My True Identity: A Son of The Father
My True Identity: A Son of The Father
Author~ Will Taylor
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:14-17, ESV)
When I was a kid my father used to tell me how much he loved me and how proud he was of me. I had a good dad, and I miss him. When I was 16 years old, my dad committed suicide. He took his own life as a result of some really bad business practices that he conducted. This tragic event has shaped my life in profound ways. I’ve wandered down some really dark roads. I’ve been hurt, alone, afraid, and angry. I’ve hated God and rejected Him. But when I was about 30 years old, I met Jesus, and he brought me back into a loving relationship with his Father. Looking back over my life, the only way I can make sense of things is that my heavenly Father had me in mind all along, and He has been sovereignly working the whole time to help me understand my true identity. Namely, that I am His Son, that He loves me, and that He is proud of me.
Paul writes, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15) In other words, the spirit that I have received is not one of fear but one of sonship. I have been adopted as a son by the Father who sent His Son to live and die and rise again for me so that I might know my Him, my true Father. I am a son – His son. And I’ve been one all along… I just didn’t know it.
Over the last 20 years, I have gone through several phases of grief. For the first few years after Dad’s death, I found myself defending him and his honor. In some weird way I was proud of him and what he had done. I used to think what he did was noble and protective so that my mother, brother and I might live a better life. But this feeling passed, and soon after I felt hurt and alone. I had no dad to watch my football practices, and he wasn’t there to meet me after the games like all the other dads. I had to learn how to become a man, and I had no one to show me how to do this. Then I became deeply angry because he just wasn’t there and he should’ve been. Then I slipped into apathy. I didn’t care about him because he didn’t care about me.
Only just recently have I started to really and truly forgive my father. And this is only possible because of the grace of Jesus Christ. You see, Jesus saved me so that I might be a son with the same access to the Father that he has. Not only am I an heir with an inheritance, but more significantly for me, I am now curled up on the Father’s lap, and Jesus, my true elder brother, is right there next to me. That’s the relationship I’m now in. That’s what it means to be adopted. I’m a part of the family… I’m a son! And nothing can ever separate me from the love of the Father because of what Jesus has done for me. Finally, I have my dad back. Only this time it’s my real dad.
The Holy Spirit who lives in me bears witness with my spirit that I am a son of the Father. This sonship that I know deep in my heart is only possible because the Holy Spirit has transplanted His Spirit of adoption into my heart and has removed the old spirit of fear, hurt, loneliness, and anger. So now when I cry out, “Abba! Father! Daddy!” I no longer hear the silence from the doors of death. Now I hear the same words that the Father spoke over His son, Jesus, when the Spirit descended upon him on the day of his baptism: “And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’” (Mark 1:11, ESV)
I have a Father, and He is a good dad. I am His Son. He loves me. He is proud of me. Ultimately, I am able to forgive my father because I know I am loved, deeply loved, by my true Father who gave His son for me. His Spirit lives in me and bears witness that I am a son – His son.
Father, thank you for being a great dad and giving your Son, Jesus, so that I might know you as Father. Jesus, thank you for being my true elder brother and coming to live, die, and rise again for me. Holy Spirit, thank you for living in me and bearing witness to my true identity. I pray that today I might rest in the reality that I am your son, that you love me, and that you are proud of me. I give you my heart because you have given me yours. I love you, Daddy. Amen.
How do you view God the Father?
Is He someone you know and relate to?
Think about your relationship with you earthly father. How does this relationship affect your relationship with your heavenly Father?
Do you believe that Jesus came to earth and lived, died, and rose again to show you the love of the Father and bring you back into a loving relationship with the Father?
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:4-7, ESV)
He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:11-13, ESV)
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1, ESV)
The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (Revelation 21:7, ESV)
Faith in Action:
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)
This week, how are you renewing your mind that you are a son of God the Father?
How does knowing your identity as a son of God inform the way you live?
Spend some time praying and listening to the way you pray. Ask yourself, “Do I know the love of the Father?” If yes, then rest in this love and know your identity. If not, then look to the cross and see Jesus dying for you. Realize that the Father “gave His only Son” (John 3:16, ESV) so that you would become His son and know Him as your true Father.
Will Taylor is the husband of Katie Taylor and the proud daddy of three little ones. He is a business man, a seminary student, a runner, an avid reader, a truth seeker, a family man, a friend who likes to go deep and share real life, and most importantly, a son of God. Will serves as an elder at Rivertree Church and has a heart for discipleship and for hurting people to know the love of Jesus that has transformed his life. He wants people to know the Gospel because it is true and because they matter.