Identity and Church

Click the mp3 link below to listen to this message. When leaving a comment for your NRTC assignment, please summarize in your own words what you learned or how you were blessed. Use your full name so that your Leadership Pastor can find your comments.

Identity and Church
Saturday, October 10, 2012
Furnace Leadership Meeting
Speaker: Benjamin Robinson
Duration: 01:32:28
A PowerPoint file also accompanies the teaching: ppt (Office 2007 compatible)


  1. David Chong (NP Sydney) says:

    Identity in general is something I’ve struggled with all my life, in virtually every context including church, family, school, work etc. I think the need and longing to be accepted always dictated the identity I chose to adopt, and over the course of a long period of time, this left me weary and without identity. I think the head knowledge was always there – I am a child of God, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, but the heart knowledge was never reconciled to the head knowledge and was swayed by circumstance and the people I was surrounded with at the time.

    When PB pointed out that a lot of people tend to make their relation with God one-dimensional, it gave me a conviction that I was doing just that. In the context of church, people tend to do the same thing. I don’t think that its any small co-incidence that so much of our identity can be moulded and shaped by coming into commitment to a local church and then submission and sonship to a pastor. There’s so much out there in the world to sway, confuse and put our God-given identity in disarray.

    It was really insightful to get a handle on PB’s perspective on the need for sonship, and more specifically the precedence it takes before servanthood and friendship respectively. This was a notion that I had not previously considered and when PB talked about his own process that he went through with Pastor Daniels, it all kind of fell into place for me.

  2. Linda L (NP Hongdae) says:

    This was a long but powerful message. Pastor Benjamin’s sermon on which comes first, whether we are servants of God, sons of God or friends of God. I see how it is important to be sons of God in order to receive the teachings through sonship. If you become friends with your pastor, it makes it more difficult to develop the father-son relationship and a spirit of servanthood. The comparison to a regular friendships makes sense, friends are just supportive and help each other out. No one expects to serve, rebuke or teach each other in a friendship. In fact, it may cause conflict if one or other person expects servanthood from their friends. Sonship comes first and you serve as a son/daughter. In order for the relationship to proceed to friendship, it requires receiving all of the teachings, multiplying it and then giving it back to the spiritual father. If one seeks friendship, then it is an orphan spirit. Also, not having direct contact with the lead pastor (s) of the house does not mean you are missing out. Through the CG leaders and other leaders you may serve, you will receive the teachings. I do remember when I first signed up for small group a couple of years ago, I could not submit to my small group leader and was just seeking friendship. That was totally an orphan spirit. When I felt I could not connect with her or other members as friends, I lost interest and as well as the purpose of small group. I did not honor my small group leader and was difficult to deal with. Also, another thing that stuck out is that sons receive the inheritance not friends. That is true as parents do the same things with their wills, they usually leave everything to their children not friends.
    Teaching students is similar in a way. First, you are a teacher, not a friend. If you start out as friendship, it is much harder to teach students and discipline them.
    I see this in my relationship with my parents, until I finally absorbed all of my parents teachings, I could not develop a friendship with my parents till recently.
    I also see that being a leader (reserved or active) means you represent not just yourself but the whole house. This makes sense as you are serving for the betterment of the house and helping reach the vision of the house. In addition, I guess it is like in Asian culture, what you do does not just reflect who you are, but your family’s reputation as well.
    Hope it makes sense, I am not the best writer and apologize for run-on sentences and grammatical errors.

  3. I’m thankful for the clarification that this sermon gave me. I have been struggling with the three concepts because somtimes poeple say that I am God’s daughter, sometimes a friend, and sometimes a servant. I especially didn’t have a firm understanding of what it means to be a servant. I actually thought that I am no longer a servant because Jesus said that ‘you are now a friend’.

    Listening to this sermon, I learned the there are three aspects in the relationship with God. I am so happy to learn that the concept of a friend is so different from what the western culture think about a friend. In God’s kingdom, friendship is posible only when I follow God’s words! And before I submit to His commands, I need to identify myself as His daughter first. This is a very powerful knowledge of clarification.

    I am also glad to learn that this relationship can also apply to my relationship with my pastor. Honestly, I have been struggling with this relationship for the past six years. I didn’t know whether I should be a friend first or a servant first. One more thing that I still don’t know the solution is that how can I submit and obey the teachings of a pastor when I do not agree with all of them? I know this sounds like a proud person but this has been a stumbling block for me everytime I tried to commit to one church. What if I found out that the pastor is financially corrupt or greedy? What if I disagree with the pastor theogically? What if my pastor denies the work of Holy Spirit? Now this is becoming a question of authority and complying to the authority..! :) But thank you again for the clarification.

