Have you ever tried to take a toy from a toddler’s hand? If you have, you may have seen how passionate a toddler can be concerning “ownership” of toys! Some people have even given this behavior a humorous nickname: “the toddler property laws.” In essence, if they like it, it’s theirs; if it’s in their hands, it belongs to them (whether that really is the case or not). They are intensely adamant that they own it and nobody can take it away!
Once I learned about my sonship rights I received when I became a child of God (Romans 10:9), I was convinced that these rights were mine and no one could take them away! Five sonship rights, given by the grace of God to His children, are righteousness, justification, redemption, sanctification, and the ministry of reconciliation.
Claiming my sonship rights affords me a victorious lifestyle, unbound by the past, unhindered by the present circumstances of the world, and free from fear of the future.
I Corinthians 1:30:
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
These were made unto us, done for us—we didn’t get these sonship rights by our own works or efforts, but rather by the accomplished works of Jesus Christ. We were given the gift of righteousness because Jesus Christ gave himself as a perfect, sinless sacrifice.
For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
When we are convinced that God made us righteous, we can reign in life! Holding on to the righteousness that God gave us allows us to stand in His presence without having to constantly remember our past sins, mistakes, and a heaping load of shortcomings in our minds. How liberating is that! We are not bound to our past; we can enjoy our righteousness now!
Right alongside being made righteous, God also gave us the sonship right of justification. Because of the legality of what Jesus Christ accomplished in fulfilling the law, God justified us and released us from the penalty of sin by our believing in His Son.
Therefore being justified by faith [by believing what Jesus Christ did], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
When we claim our sonship right of justification, we are not bound by the past. We can live free from the bondage of sin, guilt, and condemnation. Picture yourself as that child of God, intensely adamant that these sonship rights belong to you—what peace and power you have!
God has also given us the sonship right of redemption; He delivered, or rescued, us from the power of darkness.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
The darkness of this world has no legal authority over our lives anymore because God delivered us from this present, evil world by the work of His Son, Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:4). God redeemed us and bought us back from the adversary through Jesus Christ who shed his own life’s blood by freewill choice (Ephesians 1:7). By claiming our sonship right of redemption, we are free and unhindered from the present darkness of this world because we now legally belong to God.
Along with the sonship right of redemption, God has also given us sanctification. He has sanctified us, or set us apart, for heaven with eternal life. When we turn on the world news, we need not be discouraged, but rather encouraged, knowing that as a child of God we are not of this world.
I Thessalonians 5:23:
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we claim our sonship right of sanctification, we can live free and emancipated from this present world and any fears about the future. We can rest assured knowing we have the hope of Jesus Christ’s return and we have been delivered from the wrath to come (I Thessalonians 1:10). We are secure in our future as God’s sanctified ones.
Although we hold on tightly to our sonship rights as a toddler does with toys, there is one sonship right in particular that God intended for us to share. By claiming our sonship right of the ministry of reconciliation, we get to share with others as we speak God’s Word and reconcile others back to Him.
II Corinthians 5:18-20:
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
As ambassadors for Christ, we have the special assignment to bring others back to God so they too can enjoy the powerful rights they have as sons of God.
We can live free and victorious lives as we tenaciously hold on to our sonship rights. The past doesn’t restrict us anymore—we are righteous; we are justified. The darkness of this present world doesn’t hold us captive anymore—we have been redeemed, rescued, and we legally belong to God. Fears about the future don’t enslave us anymore—we are free, living as God’s sanctified ones set apart for heaven and eternal life. And as God’s children, remember, don’t forget to share—tell others how liberating it truly is to be children of God, and exercise your ministry of reconciliation today!