[Listen to post here.]
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The final aspect of the anointing we will consider in its practical manifestation is that of sonship, symbolized by the face of the man. This aspect is slightly different from the other three (priestly, prophetic, and kingly) in that is the culmination of all three in one. Sonship is integral to all three and all three are integral to sonship. To make an analogy, it could be said that sonship is the “rope” while the priestly, prophetic, and kingly aspects are the three major “strands” that comprise the “rope.” If we would get a strong grasp on what the sonship anointing is and looks like in practical expression, then, we must first get a firm grasp on what each of the three other aspects of the anointing are and look like in practical expression. (Please see the links above for my meditations on these three facets.)
That being said, however, there are some additional characteristics worthy of note that owe themselves distinctly to the sonship anointing when it is fleshed out in a local expression of the ekklesia:
Sonship Anointing/The Face of the Man
- Christ-likeness – Whereas the three constituent aspects of the sonship anointing focus primarily on function (i.e. doing), this culminating aspect lays a primary emphasis on character (i.e being). The calling of God for His sons and daughters is to be conformed to the image and likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Spirit of sonship is ever working to forge and form the character of Christ within His people, therefore, so that, similar to Jesus of Nazareth, “the Word” becomes “flesh” in them. In so doing, they themselves, in their very personhood and nature, become a witness and testimony in both the seen and unseen realms.
Not only is this true individually but also collectively. The various expressions of the body of Christ are to mature in the sonship anointing unto corporate Christ-likeness, being filled with all humility, holiness, sacrifice, unity, and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). This, combined with the functional aspects of the priestly, prophetic, and kingly anointings, bring these corporate entities into the highest expression of the anointed body of the Anointed One.
- Spiritual family – The sonship anointing also seeks to create the spiritual environment in which God’s sons and daughters most readily grow up in all things into the image and likeness of the Son. This environment is one of spiritual family in its truest and fullest sense. Spiritual family transcends religious meetings and organization-based relationships/associations. In such families, believers are knit together organically by the Spirit and learn to “do life” and “be ekklesia” together in the context of life (which also includes spiritual gatherings.) Even as in natural families, spiritual families naturally develop a diversification of relationships and roles. Although all ever maintain a brother/sister standing with one another, God raises up some who become like mothers and fathers, elder brothers and elder sisters, and even extended-family-like role models and relationships. Spiritually younger members contribute the vitality, creativity, and zeal of youth, all creating a multi-generational, multi-dimensional family dynamic that is optimal for the fostering of spiritual growth. Such cannot be replicated in or by any man-made religious organization or construct. This is the rich spiritual/relational environment in which the Spirit of sonship flourishes and works to brings forth matured, well-balanced sons and daughters in the image and likeness of Christ.
- Organic reproduction – Just as with natural families, spiritual families are designed and ordained by God to “be fruitful and multiply…” (Genesis 1:28) The sonship anointing raises up matured sons and daughters in such environments who in turn are empowered and equipped to multiply and start new spiritual families. Organic reproduction, therefore, is a characteristic of expressions of the ekklesia who are maturing deeply in the sonship anointing.
- Corporate conflict and conquest – Those companies of believers who are pressing into the full dynamics of the sonship anointing will undoubtedly come into varying forms and degrees of conflict. This is inevitable as the spiritual warfare against such expressions is persistent and often intense. The flesh of those both within and without of the collective will also invariably find reasons for offense and be resistant to the costly, deep workings of God’s Spirit integral to the fostering and forming of such expressions.
The sonship anointing is not a cowering, quitting spirit, however. Rather it is an overcoming, conquering spirit that battles for spiritual conquest in the midst of all trials and tribulations. As an assembly of believers remains under this indomitable anointing, they will begin to manifest the conquering nature of the resurrected Son of God as the overcoming sons of God.
- Missio Dei – Even as the Father sent His Son into the world with the mission of seeking and saving that which was lost and of ushering in the kingdom of God, so the Son has sent the sons and daughters of God into the world to further the Father’s mission. Expressions of the ekklesia that are governed by the sonship anointing continually bear this burden and mantle. All aspects of the sonship anointing, priestly, prophetic, and kingly, integrate together to forcibly advance the kingdom of God through the power of the Holy Spirit and the declaring of the gospel of the kingdom in this lost and dying world. The mission of the Father is an overshadowing and all-pervasive force that harnesses and motivates all that is done in and through those collectives of the body of Christ who have matured in the sonship anointing.
As those who have been baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit’s working, we have an extraordinarily high calling to be the bodily expression of our anointed Head! This calling is both individual and corporate and in both of these realms it expresses itself in these four facets/”faces” of the anointing: priestly, prophetic, kingly, and sonship. Unless we have a clear revelation of and a deep consecration to pursue these four aspects, we will not be able to wholly and holistically fulfill our personal and collective callings as members of the body of Christ! May we earnestly seek such a revelation and corresponding consecration, then, so that we may faithfully apprehend and increasingly attain unto our high calling as “the anointed body of the Anointed One!”
Audio Reboot (#thecorporatechrist) [First seven posts in collection in mp3 playlist and with original post links.]
Four Faces in the Mirror (#thecorporatechrist)
Progressing in the Anointing (#thecorporatechrist)
The Anointed Body of the Anointed One: Priestly Anointing (#thecorporatechrist)
The Anointed Body of the Anointed One: Prophetic Anointing (#thecorporatechrist)
The Anointed Body of the Anointed One: Kingly Anointing (#thecorporatechrist)
Amen. What an amazing life He has offered to us. To participate in His anointing in the context of His body. What a privilege. What a responsibility. I’m so thankful. Lord help us live it out to the full. Fully surrendered and fully trusting together.
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Amen and amen! Thank you, brother! Pressing on!
Practically drawing in the younger generation is a challenge in my city, but oh how we need to do it, and oh for more young people who see through the froth of mass youth entertainment and see the vision of being discipled in just the scenario you have sketched, David. Yes the answer lies in more revelation and consecration and thus more intercession for young visionaries to rise to the occasion.
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Yes, this is so true! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and kindred heart! Those within your circle are blessed to have a spiritual father of your stature to guide and mentor them! May there be those who avail themselves of your experience and wisdom and be raised up as true sons and daughters!
Shalom and all blessings!
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