  4. Aram Lee says:

    “Identity is first, the knowledge of who you are.
    Secondly, it’s the acceptance and confidence in that knowledge that is you know who you are and you like it. You embrace that person. You’re okay with that person.
    Thirdly, identity is the act of being who you are. That is acting out of that knowledge.”
    Life is tough, definitely not easy. Whenever hardships and trials come, I just remind myself of my identity in God, and just focus on who I am in Him. It’s been such an amazing and exciting journey! Knowing who I am in the Lord gives us so much strength and authority to overcome all the lies of the enemy. Walking in authority takes us to another level! There are so much freedom and a rich inheritance in it!

  5. Wow, this message really spoke to me. It was such a blessing to get to hear this wonderful message! I think we have a real problem in our generation with discovering who we are as people. For many of us, when we struggle with discovering our own identity is can be very difficult to find what our identity in Christ is. Like maybe we know WHO we are but we can’t accept it and we put on a different face in order to please others. I loved the part in this sermon where Pastor Benjamin enforces this idea that it is the parents job to help establish a name for a child and therefore, help give the child identity. In the same way, the spiritual father ALSO tells us who we are. We are daughters and son’s in Christ. We are his children and he is proud. Knowing this has always given me strength. When I have doubts in my own identity I can stop and think, “I know who I am in Christ.”

    I think it was great how Pastor Benjamin shared the three Identity markers not only for us, but for God as well. How all of our markers correspond to each other. If we are the Son’s in Christ then he is the father. If we are the servants..he is the master. We are connected to one another. If we didn’t understand he is the father than how can we be the son?

    I think I have always had some struggles with knowing which identity to show in the church. I have always wanted to place my face of a friend first. But, as was stated in this sermon, how could I become a servant if I act as a friend first? I think it makes sense to be a son first. that way we can be guided by the pastor and learn for the pastor. Then, we can truly complete the next two steps successfully.

  6. “Why is it that I don’t have the confidence to take on something’s in my life.” This is the one question that I always struggle with and for some reason I find it hard to get an answer. Sometimes I will turn the question into a statement “I’m not able to do these things.” Listening to this sermon made me realize how important it is to have people speak truth into your life. I will start to believe it and interpret it into my life. I’m always on the lookout for my identity, but I was searching in the wrong places. It is possible for me to find my relationship through my spiritual father who speaks truth into my life. Over all I really struggle with relationships to open up and to let in. Honestly I did not know about the three tips of relationships we need with God and in the church. I always knew that the church is the house of the Lord and we are all family. Today made me realize what the full meaning is when I say the church is the house. I was always so scared that I wouldn’t connect with people right away. The definition that I had of friendship radically change through this sermon. I can now fully understand the importance of the three relationships in my life and that it is important to be in order. Putting these relationships in the right orders, I will find blessings in difficult times. I will find peace in my struggles. I can be healed through relationships.

  7. Okay I had to listen to this a couple times before I could articulate my thoughts. In my life I’ve seen the principle of indentity of son, servant, friend in my parents example. Their guidance as to what it means to be a Christian is very much in tuned with what Paster Benjamin was saying and I very much agree. However, hearing that that same model was suppose to be in the church was a bit clashy and confusing. Hence the multiple listens. I have always seen the Paster and leaders of the church as those to be respected as masters and served well as a service to God. Saying that actually as a member of a church your supposed to start as a son is….never seen. Thus my still slight confusion as to how this is to be in the church. I totally understand these steps as it pertains to being a Christian. As a baby Christian you are simply loved and taught who you are. Then when you get a little older you need to be obedient like a servant to the Will of God. And there is a point where you can just fellowship with God as a friend. And at times you fluctuate between the three as you grow in understanding and wisdom in the Lord. However to translate that to the structure of the church is still rather confusing. But I am looking forward to see it IRL at New Philly.

  8. Henry Spice says:

    Now I completely understand that God has no friends that are not firstly his sons and secondly his servant. I believe a life as a son in New Philly is a life which causes wisdom to enter my heart and knowledge to be pleasant to my soul so that discretion will always protect me and understanding will preserve me. Hence I am will to submit and commit to praying and serving under the remarkable leadership of New Philadelphia Church.

