In Second Kings 10 and verse, thirteen Jehu meets with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah. Because these people are unknown to Jehu, he asks these people Who are you? They answered with these words, ‘We are the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king.’ The children of the King is what we are talking about in this week’s Light on Life. We are going to talk some more about the Kingdom of God. We are going to focus our attention on the children of the King or the King’s kids. The Kingdom of God and Kinship: The King and His Kids.
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Accept the Challenge
Each week’s podcast contains a call to action. The Word of God will not produce in your life unless you put into operation.
This week’s call is:
You are a blood-related child of God in His Kindom. That gives you legal standing as an authorized one to execute God’s vision for the world. Get busy with His will.
Join the Conversation
Each week’s podcast also contains a question designed to encourage testimony. Testimony is vital to a believer’s life. We overcome by it (Rev. 12:11).
This week’s question is:
Question: How has understanding you are a King’s kid, changed your everyday life? Would you please share your thoughts in the comments section below?
You can find additional information on the subject of faith in the resources listed below.
- #S2-044: What is the Kingdom of God? [Podcast]
- #S2-045: What Does The Future Kingdom of God Look Like? [Podcast]
Emery committed his life to the Lord Jesus Christ over 40 years ago and has served as both a full-time pastor and an itinerant minister. Both he and his wife Sharon of 35 years emphasize personal growth and development through the Word of God. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is both the focus and the hallmark of their mission. Read more about them here.
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- Let’s go back over, one more time, what the definition of a king is.
- In every language, a “king” is a head of state, a sovereign, a monarch; by extension, a head or representative of a group, one who reigns meaning he exercises royal power, domination, or dominating influence.
- The Kingdom of God has an outstandingly unique feature which you will not find in any of the Kingdoms of the world.
In the Kingdom of God, every citizen of the Kingdom is personally related to the King.
- There are no Kingdom members who are not related.
- This is a fact which has not occurred and is not true of any other nation which has ever existed or will exist in the realm of men (as far as I know).
- Every single citizen of the Kingdom of God, from the greatest to the least, is related to the King.
- That relation is a ‘blood’ relation.
- You are a ‘blood relative’ child of the King.
- You are related to Him by blood, the Blood of Jesus.
- This is important because the succession of power in a monarchy is normally by blood.
- That is when an earthly king dies and they’re looking for the heir to the king, who do they look for first?
- They look for the sons.
- And they look for the sons in age order.
- They look for the eldest son first.
Jesus As the Firstborn Son of God
Colossians 1:15 (KJV) — 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Colossians 1:18 (KJV) — 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Hebrews 12:23 (KJV) — 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Romans 8:29 (KJV) — 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
- The Greek word for ‘firstborn’ is important in this discussion.
- The word is an adjective and it means to designate the son first in order of birth; especially all the rights and privileges which accompany being the firstborn.
- If there’s a firstborn, then there’s a second born.
- So, Jesus is the first, the eldest, the preeminent one, the firstborn.
- Believers in Jesus are all second born children of God.
- There isn’t a third born child.
- In the Kingdom of God, there are two levels of sons.
- There’s Jesus and there’s everybody else.
- Hear the verse again.
- Jesus is the firstborn among many BRETHREN.
- The word ‘brethren’ means a male from the same womb 1
- Mary had four sons after Jesus and at least two sisters.
Matthew 13:55–56 (KJV) — 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
- Jesus had four brothers in the natural.
John 7:5 (KJV) — 5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.
- The word ‘brethen’ in John 7:5 is the same word ‘brethren’ in Romans 8:29, a male of the same womb.
- In John and Matthew, the word is used of natural brothers.
- In Romans, the word is used of spiritual brothers.
- If natural brothers can have a deep connection to one another, how much more do spiritual brothers have an even higher one?
- Family relations in the Kingdom are of a higher order than natural human relations.
- That is if you have a family member who does not know Jesus, who hasn’t gained entrance into the Kingdom then you’re closer to your brother or sister in Christ who is sitting right next to you in church.
- You are closer to them, even though they may be a total stranger to you in the natural.
- Your connection to that person is stronger and more certain and more solid than any unsaved natural blood member of your family.
- If you don’t believe this is true today, wait a hundred years and you’ll see that it’s true.
- You don’t even have to wait, you can just hear Jesus on the subject.
Mark 3:31–35 (KJV) — 31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. 32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. 33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
- You see, sons of the Kingdom are the real family.
- And so, the Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of sons.
- The Elder Brother has ascended to the Throne.
- He is King of the Kingdom but He is surrounded by His brethren.
- Do princes of the King in an earthly monarchy have any pull?
- Do they have any authority?
- Are they to be respected and honored?
Romans 8:14–17 (KJV) — 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
- So then, even while the king lives, the sons are carriers of power and authority.
- We bow down to the will of the King.
- But, Satan will bow down to the sons of the King if they use their authority as sons of the king.
- So, you can see the phrase ‘sons of God’ has mega Kingdom applications.
- Because sons of God are sons of the King.
Daughters of God
- But, what about the daughters?
- What about the daughters of the King?
- What about the daughters of an earthly monarchy?
- Don’t they carry any influence in a monarchy?
- Yes, but not like the sons do.
- In the kingdom of men, sons are exalted above the daughters.
