Sons and Daughters or Slaves

by | Jun 2, 2024 | Podcast, Sermons

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Preacher: Pastor Chuck Holiday

Scripture: Joshua 9

When we remember that we are sons and daughters of our gracious Heavenly Father we are freed from the temptation to try to negotiate deals with him for our forgiveness or blessing.



Great to see you all again and uhu um hope you’re having a good weekend so far and you know it’s a still hard to get used to this time in Sunday afternoon isn’t it does it feel like Sunday to anybody today it’s just it’s it’s it’s messes with me a little bit but uh it is nice to gather on Sunday evening ings any of remember when used to go to church Sunday morning and Sunday evening yeah um but this you know this is a um I feel like when David kind of picked the sermons he wanted me to preach in this book I got the I got the pick of the litter you know he he really gave me a couple of wonderful passages that uh are just so full of the Gospel um and this one is particularly interesting the story the gibeonites you know because they believed God they

lied they they uh they believed that God was Yahweh was God they believed that he was going to do what he said he was going to do and that they were in trouble and so what did they do they said we better make a deal we better make a deal with God uh they they acted out of Faith but it wasn’t a very good it wasn’t a very rich Faith was it but you know what struck me when I was reading this uh preparing for this it’s like wow that sounds a lot like me how many times do I settle for trying to make a deal with God as if I’m a slave or a servant rather than believing that I’m a son and that I already have everything I would try to deal with to get and and particularly what hit me was the contrast with Rahab you know there’s so much similarity between rahab’s story which I got to preach on uh earlier in the book and this story The gites you know if you read both Joshua 2 and Joshua 9 I mean both of these were were two individuals coming from very Pagan cultures uh lives that were not aligned at all with God’s revealed will they were but they when they heard about Yahweh and they heard what Yahweh had done in Egypt and when they heard what Yahweh had done in the the pilgrimage you know to the promised land they believed that they were in trouble they absolutely believe that Yahweh is with Israel and we don’t have a chance we’re in

trouble they they both ended up in Israel

as as part of God’s redeemed Community now that’s what’s similar between Rahab and the gibeonites but but there is a one Stark

difference Rahab appealed to the mercy of God if you go back and read chapter 2 the story of Rahab which we won’t do again tonight but she her appeal was may the Lord show his kindness has said his his unmar favor may God be merciful to me and my

family the gibian ites went a different route they didn’t they they their faith didn’t take them that far so they settled for a lie they and you know we could easily have a whole sermon on you know why you shouldn’t uh lie and and why as Christians we should be you know be more careful to consult with the Lord before we go into treaties and make deals and all that’s valid moral teaching from the law and we need the law of God but but you know I don’t I don’t want us to settle for a sermon that a Jew or a Mormon could preach you know we need to find the gospel every time we preach and so we’re not going to we’re not going to spend too much time thinking about what the Israelites should have done or shouldn’t have done I want you to focus on uh the difference between Rahab and the gibit because I think at least for me when I when I get into this I find myself here in this story sometimes I act like Rahab with a lot of faith that I can just appeal to the goodness and gracious character of God no matter where I’ve been and what I’ve done knowing it’s all mercy and it’s all Grace and there are other times I act like the gibeonites I got to make a deal I’m in trouble unless I can come up with some kind of deal to get off the hook it’s not it’s not that I’m one or the other I’m both sometimes I act in full faith in the character of God and the and I can live out of the Gospel other times I act like a slave you know Arch Bishop sec who was uh the Archbishop of canbury back in the 1850s um he’s got this great line he said God has three kinds of servants he has slaves that serve him out of fear he has hirelings that serve for their wages and then he has sons that serve because they love him now Archbishop Seer was an interesting guy I don’t know a lot about him but um you know he he lived lived in a day when people were leaving the Anglican Church in in in great flocks to the Methodist to the Methodist John and Charles Wesley had started quite a Revival and methodism was was taking over much of the Anglican world people were beginning to say well we don’t need all this fancy stuff and you know we need to get a more personal relationship with God and we need to and and to his to his credit he didn’t he didn’t give up his his role as the leader of the Anglican world but he said guys let’s be humble enough to listen to them and he encouraged his priests instead of instead of chastising your people when they go out to the fields for these these tent meetings why don’t you talk to them about what’s drawing them there why don’t you talk to them about how we can Pastor their souls better and he really had it showed a lot of humility and a lot of maturity and um because somewhere along the line it dawned on him that we can be so locked into the church World in our customs even our customs of doing good things that we begin to feel like we’re serving out of fear for what God will do to us if we don’t go to church or we’ll serve as hirelings thinking he’s going to bless me because I did go to church and we forget that we’re sons and daughters and we go because we love him and we serve him because he’s good and gracious and we don’t have to twist his arm to get him to bless us I want you to think about that with me this evening a little bit U you know one of the again I I don’t I don’t my message is not are you a slave are you a hireling or are you a son that’s not it CU I honestly I think most of us really do know Jesus and the Bible says if you’ve received Jesus as your savior put your trust completely in him you are a son or a daughter you that’s what you are but the truth is we don’t always act like it do we sometimes we act more like slaves don’t don’t you find yourself still sometimes fearful as a Christian or don’t you find sometimes that you think you’re you’re going to get a better blessing because you’re work harder for Jesus now now think about here here’s one of the clearest marks you can ever see in your heart about when you’re not acting like a son or a daughter when you feel in the instinctive need to make a deal with God because friends Sons and Daughters don’t need to make a deal debie I’m so glad you picked that that song for us good and gracious King because man it it just says it all doesn’t it you know do you believe that our father is a good and gracious King you don’t have to twist his arm to bless you you don’t have to to do something heroic to get him to forgive you Jesus did it Jesus did your work he died on the cross to pay for all your sins and he earned all the blessings that a person could ever earn and he gives them to you you because when you are Christian you are in Christ he he lived in your place and he died in your place and what you do is receive your status as a son or a daughter and you’re free Jesus said to the Jews in John John 8 the passage Jim wrote you say you’re sons of Abraham but you’re slaves and I came to give you freedom

