must Christians be led by before it will be obvious Christians are a son of God?
  4. How do God and Christ make their abode with Christians?
  5. How can we know God is writing His laws on our hearts and minds?
  6. What service will we be able to perform more of as we put to death the deeds of the body?
  7. Why should a position as a son of God be a natural status in which we can serve?
  8. What makes the kingdom of God with Christ as king more exciting now than before Jesus Christ came to earth?
  9. Name the special grace Christians need to allow the Holy Spirit to dwell within us?
  10. How does the Holy Spirit help with our prayers to God?
  11. What is the result of accepting the Holy Spirit as a Person who indwells us?

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