About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Galatians 4:1 through 4 the apostle Paul uses the terms "children
of God" and "sons of God."
The context clearly shows us how to understand these two terms.
Paul says that in Old Testament times Israel
was like a child, under the guardianship of the Law of Moses.
Now in New Testament times, since the death and resurrection of
been brought to my attention that a book is being written based on this
passage. Supported by
visions, the author doesn't seem to understand the contextual meaning to
Paul's usage of these two terms. The
author says that Paul is teaching a two-tier class structure within the
Christendom. They are,
children, and sons. Children
are ordinary Christians. Sons
are an elite group of Christians who are privileged with special
insight. I won't try to
refute this interpretation. There's
no hint of such thinking n this passage.
That's not the point to this article anyway.
point is this. As early as
the first century, some Christians claimed special status, having
exclusive spiritual insight. Much
of this insight comes from visions, dreams, and revelations that often
conflict with a good hermeneutical approach to the Bible.
a young Christian I encountered such a group in the early 1970's, and
even in my youth I knew this thinking wasn't right.
This group viewed themselves as being a select group of "manifested
sons of God." They
claimed to have exclusive revelation from God, and twisted the Scripture
to support their thinking. They
believed that they would not die, but would be transformed into their
glorified bodies before Jesus returned to earth.
The rest of us ordinary Christians would have to suffer death the
old fashioned way like everyone else.
Ironically, the leader of the group died in a plane crash.
don't think Jesus has any super-saint disciples.
Paul warns us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought
in Romans 12:3. That's why
I've never liked the term "cutting edge" when applied to
certain Christians or churches. "Cutting
edge" implies superiority in my thinking.
It's plain to me that Jesus wants us to be humble servants, which
doesn't sound like a special elite class of Christians to me.
As it was with Lucifer, so it is with some Christians.
The desire to be special, elite, and above the rest is very
temping. It's a fundamental
concept in the "religion of self." As
many of us have part time jobs to supplement our income, so many
Christians have part time religions to supplement their religious needs.
The religion of self is one such part time religion. By
the way, there are other part time religions Christians get involved in
too, like the new age
religion, eastern mysticism, humanism, and others.
anyone had the right to be exclusive and superior it would be Jesus.
He's in an exclusive group of one.
Take a look at who He chose to entrust His gospel to.
They were a bunch of ordinary guys.
I could be wrong, but I tend to picture Peter as being a bit
overweight, a little unkempt, shaggy hair and beard, and maybe not so
sensitive to his wife. Anyway,
back to my point. Jesus
could have compromised Himself and hung out with the Pharisees.
They were the privileged elite in those days.
He might have been able to cozy up to the cool crowd and start
his new brand of religion and gain both political and religious power,
but He didn't. He hung out
with ordinary people, and in some cases, less than ordinary people, even
undesirable people. Boy,
that makes me feel a bit better. I'm
apostle Paul followed in the steps of Jesus.
If anyone had the right to be elite, it would be him too.
He just considered himself to be a servant.
A servant isn't one of the elite.
They eat and sleep in the little servant's shack out back.
I'm sure Paul would have liked a shack out back.
It would have seemed like a mansion to him in comparison to the
rat infested dungeon he was
imprisoned in for so long. I
can't imagine trying to sleep with all sorts of creepy things crawling
through your hair.
we have trusted our lives with Jesus, God views us as being totally
righteous, even as He Himself is righteous, even though we're far from
righteous. I'm certainly
glad for that. That being
said, we're still fallen and frail, a product of our sinful nature.
If it's not one thing that tries to drag us down, it's another
thing. So none of us should
think of ourselves more highly than we ought.
None of us should claim to be the elite.
Let's be humble ordinary Christians, demonstrating the
unordinary life of Jesus. Let's
not be like Lucifer who said, "I will be like the Most High." That's
just another way of saying, "I am pretty special, look at me."