  9. Chelsea Van Eck says:

    When Pastor Benjamin asked about which model of relating to God came first, I had an idea about sonship but I was very unsure because of my past experience in the church. This sermon really brought great clarity to me as to why NP has been set apart from many other churches I have attended. NP was the first church that I committed to formally as a member, and the identity that I am living out while under this house is radically different than the one I claimed even 6 months ago. I have been in CG now for 2 seasons and have grown so much by having my CG leader speak truth and life into me because of the anointing she carries and the obvious care and love for me that she has. It has been so powerful because I feel loved by her; I have never experienced this or even allowed myself to be loved by a spiritual leader like this. I want to honor her and give back the many blessings that she has given to me. So in conclusion… I feel so excited and encouraged by this message!

  10. I find that identity is one of the biggest issues that we have as Christians seeing that there are so many denominations, beliefs and values – not just in the world but on a Christian perspective. What doctrine do we believe?! What do we follow?! Is what I’m following even right?! And as a Christian myself, I find that such a topic needs to be discussed and addressed in churches biblically otherwise this would break the unity in church enormously! I believe unity in churches is low and I believe there is not enough of it! We’re so tied down to competition and exclusivity if I’m honest.

    We need to understand who we are in Christ and who we are in the house of God. He states that your identity is the ‘knowledge of who you are, the acceptance of who you are, and the act of being who you are.’ If you have those 3 things, you don’t need to have the fear of putting on a persona and you embrace the person you truly are. He then moves onto the church and how it is supposed to reflect the kingdom of God. How? Jesus clearly states ‘To teach everything I have commanded you.’ This ministry belongs to Him, so we must REPRESENT Jesus in the way He wants us rather than us doing it differently. Why? We must correspond to the way the people had a RELATIONSHIP with Christ. This hit home for me! Ps Benjamin points out in 1 John 1 that when eternal life is manifested to us we will have fellowship with Christ. A lot of people have got this twisted and demand to have fellowship first, and then there is a possibly to teach me. NO. It strictly says we must possess the teaching, and then through this we will find ourselves having true fellowship. And this part really got to me! When we possess the teachings, we INHERIT the kingdom of God. That is real fellowship!

    Going back to the whole topic of fatherhood and son-ship I am starting to find it incredibly important to understand that we are called to become His sons and servants so that we start to reflect the kingdom of God in a way that he is honoured as the master, father and friend.

  11. Josiah Evans says:

    Man that message really just hit me, and I think even gave me a good framework to be a good father in the future. The proper order of relationship for us to God and to the Pastor, is to be a son first. That means respecting what the father says, even if we disagree. The father is responsible for discipline and obedience, and it is from that the we learn how to serve God, our pastors, and our peers.

    Once we have demonstrated that we respect the commands of the father and obey them, we earn the friendship of the father. This is not the same as being a son. A father does not choose his son, but he can choose to be a friend to his son. Once we have demonstrated that we understand the teachings of the father, the father can enjoy the friendship of his sons. But we cannot try to flip the script and jump right to friendship. Friendship is earned, servanthood is required, but sonship is given.

  12. Paul JS Park says:

    I was really blessed by this sermon. For me personally, it feels like for most of my walk with Christ, I have been over-specializing in the servanthood model of identity – in my relationship with God and with the Body of Christ. God was to be obeyed and His commandments were to be kept. Serving the pastor, recognising and establishing his authority, serving the House were important parts on how I related to the House of God. Before I knew it, I was becoming a faithful believer in righteousness through works.

    Through this season, God has been showing how my works are all to no avail. I failed miserably in keeping His commandments and saw that no matter hard I tried, I could not reach high enough. But by His mercy, His grace came upon me. He spoke to me that He is my Father, and that I am His son – nothing, no matter what I do, can change this fact. Now I see what He has been doing for me. God has been giving me a new start. He knew that in order for me to have a deeper relationship with Him, I needed to first be firmly established as a son. Thank you Father God.

    My identity is give by my Father in Heaven. Only He has the right to say who I am. By His authority, all creation submits to it. Even I myself has no right to say who I am – But I am a son of God. Called to be holy, righteous, pure, blameless, and faithful. Even when I feel so lacking, so undeserving, I am who God tells me who I am. I will walk in sonship in obedience and love for my Father.

