By the sacrifice of Jesus, you and I have been made sons and daughters of the Most High God. We’ve been redeemed and transformed into children and heirs to the kingdom of God. Romans 8:15-17 says,
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.
In the story of the prodigal son, the father clothes his wayward and rebellious son with a robe, a ring, and sandals. All three of these symbols represent a restoration of sonship in different ways. The son who returned to his father to simply be employed as a slave was immediately restored as a child and heir. The father had no desire to make his son pay for his own sins; he simply wanted restored relationship with his child again.
Our heavenly Father feels the same way about us. At salvation we were restored to right standing in the eyes of God. 2 Corinthians 6:18 says, “And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” 1 John 3:1 says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” No matter what sins we commit, we will always be a child of God. No sin we ever commit can rob us from the inheritance of glorious relationship afforded to us by the death of Christ Jesus. His love is stronger than our sin.
An epidemic exists in the church today of believers living and serving their Father as slaves rather than as sons and daughters. A slave works and serves apart from intimate relationship with their master. A son lives with the empowerment of true relationship with the Father. Many disciples are trying to live for Jesus—they go to church, go on a mission trip, teach a small group, and even try and read their Bibles—but they have no real fellowship or relationship with the Father. I lived much of my Christian life that way. It wasn’t until I began to experience the Father’s heart (knowing that he longed for me to truly know him), experience his love and nearness, and be empowered by a new identity that I began living as a son.
Allow your heavenly Father to clothe you with his presence and speak to your true identity today. Ask him what it looks like to live as a son or daughter who truly knows the Father. And experience the overwhelming joy and peace that comes from intimate relationship with your God.