SONS NOT SERVANTS
Session 3: Shoes of Sonship
“But the father said to his servants, [a]‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
Shoes represent rights in the Bible.
Taking off shoes represents giving up rights.
In Luke 15, the father was giving the prodigal son back his rights as a son. The prodigal son was actually saying that he did not deserve the rights of a son so he wanted his father to treat him like a hired servant.
Other examples of shoes in scripture:
Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a confirmation in Israel.
Ruth 4:7 derives from the love story of Boaz and Ruth.
Ruth 4:7 explains the custom to confirm redeeming and exchanging. It was a conformation that the near kinsman was giving up his right. He had the right to marry Ruth, but he was going to give up that right.
7 But if the man does not want to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to raise up a name to his brother in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.’ 8 Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him. But if he stands firm and says, ‘I do not want to take her,’ 9 then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who will not build up his brother’s house.’ 10 And his name shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal removed.’
According to the law, if a man died and did not have an heir, then his brother was to marry the widow so that she would have an heir. But if the brother did not want to marry the widow, Deuteronomy 25:7-10 tells what would happen.
3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” 4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”
Exodus 3 is a conversation between God and Moses. The first thing God told Moses was to take his shoes off because he was standing on was holy ground. He was telling Moses that if he wanted to talk to Him, Moses must give up his rights.
The same thing happened to Joshua. Joshua and the Israelites were about to take the first city in the promised land when Joshua met up with the Commander of the army of the Lord (Jesus). Jesus was telling Joshua that He was not there to take sides. He was there to take over. Would Joshua choose to serve in Jesus' army? Would Joshua give up his rights? Would he take his sandals off? If did get on Jesus' side, everything would be ok. There was no way the Israelites could have defeated Jericho. The Commander (Jesus) gave Joshua the plan to walk around the city 7 times.
2. Put your shoes back on.
Rights of Sonship.
It's not what you can do on your own.
It's not what you have earned.
It's not how smart you are.
It's not how great you are.
It's the rights of being a son or daughter of God.
Moses and Joshua put their shoes back on and led the people of Israel under God.
power to share the gospel
(In Acts 1, when we receive the Holy Spirit, we are given the power to witness).
feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
(In Ephesians 6:15, part of our armor is prepare ourselves to share the gospel).
authority over the enemy
(In Luke 10:19, we are given the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions).
(In 2 Chronicles 28, Israel took some of the Judea children captive. The first thing they did was take their shoes off. A prophet came and told Israel that they had sinned, the Lord had seen it, and if they took them as their servants, the wrath of God would come upon them. They restored the captives and gave their shoes back).
Luke 15 is a sum of what the rights are.
Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son. It is a parable. Parable comes from the Greek word parabolee. Para means along side. Ballo means to cast or throw. So a parable is a story thrown along side a truth.
“But the father said to his servants, [f]‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. 25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ 28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ 31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ”
There are two sons in this parable of the prodigal son. Why?
The older son would not come into the party. This is important for us to understand.
The older son said he had been serving his father. (Remember we are sons not servants).
He said he had never transgressed his father's commands.
(This is a lie because only Jesus is perfect).
He said his father had never even given him a goat.
(This is a lie because the father divided both sons' inheritance and the older son got twice as much because he was the first son).
He referred to himself as a servant in verse 29 and referred to his brother as a son in
Why did Jesus bring the older son into this story?
Jesus tells 3 parables,
the parable of the lost coin,
the parable of the lost sheep,
and the parable of the prodigal son.
The truth in all these parables is that there is much joy in heaven when one sinner repents.
Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man [a]receives sinners and eats with them.”
Jesus tells us these parables for two reasons:
1. to show us how much the Lord loves to recover stolen kids.
2. to show you that it is all by grace and not by works.
Think about how much of a battle Jesus constantly had with the Pharisees and how many parables He told to try to explain to the them that it is not works, its grace.
So Jesus came to earth and hung out with sinners.
The Pharisees were mad because they felt like they had earned their relationship with God and the sinners hadn't.
The older son represented the Pharisees.
The younger son represented the sinners.
God is excited when one sinner comes home!
The father told the older son that everything he had was his but he was mad because the sinner (his younger brother) came home.
Think about all the parables Jesus told.
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other;for everyone who exalts himself will be [d]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing [a]idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, [b]and whatever is right you will receive.’ 8 “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ 9 And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they [c]complained against the landowner,12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what isyours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For[d] many are called, but few chosen.”