  13. Kate Jihae Park says:

    P.Benjamin went deeper in to our identities in God. Many christians try to approach God simply as a friend, some people come to him like the prodigal son, wanting to be a servant. But through this message I learned that it’s not only one identity that we claim. Growing up in the church, I heard of all these identities, but never in the way the P.Benjamin laid it out here. I feel like my identity shifted around according to certain circumstances (where I chose to believe that my identity was one thing or the other at different times), and there always seemed to be a missing link. Through this message, I found that it’s because there is an order. First, we establish our identity as a son of God. Then we can serve God. Through that obedience and service, we later win friendship with God. For the longest time, and possibly even now, I mostly identify myself as a “servant.” I’m always constantly asking God, “what should I do next?”, “what task do you have for me?”, “Is there anything that I can do?”, which made me feel so distant from God. But for the longest time, God wanted me to come to him as a child of his first, establish a relationship of intimacy before any service to him. I can’t wait to deepen my relationship with God in this season, as a beloved son, as a faithful servant, and later win friendship to be able to have him call me his true friend!

  14. Keith Yang says:

    This sermon drew the natural flow of a father and son relationship. Looking back on my relationship with my dad, I can see the son-servant-friend route coming into play- placing and forming identity, calling of service, and this fellowship we share more as I grow older. And there’s no reason it would be any different from my relationship with God, and my relationship with my church. The message highlights how everything is about relationships when it comes to God, and has clarified the importance and the proper understanding of how my identity in God is supposed to be.

  15. I’ve listened to this podcast a few times. Identity is important, because it is the starting point of how your character is shaped. This is who I am. So this is how I act and behave. Our understanding of who we are shapes how we interact with the world around us. If we believe we are primarily sons and daughters of God, we see the world differently. Not just as royalty, but we’ve been entrusted with this world. We have responsibilities and we are endowed with much and much is expected of us.

    The distinction of God as Father, Master, and Friend helps us understand how God relates to us. Each is unique, because God created this relationship structure for us to better understand Him. In relationship with him, we need to understand him as Father. If we don’t understand the different aspects of God, I think we view God in a narrow mindset. God is not just one thing, he is much bigger than that. If we could understand God so easily, He isn’t God.

    I was surprised, but I kind of didn’t agree with the logic that sonship leads to servanthood, then friendship as a singular path. His examples didn’t make sense to me, because Jesus didn’t really approach people and tell them to be sons. Even Matthew or Nicodemus or the woman at the well… he just approached them. Perhaps I’m reading into it wrong. He goes to fishermen and says “follow me” and they never call him Father. It’s not that I don’t agree with what PB said, but I don’t know if it is so linear that relationships are exclusively one and it jumps to the other. I agree that all three are sides of the same reality, but I don’t know if the order applies in all contexts because I don’t think Jesus is conditional when he approaches people, but meets people where they are.

  16. Young Ko says:

    I am looking forward to multiply the inheritance/blessings from sonship (given) — servantship (required) — friendship (earned) through New Philly. I love how Pastor Benajmin mentioned that in the Bible… Jesus started His minstry by first being God’s son…. Thus, I would like to follow His steps. I am also thankful that God has placed people in my life and revealed this “sonship” doctrine via New Philly.

  17. I love that Pastor Benjamin really laid out the foundation of this message by first talking about our identity. Identity is definitely something that I have struggled with for a long time, especially with accepting and having confidence in my own identity. It was powerful when Pastor Benjamin spoke of people who are closest to us can acknowledge, affirm and encourage us as well as affirm our identity in Christ. I felt so convicted by the relationship between our own identity and God’s identity. We are servants of God, who is our Master and Lord. We are sons of God and God is our Father. We are friends, and calls us into HIs friendship. While we are to look holistically at who God is and who we are in Him, I am so guilty of “over-specializing” in one of these models and going through seasons. I will often go through phases of thinking that my relationship is solely based on being “friends” with God, instead of being servants and sons of God. I felt so convicted to continuously pursue Christ as all three components of His identity. With this, I realized that I expect spiritual fathers to be “friends” since that was something that I’ve always experienced; however, Pastor Benjamin was so on point when he mentioned that we must submit to the House as Sons even before we become Servants and even before become friends. I thought that this was such a powerful message of humbling and submitting myself to authority and sonship even before expecting so much from leaders and spiritual fathers.