now my friends we’re we’re sons and daughters but so often we act like slaves don’t we fearful anxious and you and the way you’ll know it one of the ways you’ll know it is when you find yourself making deals with God how do we make deals ever start a new business and dedicate it to the Lord in the back of your mind that thought if if I promise him you know a tithe of my prophets or if I if I promise him that I’ll never cut any Corners if I promise him that I’m going to try to hire you know people who were just getting out of release from prison I’m going to do something good with my business then surely God will bless my

business now those are all good things but but in the back of your mind your thought is but and now I know God’s going to bless my business you’re making a deal as if you have to promise God this and this and this in order for him to bless your business right um so often young people get married making a deal they they pledge themselves to a course of virginity until their marriage date they they pledge themselves to to being a Godly husband a Godly wife and it feels like the guarantee that now God owes me a wonderful marriage because I did it right because I did the courtship right because I I was loyal and faithful in my marriage now God owes me a blessed a blessed marriage well it can be quite a shock to to give yourselves as fully and as you know how to give yourselves to obedience and your sexual Purity and your married marital faithfulness and and wake up one day and find out you’ve been cheated

on it’s like how do you process that because in the back of your in in and in when you find bitterness when you find resentment when you find like well wait a minute God what does that reveal you were working on a deal you didn’t say it may maybe you didn’t even say it to yourself but the implicit feeling you had was if I do it God’s way then God owes me this uh certainly it hits us as parents when our kids go astray like God we we gave them to you we baptized them we dedicated them we raised them in the church we taught them right and wrong how can this happen

right if it feels like God didn’t hold up his part of the bargain which just means you thought you had a

deal you thought you had a deal now the sad thing is that you think you had to make a deal because God is a good and gracious King there’s not one good thing we can do to add to the blessing that Christ has has already earned for us not one

thing and there’s not one sin you can commit that is going to take you out of the favor of your heavenly

father you can’t believe that unless you believe the gospel but my friends that’s the difference between Rahab and the gibit

want some more examples how about when your health starts to go south you know you get that terrible diagnosis do you do you find yourself on your knees promising God that you’re going to get back to church on a more regular

basis how about when you’re in financial distress do you find yourself saying okay God I will tithe I you’ve been you you’ve been pricking my conscience about this I I’ve been getting these letters from the church for years and years and years okay I’m going to start

tithing because maybe that’s the only way out of this financial stress I’m under my friends there’s so many ways we try to make deals with God and frankly it’s offensive to him he said don’t you believe that I’m your

father you don’t have to do anything to get me me to love you you don’t have to do anything to try to twist the blessings out of my hands now a great New Testament example is Jesus story in in Luke 15 you remember the the older brother and the younger brother again I’m not for time sake I’m not going to I’m not going to read it but

um the older brother stayed home and kept the rules remember he was an obedient son the younger brother said I’m going to make a deal you know I’m I I this is boring staying home and obeying the rules is boring and I and I can’t wait for my inheritance so he makes a deal with his father Dad how about how about you give me my inheritance now the father says okay and you know he goes off and he’s wanders at all prostitutes and drinking and just riotous living and just makes a mess out of his life and you know the story when he’s finally at the end of his rope he’s feeding Pigs and the pigs are eating better than he is and he and he says what am I doing my my father has all these servants who are eating better than I am I’m going to go home and beg for mercy so he so he comes home and he says father I I’ve been a bad son will you make me like one of your higher hands just let me be a servant and what does the father say oh you can come home but not as a

