The third section of Knowing God looks at the implications of the character of God for us. J.I. Packer frames this as “If God be for us…” That is to say, since God is who he is, what confidence does the Christian have in their salvation? In my view, chapter 19, “Sons of God” is one of the most significant and stirring in the whole book. At some length, we are encouraged with the reality that God has made the Christian his ‘son’.
This chapter may be downloaded here:
The gendered language embedded in this chapter might sound awkward to our contemporary ears, but Packer sticks with the biblical idea of ‘sons’ (instead of a ‘children’) and with masculine pronouns, because of the ancient cultural significance of male inheritance. Back then, typically, only the male child inherited the Father’s estate. And since the bible is clear that all Christians, regardless of gender, are full heirs of God’s inheritance in Christ, the use of ‘sons’ is most apt. Together, we enjoy the remarkable privilege of being God’s adopted ‘sons’.
For your consideration after reading this chapter:
- Packer says that, ‘the revelation to the believer that God is their Father is in a sense the climax of the bible.’ How does God’s revelation of himself in the Old Testament compare to the New Testament revelation?
- How has God made the meaning of his Fatherhood clear? What are the four essential elements of it?