Adam was created with sonship in view, sonship after this kind, but he was placed upon the basis of dependence upon God, faith and dependence. That was the law of his life, and that was to be the law by which he would come to the realization of sonship in its full sense. satan came and suggested to Adam that he could have it in himself if he liked. He need not have it of God and have to look to God all the time If Adam did but follow his advice, there need be none of this servitude to God, but he could be as God and have it in himself, and be delivered from the bondage of this life of dependence and faith, and obedience. Adam accepted that suggestion and sought to take it, to have it in himself without reference or deference to God. Sonship was lost for Adam and his race. The last Adam comes and accepts a life of absolute dependence upon the Father, and obedience to the Father in an utter self-emptying. "He emptied Himself ... and became obedient"; He took "the form of a bond-servant" (Phil. 2:6-8). He had it not in Himself, by His own choice: He had it in the Father; and sonship was established, realized and expressed in fullness in Him.
We, beloved, are called on to that basis. Oh, there is nothing which will work against the spirit of sonship, God's purpose of fullness in us, like pride, the pride which wants to have it in ourselves. Pride hates a life of dependence. Pride cannot bear to have to look outside of itself for everything. Pride must have the root of things in itself. "Be not wise in your own conceits" is a phrase the Apostle used (Romans 12:16). What is conceit? The very word itself means "having the seat of things in yourself": wise by having the seat of things in yourself. The Lord Jesus, Who had the highest place in heavenly glory, the highest and greatest title and name - all rights were in His power - accepted the position of girding Himself with a towel and putting water into a basin and kneeling down to wash the feet of His disciples. That is the mind which was in Christ Jesus. That is sonship. It is not nice for the flesh, nor for our reputation, it is not pleasant to our education; we look for something better than that. But that is sonship. That is a life in the Spirit. That spirit will be the mark, the hall-mark, of spiritual growth, of spiritual maturity. The person who is really growing spiritually is not the person who is becoming something important spiritually. The one who is growing is the one who is growing in the servant dependent spirit more and more. The one who can get down lowest is the one who is really getting up highest.
That is the nature of sonship. It is something which is wholly of God, exclusively of God, not of ourselves. We cannot produce it.
Sonship A Spiritual Thing
It is, therefore, in the next place, a spiritual thing. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). Sonship, therefore, is essentially a spiritual things and is always connected, in the Word, with the Spirit. The new birth is connected with the Spirit - "born of the Spirit." "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:14). Born; led. You come to Galatians: Galatians is just full of these things, full of sonship and the Spirit. "Because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Then you know Paul's argument about Hagar and Ishmael, and Sarah and Isaac; the one born after the flesh, the other born after the Spirit; and the one born after the flesh is to be cast out, that the one born after the Spirit may be established (Galatians 4:21-31). It is sonship and the Spirit again. Sonship, therefore, is a spiritual thing. It is obvious that this kind of sonship is not a natural thing.
(continued with # 3)