- What about in the Kingdom of God?
- If you do a search in the Bible for the phrase ‘sons of God’ that phrase occurs fifty-nine times in scripture.
- If you do a search in the Bible for the phrase ‘daughters of God’ that phrase occurs zero times in scripture.
- Why is that?
- Galatians gives us the answer to this question.
Galatians 3:28 (NASB95) — 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
- In Jesus Christ, there is neither male nor female.
- There is no gender distinction in the Kingdom of God.
- That’s why the phrase ‘daughters of God’ doesn’t exist because in the Kingdom’ everyone is a son.
- The term ‘sons of God’ is not gender related.
- It is not masculine.
- The term ‘sons of God’ means rank and position in the family.
- Because in the family of God everyone is related to the King.
- Everyone is a son of the Most High.
1 John 3:1–2 (KJV) — 1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
- ‘We shall be called sons’.
- Do you see that?
- The word ‘we’ is both male and female in this context.
- The Greek word ‘sons’ in this passage is the word ‘teknon’.
- In human terms, it is defined as the offspring of human parents.
- This verse literally reads, ‘Beloved now are we the offspring of God.’
- This is the most unusual kingdom because every citizen is the offspring of the King.
Romans 8:14–15 (NKJV) 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
- Paul, writing by the Spirit of God to the church at Rome, informs them that this Spirit you have received has transformed you through adoption into a son of God.
- The Greek word adoption means appointment or acceptance as a son, adoption 2
- It is derived from the Greek word ‘huis’ or ‘son’ and the Greek word ‘thesia’ which means’ placing’.
- Putting both words together gives us ‘son-placing’ as the meaning.
- We must look at the historical concept of adoption in order to understand Paul’s intended meaning.
- Adoption means something different in the Western part of the world.
- The Bible though is an eastern book, not a western one.
- Adoption was a well-known concept to the Romans otherwise Paul’s use of this word would not have had its desired effect.
- The word finds a place in several parts of the Pauline revelation see Romans 8:15, 23; 9:4; Galatians 4:5 and Ephesians 1:5.
How Does Adoption Differ between East and West?
- In the western part of the world, the adopted son has the same legal standing as the physical blood son of descent.
- In the western sense, Jesus stands as the physical blood son and believers in Jesus would be the adopted sons.
- But since the Bible was written in the eastern part of the world, the eastern concept needs to be applied for proper interpretation.
- There are 3 culturally possibilities for this word ‘adoption’ in the first century.
- The Roman Concept
- The Greek Concept
- The Jewish Concept
- Which one did Paul use?
- Paul used the Roman concept and that is described in the book of Galatians.
Galatians 4:1–7 (NKJV) 1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
- Note, the word in Galatians 4:5 ‘adoption’ is the same Greek word used in Romans 8:15.
- The Roman or eastern concept of adoption doesn’t describe a person from a different blood-line given full rights in a family.
- Rather, the Roman concept references a blood-son being given those rights.
- Per Donald Barnhouse, in his most excellent commentary on Romans, “The English reader will miss the flavor of these verses unless he realizes that the moment of growing up was a very definite one in antiquity and that it involved matters of great religious and legal importance.” 3
- Roman blood-sons had to be adopted to receive full status and rights in their own family.
- Under Roman culture, children had no rights and were equivalent to household servants.
- That is until a child reached adulthood which was somewhere around the age of fifteen.
- When a blood-son came of age, the ‘Toga of Man-hood’ was ceremonially conferred giving the child the full rights of maturity.
An Example of Roman ‘Man-hood’ Ceremony
- In the book The Robe written by Lloyd Douglas, Marcellus tells a friend of this ceremony. “When a Roman of our sort comes of age, Paulus, there is an impressive ceremony by which we are inducted into manhood. Doubtless, you felt, as I did, that this was one of the high moments of life. Well do I remember—the thrill of it abides with me still—how all our relatives and friends assembled that day in the stately Forum Julium. My father made an address, welcoming me into Roman citizenship. It was as if I had never lived until that hour. I was so deeply stirred, Paulus, that my eyes swam with tears. And then good old Cornelius Capito made a speech, a very serious one, about Rome’s right to my loyalty, my courage, and my strength. I knew that tough old Capito had a right to talk of such matters, and I was proud that he was there. They beckoned to me, and I stepped forward. Capito and my father put the white toga on me—and life had begun.”
- Paul, himself a Roman citizen (Acts 22:28), would have been very familiar with the ‘Toga of Man-hood’ ceremony.
- Paul’s word ‘adoption’ for a believer in Jesus mirrors this Roman concept.
- Coming into the family of God is not your adoption of into another family, but it’s the welcoming into the family as ‘a full son’.
- When we came to the point where we understood our need for a Savior and accepted God’s gift of forgiveness and reconciliation, we received our ‘toga of manhood’ by the agency of the Holy Spirit placing us into the kingdom of God as full sons of the most High God.
- Beloved NOW are we the sons of God
- The Kingdom of God has one outstanding feature.
- Everyone is personally related to the King.
- If you are a son, then sons should obey their parents and so in comes the Lordship of Jesus
- William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 18. ↩
- Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. ↩
- Barnhouse, Donald Grey. God’s Heirs: Romans 8:1-39. Grand Rapids, MI.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company., 1963. ↩