"In Luke 15:17, the word hired jumped out at me. A hired servant is an employee so when he gets his paycheck, he's earned it. But we are not hired servants. We don't earn salvation. We are sons and daughters and it is a free gift from the Father.
That is what the Pharisees couldn't stand. They couldn't stand it because the sinners hadn't earned it. Jesus told them over and over again through parables that the sinners had not earned salvation but neither had the Pharisees!"
"Please hear me. If you feel like you have earned your right relationship with God, you will want others to earn it also, and you will look at others that don't look up to your standard of righteousness and you will be critical and judgmental.
Let me just say it this way.
You are a Pharisee! That is a Pharisaical spirit!
You will think that you do all this stuff, living right, going to church, doing the right thing, tithing, praying, leading a group, etc. and here comes some who just gets saved and is getting all the attention.
Let me take it a step further. If you feel like you have earned a right relationship with God, you will make others earn a right relationship with you. If they don't act the way that you want them to, you will give them the cold shoulder and the silent treatment until they get the message that they are not acting the right way because you act right and they need to act right.
It's a works based mentality. Many people get this way when they are growing up whether they have good or bad parents, Christian or non-Christian parents. They grow up thinking that when they act right, their parents love them and when they don't, their parents don't love them. So later when they act right as adults, they believe God loves them and when they don't act right, God doesn't love them."
This is the whole burden for this series. This is why I spent three weeks on it.
We are sons and daughters completely and totally by grace.
We are not hired servants.
We are not employees.
God does not owe us anything.
It's all by grace!
Think about it.
The prodigal son said he was not worthy and wanted his father to treat him like a hired servant. The father disagreed and said he was a son and would get all the gifts.
But what did the prodigal son have to do?
He had to give up his rights. He had to say that he gave up all his rights as a son and then the father gave them back to him.
There are three parables and there is one major difference.
In the parables of the coin and the lost sheep, the woman and the shepherd searched for the lost coin and sheep. In the parable of the prodigal son, the father waited for the son to come home because the son was a human who had a will. He had to make up his own decision to give up his rights. He was not a coin or an animal.
So even though God loves us and He is standing on the porch, we will have to make the decision to give up our rights. Once we do, the Father will always be with us and all that He has is ours. We have to keep giving up our rights. We don't just do it one time. Remember Paul said that he died daily.
(I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
1 Corinthians 15:31)
The Bible says we have been crucified with Christ.
The Bible says it's not us who live anymore but Christ who lives through us.
God tries to live and love through us as Christians.
Think about an area of your life right now where you need to give up your rights.
God maybe speaking to you about a relationship.
Maybe you are mad at someone.
Unforgiveness is probably the number one stronghold for believers.
Maybe it is not about a relationship.
Tell the Lord the area in which you are giving up your rights and that you will receive the gift of the shoes of sonship.
Oh, Lord, thank You for welcoming us as your sons and daughters. Help us to understand that we are Yours not because of anything we’ve done but only by your wonderful grace. We desire to follow You and obey You because we love You, Lord. Thank You for the overwhelming and amazing grace and mercy which You offer us in the gift of salvation. You are our Kinsman Redeemer, and we are so grateful, Lord, for Your love and care. Help us to walk with You as we go into our week, and bring Your presence, Your love, Your mercy, and grace to each person we meet.
SONS NOT SERVANTS
Session 2: The Ring of Authority
“But the father said to his servants, [a]‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
In Luke 15:22, the father gives his prodigal son three gifts which represent three gifts we receive as sons and daughters of the Lord, not servants.
Robert Morris looked at scripture to find out what the three gifts mean spiritually.
Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.
In Esther 8:8, King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew:
You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, [a]as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.”
Again, the as shown in the above scriptures, the ring represents authority.
Jesus comes on the scene with authority.
And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
You need to know that all authority is delegated except for God's authority which derives from Himself.
In this parable in Luke 15, the father delegates authority back to the prodigal son, but as sons and daughters can we not walk in that authority as well?
How do we walk in that authority?
How do we use that authority?
Jesus exemplifies the following three characteristics of walking in the Father's authority.
The quickest way we loose our authority is to walk in pride because it is not our authority, it is His authority.
Examples of others in scripture who walked in humility:
Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
Many people say, yes, Jesus gave authority to the 12 apostles, but in Luke 10:1, He gave the same authority to 70 new believers (baby Christians).
