Children, Servants, And Sons
17 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.” Acts 2:17-19 NKJV
As you read the writings of Paul you will notice that sometimes he will refer to us as “children of God” and other times call us “sons of God”. This is not just using two words interchangeably; there is a difference in the words that he chose to use. We are all children of God when we accept the sacrifice of Jesus and become saved by His grace. However, “sons of God” means something entirely different. A son of God is one that is already saved but is maturing and growing in their knowledge of the Word and the power of the authority in Jesus’ name. We first become a child of God and the expectation is that in Him we will grow continually and become sons of God to His glory.
In our culture too often we become children of God gladly accepting His gift of salvation but then that is where we stay. We settle for being just a child of God and fail to grow in Him, failing to develop into a son of God. We need to become sons of His. This is what He expects and with a grateful heart, we can do no less than apply ourselves to become all that Jesus would have for us to be. This shows the measure of our thankfulness for what He has given us. This shows our respect for what Jesus has given us freely. How do we do this and how do we grow into those sons of God that He foresees and expects?
The words in verse 18 are the prophetic words of Joel concerning these last days, these days that we are the church. The sons of God are expected to take the good news to the entire world. The truth of the good news and the evident power of the Holy Spirit are supposed to be manifested through us. We are living in the very days that the prophet Joel spoke of, a time when the Spirit of God would be poured out on the menservants and maidservants (the children of God who are growing into sons of God). When we give ourselves to Jesus and our service to Him, we will then experience more of His plans and power through our lives, to His glory.
J Todd Hostetler