  18. Michael Chan (NP Sydney) says:

    A powerful message by PB. Identity, knowing who you are, acknowledging who you are and being who you are. We are all born with no sense of identity and I’ve totally ignored that fact that I’m a loved servant, son and friend of God and now also realising I’m a servant and son of the house! I spent all this time in church not truly understanding this, and I think this is why I was not able to connect and understand God, and how He is working in our lives. And the point that it applies to the church is so true! Although I was part of my previous church for 5-6 years, I couldn’t truly fit in with the brothers and sisters there. I couldn’t find any true friendships deep down, but they were all just hi, how you been, bye relationships. We need all three models, which are all part of the one reality to truly connect with God and the church.

    Sonship -> Servantship -> Friendship. Now I truly understand how we should be fellowship-ing with God and the church and our spiritual fathers. Can’t wait to receive and multiply the blessings!

  19. Choy Jun Ai says:

    Sonship comes first, then servant and friendship. Pastor Benjamin is preaching such a powerful sermon into my heart. Before I stepped into New Philly I have no idea with the sonship between me and God. BUT!!! I am so blessed of this sermon as knowing that I am in the sonship with Him like what Jesus does too. And also my identity is not determined by others or even myself but my Lord, the One who created me. Moreover, I feel so much of confidence not because of what I’ve done but because of God told me who am I. I am made to bring Him praise!!!!

  20. Tri Thanh Nguyen says:

    There was a lot, and it ran deep. The heart of this message and teaching really is like an invitation into experiencing God’s heart for the church, for each of us, for New Philly. I believe I will start to really experience the heart of this message in the coming time as a reserve leader(the hidden season). I felt I could catch the heart of some of the things that were shared in the message. Though it is early days in my time here at New Philly, I am sensing that there really is great revelation, anointing, and relationship that is going to be received, and walked out in the coming months. It is very exciting. I appreciate, and receive the spiritual parents God is giving me here at New Philly. I value the way God is providing things through his structure. I appreciate the commitment that the leaders here have given to God and to the church. I am very excited to grow with this house, and am so grateful that God has given this house spiritual fathers and mothers with whom his heart is shared.
    There is great wisdom here I believe, and I looking forward to learning how to submit, and be be blessed, as well as be a blessing. Yes, I may feel that I am missing something(s), but God is speaking completion through New Philly!

  21. Victoria Pai says:

    I have always thought that when you get to know your identity better, you will automatically like it, just because you are seeing the truth. So it came as a surprise to hear Pastor Benjamin say that you can also not accept and not like the identity you have.
    Also, I have always thought of aspects of identity as purely in and of oneself, without being in relation to others, but according to the message, it is purely relational, so this is something I have to wrestle with.
    I definitely see in my life that I depend on those I am in relationship with to tell me, and encourage, who I am.
    It was very informative to hear Pastor Benjamin discuss the difference between Western friendship and Biblical friendship, and also identity in relation to being a church member, especially in using the example about how some people “help the pastor out,” like a friend, instead of serving like a servant. It is something that I have seen a lot in the church, and I think churches can really grow in many ways if people’s attitudes change in this area.
    I liked when Pastor Benjamin said that God reserves the right to tell us who we are, because this is something that I have been pondering about in my time in Korea. I am realizing that my putting down of myself is denying God his authority to tell me who I am, and is stepping on his domain in my life.

  22. Almost 100% of my prayers used to begin with “Dear Lord”. I suddenly realised why I have stumbled around in the relationship with God. Also, I was too stuck to the concept of fear because it is the root of knowledge according to the scripture. I missed out so many things that I can enjoy with dynamic and fruitful life. One thing clear that I got from the sermon of Pastor Benjamin Robinson was the order of relationships. I was overspecialised in the servant model. This is why I have been in the ministry without joy for the last several years. Through the message, I found out what should be the priority. I need to build up sonship first. Then, I can begin to serve as the son. The son is not motivated by a reward like a servant rather a fact that he is going to be inherited. As I follow all of his commands, my relationship shall be lifted at the friendship. In this house, I clarify a strong identity based on the biblical root. In the process of hardening ground, I promise that I will respect the authority in my CG leadership and the next level.

