From the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He startled the religious leaders with His references to God. Jesus introduced a new terminology as He spoke about God by calling Him Father.
Although the idea of God as Father is found in the Old Testament, it was never a part of Israel’s thinking. In fact, God’s name was considered so holy that it was almost unutterable. His name was spoken only in the most reverential manner and only after bathing to remove any uncleanness.
For the religious Jews of Jesus’ day, the thought of God being their Father was unthinkable. To their minds, this concept brought God down to the level of common man, and that could not be tolerated. This is why religious Jews who heard Jesus refer to God as Father were so incensed and offended at Him. This terminology meant that Jesus was equating Himself with God, and that was blasphemy.
Actually, Jesus not only called God His Father, He also called Him our Father. That is precisely what God wanted each of us to know about Him all along. He is our Father, and He wants us to live both in this life and the next as members of His family.
When the prophet Hosea looked into the future by the Spirit of God, he declared the same thought:
“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ there it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living God'” (Hosea 1:10 NKJV).
Hosea saw in the Spirit a time when God’s family would be beyond numbering. God would take people from every nation, bringing them into His family as “sons of the living God.”
Sonship has its privileges, especially for the firstborn son. In God’s family, of course, Jesus is the firstborn Son.
“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18).
Yet the entire Body of Christ is also called the firstborn! Hebrews 12:23 calls us the “church of the firstborn.” In this family, there is no second born. We have all entered into the covenant of the firstborn Son and consequently have been given the same access to our Heavenly Father as Jesus Himself.
This is the truth Jesus declares in John 16:23: “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” We have the right to ask our Heavenly Father in the authority of Jesus’ name and to receive from the Father as His own sons.
Since our sonship is based on entering the covenant ratified by Jesus, there is no longer a gender issue in Christ. Men and women are sons of God because of their faith in the Firstborn Son.
Each child of God stands in the covenant between the Man Christ Jesus and the Heavenly Father. Women and men have the same place in God’s plan. Each of us stand in His grace by faith in Jesus’ sacrifice as sons of the living God.