I love my son, Uriah, and my daughter, Lyla. It is even unbelievable how much delight I take in them. I love my children when they listen and I love them when they don’t listen and their standing as my children does not change based on performance. My son is once and for all my son. Uriah will not therefore lose his sonship if he does not listen but he still must listen. In fact, if he loves me and respects me as his dad he will try to obey me and even be like me.
God delights in us more then we could ever imagine. I love my kids but my love is flawed; God’s love is perfect. I at times am overwhelmed by the love that I have for my kids and to think that God’s love for us, in Christ, even exceeds that is mind blowing. Just as I love my kids, when they obey and disobey, God loves us when we obey and when we disobey. God delights in us because of what His son did for us. We have been adopted as sons through Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; Eph. 1:5; 1 Jn. 3:1). Our status as sons of God does not change even when we disobey Him. Our status in a salvific/sonship way does not change; however, our functional relationship will be changed if we are disobedient.
Uriah is my son and he, as we have established, will always be my son but that is not to say that are relationship cannot be effected by his disobedience. If, for example, he distances himself from me even though I want to be in relationship with him our relationship will nevertheless suffer. Likewise, if we are sons (or daughters) of God we are always sons of God but we can distance ourselves from Him with our disobedient sin. Notice, however, that God didn’t go anywhere, we left through our disobedience and that is what brings the chasm in our relationship.
We must love and obey God as sons, even striving to be like Him, but we must also see that we have a Savior who has made us always sons; we can’t lose our sonship! Not because of anything we have done. It is solely through Christ’s work on the cross that we can be adopted as sons and daughters. It is not our lineage for we were sons of Satan. So, should it not be that we who were orphans, who had no heritage or inheritance of our own, should appreciate what we have now ? Yes! And notice that it would be the height of folly to think that we could obtain this inheritance on our own. It is all though adoption. It is all through Christ.
To say that we can merit our adoption through good works of obedience is wrong and legalistic but it also wrong to say that our disobedience will not affect our relationship with God. However, this is not because God has turned His back on us but because we have rebelled and turned from Him. We also must note that if my son is not obeying me, I discipline him but this does not mean that I turn my back on him or do not love him. In fact, it is because I love him that I discipline him; God also “disciplines the one he loves” (Heb. 12:6).
May we seek to please our heavenly Father but not to earn the right to be called an heir but because through Christ we are heirs.