  23. Samuel Choi (NP SYD) says:

    I didn’t fully understand the concept of sonship until I heard this podcast. I understood the heart behind sonship and saw the fruits of it, but up until now I was not able to grasp the context of sonship in relation to Jesus’ ministry and the reason for it within the church. In previous sermons the main example of sonship people gave was between Paul and Timothy. PB presents how the idea of sonship was in fact also Jesus’ teaching.
    This sermon definitely challenged my paradigm about the 3 different models of relationships within the church and the relationship we have with out pastors. My favourite part of the sermon was when PB said the following:

    “Sonship is first! Then we learn to serve as sons. And if we do all that the Father commands, we become his friends. This must be reflected in the church. If the order in the church is different than the order in the Kingdom, than the church is something other than a manifestation of the kingdom of God”

  24. Pastor Benjamin Robinson’s message on identity and sonship is reflected at New Philly. I can definitely see, amongst the NP pastors, the authority that they carry and how that is applied in sonship with the members and leaders of the church. Because there is so much covering between those relationships and rebuking when necessary, it’s helped me to realize I made the right choice in joining membership and now proceeding on to leadership. In the beginning of the sermon, he mentions that identity is first–the knowledge of who I am. Second–the acceptance and confidence in that knowledge. For me, the second part of identity is such a struggle because I’m afraid of what my non-Christian friends would think if I told them how much I have changed since coming to New Philly. If I am to be a leader then without a doubt, I need to accept that new identity and be confident in it. Especially, if I want the sonship, servanthood, and friendship of God. If I can’t be confident in it, I can’t have those relationships.

  25. Ruth Lee says:

    I mean to log out of wordpress, but didn’t! That post is written by Ruth Lee

  26. Chloe Lee says:

    After listening to PB’s sermon, the idea of “Sonship” became more essential to my perspective. Previously, PE’s sermon about “Sonship” was accepting, but now, PB’s sermon about “Sonship” is understanding.
    I never realize until PB pointed out that the our relationship with God reflects upon our relationship with the House. I agree to that many modern western churches started to sway away from submitting to Father through “Sonship” but to prioritizes in “Friendship”. Going back to the smart comment that I wrote about “Sonship”, I was a spiritual orphan, who was seeking my own ways to find Jesus. Over past 7 years, there was no identity of me in the Church. However, I began to grasp that I denied to submit to Pastor as a Son, but I desire “Friendship” relationship, while skipping “sonship” and “serving”. All the way long, it was my negative mindset that set apart my relationship with Pastors. Now, I want to shift myself to see the Pastor as my spiritual father. Through my spiritual father, I want to receive the teaching of Jesus and inherit the Kingdom of God.

  27. Where do I begin, this teaching is the one of the fundamentals of new Philly leadership and understanding of the models with which we relate to God; Servitude, Sonship and Friendship it’s crazy how after having serve the new Philly leadership in the past this teaching on is honestly not easy to fully attain. I believe that true spiritual Sonship can only come from a place in which the disciple trust the Lord and through that trust, trusts the pastor or the spiritual father in which God is placed them under. this can be especially hard for those who have had difficult seasons in the past and have difficulty in agreeing with or forgiving their spiritual fathers. I realize the truth in this teaching and the blessings that can come from walking it out. I pray that the Lord will give me breakthrough because, deep spiritual Sonship seems like a distant and nie unobtainable spiritual perspective for me but I have hope that the spirit will lead me and that with time I will mature and “put on the mind of Christ”.

  28. Yeo Kyung Yang says:

    Identity is the act of being who you are.

    I like how P. Benjamin emphasized on how we need to have identity. Identity in him and identity as his. I’ve always put on a mask as a different person because I didn’t want to get hurt and because I didn’t like who I was. But now I know that I can have confidence of who I am because I lack nothing and I have identity that only God can give. I can accept myself because he accepts me.

    Churches are now beginning to discover that they go together, but what is yet to be discovered is that the order matters.

    These are not three realities, but different sides of one reality.

    I also like how P.Benjamin gave an example of by having a son-servant-friend relationship with his spiritual father, led and taught him to have a better and proper relationship with God.
    I often find myself approaching God with a different identity with different circumstances. Sometimes I would approach him as a son of God and sometimes I would come as a servant . But through P. Benjamin’s preaching, I now know there is a order and that we must go through this order.
    I can’t claim to be his friend without fist being his servant, and I can’t claim to be his servant without first being his son. I believe through this process, I will have a stronger,deeper healthier and lasting relationship with God.

