The State of Sonship
Jesus is the exclusive definition of what Sonship looks like. Jesus defined what normal life looks like for those who know their Papa in Heaven and who know who they are as Sons made in His image. Sonship is a gender-neutral term, just as men are the Bride of Christ, ladies are the Sons of God. We describe the state of mature Sonship as the ability to: “receive divine love perfectly and give perfect expression to divine love”.
This looks like participating in the seamless union of the fellowship of the Trinity on a moment-by-moment basis. This intimacy positions us to be so overwhelmed by the goodness, wonder, ecstasy and love of the Trinity that we are empowered to live above our circumstances and to live in the fulfillment of Heaven’s finest promises for our lives as we bring Heaven to Earth. This intimacy infuses us with a fearless, courageous, hope filled, faith filled, abundant and invincible mindset that believes Papa works all things for good, there will always be more than enough and every situation is a perfect excuse for extreme thanksgiving, rejoicing and delighting in the Trininty.
Understanding a few key words will help you to see the divine design for our lives as beloved Sons. The first word is the Hebrew word “shalom”. Most people know that shalom means peace. But it means far more than that. Shalom refers to the peace that comes when everything is functioning according to divine design. For a person that happens when all their beliefs are in alignment with truth. When lies fill our beliefs, those lies rob us of shalom and plant chaos in our lives. The literal translation of the Hebrew pictogram for the word shalom is: “to destroy the authority attached to chaos”. The ultimate personification of shalom is Jesus. He lived according to the divine design for humanity; He participated in seamless union with the Trinity, He lived in the fulfillment of Heaven’s finest promises and He destroyed the authority attached to chaos.
The Greek word “sozo” is the word that is most commonly translated as salvation in the New Testament. It means to be saved, healed and delivered. It communicates a very similar concept to the Hebrew word shalom. It communicates a state of being where there is nothing missing, nothing broken and everything is functioning according to divine design. When you hear the words save, saved or salvation in the New Testament it is not communicating that a person has escaped hell, it is communicating a picture of the divine life. Many people say they are “saved” in the sense that they are going to Heaven. But experiencing “sozo” or salvation is actually a process. We we call it the beautiful journey, a journey on which we exchange all of our lies and ignorance for truth, which results in everything that was missing or broken being restored to the divine design for our lives. The result is a mature state of Sonship.
Another key Greek word used in the New Testament is the word “zoe”. In the Greek language there are three words that mean life. “Bios” this refers to our physical life, it’s where the word biology comes from. There is also “Psuche”, which refers to the life of the soul; this is where the word psychology comes from. Then there is “Zoe”, in biblical usage zoe refers to spiritual life - the divine quality of life as possessed by the Trinity. This is the highest quality of life possible. This is the quality of life experienced by the Trinity in the context of their perfect love for one another – zoe is the by-product of perfect love and connection. Jesus modeled what zoe looks like as a lifestyle.
This list of scriptures has been compiled to help communicate and articulate what the extreme bliss, wonder, awe, ecstasy and delight of mature Sonship look like as a state of being. One final thought that will help you to understand what Sonship looks like is what perfect love looks like. Love in all its splendour culminates in extreme delight. When we hear that our Father in Heaven loves us, we should hear that He is absolutely, wildly, extravagantly, extremely, unconditionally delighted in us! When the Bible tells us to love God, that love is supposed to look like being absolutely, wildly, extravagantly, extremely, unconditionally delighted in God!
This perfect supernatural love always starts with the Trinity. It is as we experience this love in the context of intimacy with the Trinity that we grow in our capacity to be loved and to love others. This is the epicenter of growing into and experiencing a mature state of Sonship: experiencing for ourselves the wild, extravagant, extreme and unconditional delight of the Trinity for us! Experiencing this love turns us into lovers! Sonship is not a stagnant state of being. As modeled by Jesus a mature life of Sonship looks like a life of extreme love giving perfect expression to divine love that brings chaos to order, turns darkness to light, sets prisoners free, gives life to the death, hope to the broken hearted, help to those in need and healing to a hurting world.
John 17:26 NIV
I have made you[e] known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Matthew 3:16-17 Message*
The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God’s Spirit—it looked like a dove—descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.”
Matthew 17:5 Message*
While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.”
*There are two times in the New Testament where the audible voice of the Father is heard as He speaks to Jesus. Both times the number one message that the Father wants to communicate to His Son is that He is delighted in him! The number one message that our Father in Heaven wants to communicate to us is His extravagant and unconditional delight in us!
Romans 5:8 NIV
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephesians 3:17-19 Amplified Bible
May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Genesis 1:27 ESV
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Romans 8:15 Amplified Bible
For (the Spirit which) you have received (is) not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption (the Spirit producing sonship) in (the bliss of) which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!
Romans 8:19 Berean Study Bible
The creation waits in eager expectation for the revelation of the sons of God.
Isaiah 60:1-2 NIV
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
Epheshians 1:3-5 Amplified Bible
May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm! Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]—
Ephesians 1:5 NIV
he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--
John 17:20-23 NIV
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
1 John 4:18-19 NIV
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.
Romans 5:5 NIV
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
John 15:5 NLT
"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:11 Mirror Translation
I have spoken these things unto you so that my joy will continuously infuse you – you don’t have to invent your own if you can tap into mine! This is the ultimate bliss!
Psalm 16:11 ESV
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Nehemiah 8:10 NLT
And Nehemiah continued, "Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!"
Romans 15:13 NIV
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 3:1 Mirror Translation
The conclusion of your faith is extreme gladness in the Lord. He is your constant reference to bliss! I am not just saying this to be repetitive: joy is your fortress! There is no safer place to be, but to be ecstatically happy!
Jude 24-25 Amplified Bible Classic
Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]—To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it).
Romans 14:17 Berean Study Bible
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 1:8 NIV
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
John 14:12 NIV
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4 Mirror Translation
Joy is not a luxury option; joy is your constant! Your union in the Lord is your permanent source of delight; so I might as well say it again, rejoice in the Lord always!
Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Isaiah 26:3 NLT
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
The Hebrew words translated as perfect and as peace here are both the Hebrew word shalom. Effectively this is saying: “He is able to keep in shalom shalom…”. This is a strong emphasis on the promise that as we trust Papa He is able to keep us in a place where we experience the peace that comes when everything functions according to divine design. That peace always starts internally as we experience the shalom of His presence. That peace moves from an internal state of being into an external circumstance as the Trinity works through us to destroy the authority attached to chaos in this world and to establish Heaven on Earth.
Psalm 23:4-6 NIV
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Psalm 27:1-3 NIV
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
Genesis 50:20 NIV
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Romans 8:28-29 Holman Christian Standard Bible
We know that all things work together[m] for the good[n] of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.
John 8:12 NIV
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life*."
*The Greek word for life here is the word zoe. Jesus is saying here that whoever follows Him can experience the fullness of the divine life. That means Jesus is saying that whoever follows Him can have the same state of being as Him. The key to the following here is first in following Jesus in the way that He thinks. Following Jesus in the way that He thinks empowers us to follow Jesus in the way that He lives.
Romans 12:2 NLT
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
John 8:32 NIV
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Isaiah 61:1-3 NIV
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
Luke 10:27 NIV
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Isaiah 6:8 NIV
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Isaiah 58:6 NIV
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Matthew 28:18-20 NIV
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”