And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:6-7
So if we believe in Jesus we are adopted into God’s family and become His child. That is a great and wonderful truth of the Gospel. But why is it that we are all “sons”? Is “son” just a placeholder term for “both sons and daughters” in the same way “mankind” kind of stands for both men and women? Is it a holdover from a more sexist age? Is it weird for Christian women to think of their relationship with God in terms of “sonship”?
Well, turns out that “son” means son. When we place our trust in the promises of the Gospel, we become ‘sons’ – whether we are male of female. Is that crazy? Why not daughters too? It turns out that “sonship” is a controlling image for the relationship between us and God that is completely masculine. Whether we are men or women, when we believe we enter into sonship. Why? Why are both men and women subject to a masculine biblical image?
This doesn’t mean that we’re not also sons and daughters. But “sonship” means more than just being a child of God – it means that we are set to receive an inheritance. It is in the future and we are destined to receive it. The fullness of the Kingdom, the glory that is to be, everything that God has prepared for us – that is the inheritance of the sons of God. In olden days, it was the sons who received inheritance. Modern ears might not like that but that the way it was. That is why both sons (male) and daughters (female) of God are in this sense “sons”. Because the inheritance is for us all.
It may seem strange to think of yourself in terms of a masculine image if you are female. *not being female I couldn’t tell you!* But the relationship to God in which we are his sons is open to all. It is a masculine image which both men and women are subject to. But for those who place their trust in God and His promises, we are “sons”.
*before we cry out “Not Fair!” remember that there is also a feminine image for relationship with God that applies to both men and women. I’ll be writing on that tomorrow. Here’s a hint!