Archive for October 18, 2009

The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 41

October 18, 2009

Adult Sonship

That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (II Timothy 3:14-17).

Note carefully Paul’s usage of the phrase “the man of God” in verse 17. He did not say “the child of God,” but “the man of God.” The “man of God” is not a clerical term. Paul is not talking about clergymen. The word “man” here stands in contrast with the word “child.”

A transition has taken place! No longer children, members of Christ’s Body now have been placed into the position and status of full-grown adult sons. This is the glorious doctrine known as adoption. This means that the temporary gifts given to the Body of Christ now have been laid aside. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers were only temporary “until”:

until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

One of the characteristic purposes of this “until” time is “that we henceforth be no more children.”

We are not just the “children of God” – wonderful enough as that is – but we are more than that: through our union with Christ, as members of His body, we’re now the “sons of God.” We are not minor “children”; rather, we have the divine position of full-grown sons. This is the position of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. We have been placed into union with His full adult sonship.

To redeem them who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons (Galatians 4:5).

For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15).

This wonderful reality is often missed because of the more modern usage of the word “adoption.” We think of taking someone from outside the family and making them a member. This is not the Scriptural concept; instead it is that of placement of one into a full-adult sonship position.

To live in the establishment of this sonship in our daily lives is to be the mature “man of God.” What equips the “man of God” in his adult function is the proficient Word of God. It enables and empowers the “man of God” toward every good work of the Father.

(to be continued)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s Press


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