First Corinthians 4:15 says, For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. While that is true, I also believe there are many who want to be inheritors but often few who want to carry the responsibility of being a son. The word "son" means a carrier of the family name. The name implies all that a son is, all that a son has and all that a son does. A true son is proud to be a carrier of the family name. A true son has a deep appreciation for his father. A true son covers his earthly father's weaknesses like the two sons of Noah who backed into their father's tent to cover his nakedness. A true son knows that God the Father has the final word on all things.
Many would call themselves sons but have no idea what this means. The prodigal son wanted the father's resources and influence without having the father's heart and wisdom. When the prodigal asked for his inheritance before his father's death what he was really saying was, I value what you can do for me or give me more than who you are to me (Luke 15:11-32). An obedient son never intentionally dishonors his natural father, his spiritual father or his Heavenly Father. The process of becoming an obedient son often requires suffering. Thank God the prodigal son finally returned with an attitude of humility and was reconciled to his Father. Notice that it was the wisdom of the father that released his son to go through the process that would ultimately give him the opportunity to repent and be reconciled.
Jesus gave us a beautiful example of an apostolic son. He was the Son sent by the Father and empowered by the Spirit to fulfill the Father's will. The Bible teaches us at least seven powerful kingdom principles of apostolic sonship:
7 Principles of Sonship
1. Sons carry the Father’s name. John 16:23
2. Sons fulfill the Father’s vision. Matt 1:21, 22
3. Sons bear the Father’s image. Romans 8:29, I Cor 15:49
4. Sons share the Father’s inheritance. Col 1:12
5. Sons know the Father’s love. 1 John 3:1
6. Sons produce the Father’s fruit. John 15:8,16
7. Sons follow the Father’s Spirit. John 14:26; Romans 8:12-17
True apostolic fathers must first understand true apostolic sonship. When we learn how to be a son I believe we will more readily be able to recognize those who are true sons in the faith to us. In ministry there are those who are called to us and those who are called through us. I pray God gives us the wisdom and the grace to know the difference and the purpose for both.
(c) 2016 Dana Gammill / www.cathedraloflife.org
Dana Gammill is Senior Pastor of Cathedral of Life in Ohio and an apostolic ambassador for ICAL. He is a prophetic minister with a weekly radio and TV program. He publishes Keys for Successful Living - which reaches over 100,000 homes weekly.