Bringing Many Sons To Glory

When we reflect on the place of believers within the plans of God, it can be a bit overwhelming to understand what God would want to do with human beings at all considering how far advanced he is beyond us. How could a God that is all-powerful and all-knowing relate to beings that are anything but? It is far easier for some people to conceive of God as a remote Lord and Master [1] or as a deist creator who puts the order of the universe into motion and then stands remote and unaffected by the suffering and agonies of His creation. To be sure, Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, having purchased us from death and slavery to sin through His blood. Yet if we stop our examination of our place within the universe as the servants of God, we might feel more than a little gloomy and downhearted about such a state unless we examine the family planning of our Father in Heaven.

There are two predominant views when it comes to children among the people I know. There are some of us who greatly enjoy and appreciate the somewhat silly and chaotic fun that children bring into the lives of those around them, who find in appreciating children a lightheartedness and innocence that is a refreshing change of pace from the trajectory of their lives, and who find much insight to be gained in trying to appreciate the perspective of little ones that are in our own image and yet so different. Those writers who have explored the paternal instincts of God [2] with regards to man view God as viewing us in the same light, relying on natural consequences to preserve the relationship between free will and responsibility rather than relying on constant punishments.

There are others who tend to view children as a bit of an annoyance given their immaturity and general helplessness. To be sure, an appreciation of children generally depends on at least a few interrelated qualities. For one, one must have a long view of time that extends far beyond the immediate to years and even generations ahead. Occasionally as human beings we see that long view when we can see the images of our relatives in little ones, and in a melancholy fashion when we see the same ancestral patterns exhibit themselves over and over and again in our lives and the lives of our family members. For some people, there is no thought or desire for something to continue after them, and their love with death leads them to hate new life and its messiness and complications. Clearly, if we are the children of God, than God is not to be counted among those who love death and hate life, and the innocence and complexity that result from a life lived with the doom of choice.

Sometimes God’s viewing us as His children does relate to matters of discipline, given the words of Proverbs 3:11-12 quoted by the author of Hebrews in Hebrews 12:5-6: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Eternal, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Eternal loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” Being a child rather than being merely a servant means an increased level of responsibility but also a vastly increased reward. The angels, for example, as powerful as they are, are servants and will never be more than that, created to serve God and His family. Human beings, though we start out like helpless fetuses in an unfriendly world, are created to be so much more. As the the author of Hebrews says in Hebrews 2:10: “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” We may not like the sufferings we face, but the maturity and glory that results are worthwhile, and of a far more lasting nature than the temporary nature of what we must endure in the meantime.

One of the poignant passages that deals with the way that slavery (as we would term it) was accepted in ancient Israel under very limited and circumscribed boundaries [3] is Deuteronomy 15:16-17: “And if it happens that he says to you, ‘I will not go away from you,’ because he loves you and your house, since he prospers with you, then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise.” If people and institutions wish for others to serve them loyally and for the long haul, those people must prosper with him. You cannot gain the benefits of loyalty unless you give love and loyalty to others. We are all servants of God, whether we are rebellious or obedient, elite or humble, male or female, old are young. But we are so much more than mere servants, but also His sons and daughters, being prepared for glory. Even as we dedicate ourselves to serve God and others, let us not forget the glory for which we were made and the family which we were created to be a part of.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/and-will-no-longer-call-me-baali/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/book-review-the-lonely-god/

[3] For a variety of reasons, slavery is a subject written about often here:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/slavery-through-the-back-door/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/slavery-in-the-bible/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/college-football-slavery-and-the-idol-of-tradition/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/bricks-without-straw/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/dignitas-in-extremis/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/book-review-we-confess-the-civil-war-the-south-and-the-church/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/today-in-history-on-july-26-1847-liberia-declared-independence/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/book-review-the-first-emancipator/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/when-israel-out-of-egypt-went/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/the-contemporary-relevance-of-biblical-slave-codes/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/the-villainy-of-banastre-tarleton/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/book-review-the-panic-of-1857-and-the-coming-of-the-civil-war/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/proverbs-227-the-borrower-is-slave-to-the-lender/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/bigger-fish-to-fry/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/defending-the-indefensible/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/a-house-slave-is-still-a-slave/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/the-myth-of-the-christian-antebellum-slaveowner/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/book-review-apostles-of-disunion-southern-secession-commissioners-and-the-causes-of-the-civil-war/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/the-implications-of-philemon-on-the-process-of-cultural-change/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/college-athletes-the-ncaa-owns-your-likeness-forever/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/slaveowner-guilt-and-the-internal-slave-trade/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Christianity, Church of God, Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Bringing Many Sons To Glory

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