John 1:12 But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (KJV)
The idea that a believer is not a son until he becomes a servant may be contrary to what many believers have been taught, but look at the word “right” in verse 12. The King James Version has translated it “power.” Nevertheless the Greek word they translated “right” or “power” is exousian, which means authority or power to act. More precisely - authority, conferred power; delegated empowerment or authorization, operating in a designated jurisdiction. Delegated power refers to the authority God gives to His saints – authorizing them to act to the extent they are guided by faith. It is delegated authority on earth for believers to act as sons of God to carry out the will of the Father, and nothing more (from Biblos Helps word-studies).
To continue the phrase in John 1:12 it reads; “to them He gave authority to act as children.” Children is translated from the Greek “tekkie” and means a child; (figuratively) anyone living in full dependence on the heavenly Father, i.e. fully (willingly) relying upon the Lord in glad submission. This prompts God to transform them into His likeness. "a child living in willing dependence illustrates how all believers must live in utter dependence upon the Lord (moment-by-moment), drawing guidance (care, nurture) from the heavenly Father. Furthermore “teknon from tekkie” emphasizes the childlike (not childish) attitude of heart that willingly (gladly) submits to the Father's plan (faith). Believers profoundly learn this as they are receptive to Christ speaking His rhēma-word within them to impart faith, Romans 8:16,17 with Romans 10:17 (from Biblos Helps word-studies). Power as children of God therefore does not mean to command anything one wants to see happen, but is under sugmissino of God to carry out His will on earth, moving in the Holy Spirit. This and this alone qualifies believers to be servant-sons of God.
Power as children of God does not mean they command anything they desire, but are under submission to God to carry out His will on earth—moving in the Holy Spirit. This and this alone qualifies believers to be servants and sons of God, which are servant-sons. There is, therefore, no difference between a servant and son of God.
To understand this more fully look at the parable of the Prodigal Son. Luke 15:11 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. (KJV)
Many sermons from the Word of Faith preaches have emphasized this scripture to teach believers to demand their inheritance now. Others of old time persuasion have used it to reveal the acceptance of the father at the return of his lost sons. The latter is true, but both miss the real understanding Jesus wants believers to receive from this parable. To be continued.