After these things the Lord appointed [a]seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
Then the [a]seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
Listen, Jesus was saying that when Satan crossed His Father, he was out!
19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but [a]rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus Rejoices in the Spirit
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
Meanings of terms in the above scriptures:
serpents and scorpions - demonic spirits
names are written heaven - believers (Christians)
hidden these things - authority of demonic spirits
babes - new Christians
Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant
5 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” 7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
Centurion- a Roman soldier over 100 men
It is normal for the enemy (demonic spirits) to attack believers,
but it is not normal for God's children to lose the battles.
Yes. The Egyptian army followed the Israelites, but they also drowned!
Yes. Daniel was thrown in the lions' den, but the Lord shut the lions' mouths!
Yes. The Children of Israel went into the fiery furnace, but they came out and their clothes did not even smell like smoke!
Jesus’ Authority Questioned
23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” 24 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: 25 The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Jesus continues and answers their question by telling a story of two sons:
The Parable of the Two Sons
28 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go,sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.
Through the parable of the Two Sons, Jesus was revealed that one son didn't obey what his father said to do and the other son did.
He was telling the religious leaders that because the tax collectors and prostitutes who had disobeyed in the beginning, now had listened to Him and received Him, and repented from what they had done, they would go to heaven.
They (the religious leaders), however were just the opposite. They had said they would obey the Father, but disobeyed instead.
As a believer, you can have a ring of authority,
but walk in pride
and have no authority,
you can believe a lie and loose your authority,
you can walk in disobedience and rebellion and loose your authority.
You open the door to the enemy in your life when you act like you are doing the right things, but in reality you aren't.
I never want anyone to feel shame or condemnation at church, but I do want the Holy Spirit to convict you. Then, just simply do what the prodigal son did, come to your senses, and turn your heart toward home (to God).
SONS NOT SERVANTS
Session 1: Robe of Righteousness
Our bible study is based on the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15.
When the Prodigal Son returned home, he wanted to be treated like a servant because his behavior had been bad. Instead his father gave him three gifts that included a robe, a ring, and shoes. This week we will study the meaning of the first gift, the robe, that the son received.
The Bible calls both men and women sons.
The Bible also refers to men and women as the bride of Christ.
"We are sons because of birthright, not our behavior!"
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’ 20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, [a]‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
Terms to Understand from the above scripture:
saw him a long way off -The Father is always looking for prodigals.
had compassion on him - God always feels compassion for prodigals.
ran - God will come to you if you start coming to Him.
Before the Prodigal Son can finish speaking, his father started celebrating his homecoming!
Jesus makes statements about sons in the following scriptures:
And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir [a]of God [b]through Christ.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."
The robe represents righteousness.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
1. Earned or a gift?
This will change everything in your life!
Many will answer it's a gift but will act like it's earned.
It changes everything about the way you see God.
It changes everything about the way you see yourself.
It changes everything about the way you behave and you perform.
It changes everything about the way you see others.
It changes everything about the way you treat yourself.
It changes everything about the way you treat others.
It changes everything about the way you treat God.
Tell me what the prodigal son did to earn these three gifts?
He spent his time in wasteful living.
He lived without restraint, especially in the areas of sex, promiscuity, and drinking.
In verse 19, the son stated that he was no longer was worthy to be called a son. This tells me that some point he though he was worthy. He thought that when he stayed home and did the right thing he was worthy, but when he did the wrong thing, he was unworthy.
Now listen, we think this way too. When we come to church, if we have had a bad week, then we think the we aren't worthy to worship God. We think we are hypocrites.
If we have a good week, we may think we are worthy.
We have NEVER been worthy!
Impute is an accounting term which means to credit.
God balances the account of righteousness apart from works:
Just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
Romans 4:6 NKJV
Thus David [a]congratulates the man and pronounces a blessing on him to whom God credits righteousness apart from the works he does:
Romans 4:6 AMP (Amplified Bible)
Verse 23 is referring to Abraham's sake.
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,
Romans 4:23-24 NKJV
23 Now not for his sake alone was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also—to whom righteousness will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead--
Romans 4:23-24 AMP
3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was [a]accounted to him for righteousness.”
Romans 4:3 NKJV
3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed in (trusted, relied on) God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness (right living, right standing with God).”
Romans 4:3 AMP
When Abraham believed (put his faith in), God put righteousness in his account.