servant he takes the family robe and the family ring and he puts the ring on his finger and the robe around him and he kisses them and he and and it says he profusely kissed him he wouldn’t stop kissing him he says oh you’re home but you’re not a servant you’re my son right now what does the older brother do wait a minute wait a minute dad sure he can come

home but are you saying we’re

equal and and the older brother actually uses these words he said all these years I’ve been here slaving for you which just tells us he too is working on a deal it just was never explicitly stated but in his mind it was no different he was keeping the rules for the same reason the younger brother was breaking the rules they’re working on a deal it’s like I’ve got to get the blessings of life for myself because I don’t really believe that I father is a good and gracious King I don’t really really believe

it it’s powerful isn’t it how many times do we get through our day forgetting that we’re sons and daughters that all our righteousness is in Christ all of it you can’t do one good deed that’s going to add to the Merit that you have to present to God not one thing that doesn’t mean he’s not pleased with your your good deeds of course he he’s delighted in them say well what’s my reward then when you ask that question you prove you’re not acting like a

son if there’s a reward it’s the reward of being able to please him it’s the reward of being able to be like him to bless somebody

when you start thinking I’m going to get more because of what I give and what I do you’re not a you’re not thinking like a son and a daughter

anymore you’ve forgotten that you’re a son you’re starting to act like a slave or a hirling God’s going to give me more because I give more my friends there’s no freedom in that there’s only jealousy because you can’t when you’re thinking that way you can’t help but compare compare yourself to to your other fellow Christians well am I getting more than him that’s you know it’s like when Jesus tells you know Peter what’s going to happen to him the other disciples say well what about us Lord you know it’s like it’s a hireling that’s a that’s way a slave think it’s not the way a son or a daughter thinks you know of of um there’s only one original Son of God right we’re all adopted in Jesus is the Eternal son right he’s the he’s the only son that deserved to be a son the rest of us are adopted in and one of the Jesus is the true older brother in the in the Luke 15 passage you know Tim Keller reminds us that Jesus is the true older brother who doesn’t who doesn’t bemoan the fact that the younger brother is going to still get an inheritance he rejoices in it Jesus is the true older brother who’s not ashamed to call us as

brothers and one of the most remarkable passages I think in the New Testament and it’s so common that we we we don’t think about it the day they said Jesus would you teach us to

pray and what did he say when you pray say our

father not your father who’s in heaven Jesus said when you pray and you address God in heaven the good and gracious King I am inviting you to call my father your

father he’s our

father now Jesus had to die on a cross to be able to say

that he had to actually go to hell to be able to say to you and to me you can pray to our father and you can believe when you pray that our father has no condemnation for you has nothing but love for you nothing but

blessing because he’s our father he’s your father as much as he’s my father now he’s always been my father but I’m inviting you now to come and let him be your father my friends why do you need another

deal what deal can you can you manufacture that will add to Jesus invitation for you and me to call his father our

father and on the basis of Jesus Merit to expect him to bless you when you don’t deserve it at

all when everything in you says I need to do Penance I need to make it up I need to do some good thing to get him to forgive me forget it number one you can’t and number two he already died for that sin receive his grace because he’s a good and gracious King Jesus already died for your

sins it’s the hardest thing in the world to believe he’s going to bless you when you know you deserve to be

cursed so don’t end up like gibian gibian ites you know uh Rahab and the gibeonites both ended up in Israel but but Rahab received her position as a honored mother in Israel in the line of Jesus the giban ites they were there their lives were spared but they were slaves now it was still good for them you know and as time went by one one of the gibeonites ended up being one of David’s uh leaders of his 30 30 honored men you know I mean they they they worked themselves into being I mean some of them absolutely believed and became true believers but but the story is a contrast you know do you want to be in the house of God as a slave or as a son Jesus said I I came not so you could be slaves in the house of God I Came To Give You freedom I came so you could be Sons and Daughters my friends let’s let’s receive our inheritance right let’s live in the joy of sons and daughters let’s live in the confidence that we can ask anything in Jesus name and he hears us let’s pray God in heaven thank you thank you that you don’t just make room for us to come in and sit on the back row but every single one who puts their faith in you is an honored member of the family in Jesus not only are we brothers and sisters with each other but you have called us your brothers your sisters you’re not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters and we don’t understand that because we know we don’t deserve it but you literally have said there’s no blessing that you have that you it’s not ours you’ve always been the Eternal son the Eternal favored one the obedient son who’s never ever ever had a moment of disconnection with your father in Heaven except for the day he had to turn his back on you on the cross thank you for going there for us and Lord as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper in a little bit may it remind us of what you did for us and what you’ve given to us in Your Name Lord Jesus we pray amen




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