The truth of sonship is found almost exclusively in the writings of the apostle Paul. John in his Gospel speaks of sons of light (John 12:36), and says in Revelation 21:7, "I will be to him God, and he shall be to me son;" but these passages speak of the truth of sonship in a different way from Paul's writings, as we shall see. Almost invariably John speaks of the relationship of children, although the Authorised Version does not always make this clear. A glance at Romans 8:14-21 will show that Paul used both the terms sons and children in this passage, and they are different words in the original, the Spirit of God purposely distinguishing to bring out different thoughts.

Sons were marked out, in divine purpose, by the Father in the past eternity, children are born and associated with Christ in rejection (Eph. 1:5; 1 John 3:1-2). We have been brought into sonship in Christ as blessed in Him in the heavenly places: and while down here we have the spirit of sonship whereby we cry Abba, Father (Romans 8:15). Moreover we have also the affections that belong to sons, for God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying Abba, Father (Galatians 4:6). Faith in Christ Jesus brings us into this blessed relationship, for, says the apostle, "Ye are all God's sons by faith in Christ Jesus:" faith in Him who was known as Jesus in His path of lowly grace, faith in Christ Jesus, the glorious exalted, anointed Man at God's right hand. Very soon we shall enter into sonship in its fulness, when our bodies are glorified, brought to His image; even as we read in Romans 8:23, "Awaiting adoption, the redemption of our body."

In the world to come we shall be manifested as sons m association with God's Son, the glorified Man; when the true Heir will come to claim the inheritance which he has purchased, and which He will share with His co-heirs. God will give the many brethren their part along with the Firstborn in the glory of the coming day, when our bodies are redeemed and the purchased possession is redeemed.

Now we are to walk down here in the dignity and power of the relationship into which God has brought us, in the joy and intelligence of the spirit of sonship; for we have the character of sons as being led by the Spirit of God.

We shall be sons for all eternity before the Father, rejoicing before Him in His own house, that home of divine affections, delighting in the love of the Father and the Son. And what supreme joy for the Father's heart, and for the Son, to have the many sons there; all the Father's purpose and counsels brought to full fruition. But even here the Spirit delights to engage us with the Father and the Son in that scene into which we shall so soon enter, when the desert sands are forever past.
In that bright scene of cloudless light,
Where sons shall be at home,
With Him we'll share that glory bright,
And never from Thee roam.

Let us go in for these things more and more now, and their joy will fill our poor hearts. God desires that we should even here live in the light and joy of our present blessing in Christ, and in the enjoyment of what the Spirit brings to us of our heavenly portion with Christ when we see Him face to face.
R. Duncanson.