  29. Ellen Lee says:

    Pastor Benjamin really hits the 3 models of the Christian identity. The servant model, sons of God, and Friends of God. During this sermon I felt like I learned a lot about my identity I have in the church as well as who I am in Christ. A powerful statement by Pastor Benjamin was when he discussed what we do in the church our identity shows the relationship you have with God. This really blew me away because even when I served in my home church back in Charlotte, I was identifying myself as the servant model the whole time. I completely didn’t see that God sees me not to just serve but calls me to be a son, and a friend to him. Identity is “purely relational” so when someone identifies you as someone they tend to have a relation with that identity. For example, PB was saying like “I am a husband to who?” “I am a father to who?” these are all ways to identify ourselves so for us to be identified in the church and God, it all leads to a relationship. For us to truly realize our identity and have confidence in who we are it starts with knowing all those three things that PB mentioned in this sermon.
    I think as humans we want to be identified and we want to know who we are because when we have confidence in who we are we are no longer contradicting ourselves, we no longer feel as though we have to “try” to be like anybody else. God has identified us through Jesus’s actions and knowledge of knowing that he is a servant, a son, and a friend of God. When we know that this is what defines us, identifies us, we grow not only confidence of who we are in the church, or who we are to God, but we have complete confidence and trust in the Lord.

  30. Ashley Choi says:

    I really enjoyed this sermon in that it helped me solidify my understanding in the sonship concept. When PB spoke on being a son-servant-friend it really struck me and made me ask how I was growing closer to God. The sermon also helped me reflect on my high school years when I really didnt know what my identity was, but even now– Who am I really? within the context of church, at home, to my parents, my friends, what is my identity? Do I trust God enough to pronounce my faith to all? If anything the sermon really made me self reflect and look deep within to see what I/who I was meant to be.

  31. Claire Ramsey says:

    From the moment I stepped through the door at New Philly, I have experienced this model and it is been one of the most rewarding and challenging times in my life. I have only been coming to NP Busan for a little over 2 months, but man have I been learning so much about what it means to be a son with spiritual leaders looking over me. I have been loved, supported, and like I said, especially challenged. I could not have accepted the love and commands that leaders have spoken into my life recently without viewing myself as a spiritual son first. Trying to do this all while only trying to be a friend would be like trying to run through mud; getting no real traction and in the end giving up out of frustration. I am so thankful that when God broke me free of my religious spirit and false orphan spirit, that He worked to establish my identity as his child. He placed people around me who reminded me and told me that I am a beautiful, marvelous, warrior princess in the Kingdom of a wonderful Father! Without that identity, I would still be lost and disconnected. I pray God continues to bring this revelation to churches everywhere so that we may stop the rise and lies of the mature orphan spirit!

  32. I had written out a big thing about all this, and it got eaten due to bad internet connections. So, here I go again:

    One of the biggest things that I picked up from this was the fact that the three types of methods we need to do are to be in balance. We need to be sons, then servants, then friends. This is something that, up until recently, I have been seeing myself going towards. I never realized it before, but Pastor Benjamin lifted the veil on this, and the idea of what needs to be done is now much easier to wrap my head around.

    A second thing I picked up was the idea that the world does press us into their own mold. Everywhere in American society, the attitude of advice towards Christians is for us to be friends to everyone and to not be a servant or a son. We’re to support everything someone does, even if as a son, it goes against everything we know. That’s a problem, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why I had such a problem with many of the churches that I had been to in the past.

    The last thing that impacted me is the fact that I am able to accept who I am. We have names for a reason. My name is Miles, and my mom gave me that name because she knew I was going to be a traveler. That’s my identity. I am a son of God, I am his heir joined in Christ. That’s my identity. In my life, I have had a hard time accepting who I was. But Pastor Benjamin says that we have an identity that was created and given by God, and that we should be easily able to accept it. Only now, in recognizing my role as being a son, have I been able to accept my identity in full.

    As a final thing, it’s something that I just realized recently, I realized that my whole philosophy in relating to the pastors and others was not correct, and I’m much happier knowing the proper way of being. This is what happens in developing as a son, and it’s finally poked into my brain. Praise God.

  33. Na Hyun Kim says:

    I learned a lot with a heavy heart (sometimes guarded) at certain points of the message.

    There’s a relationship between who we are and who we are in church. What is my identity? And how does that translate into who I am at church? I think I know who I am, but I know that I struggle with accepting and being confident with who I am. Do I put on another persona at church so I can be accepted by godly people?

    It’s so true that friendship is the dominant Western model of discipleship. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why many Americans find it hard to believe in God’s sovereignty. We make Him little because we see Him as a friend, as an equal almost. I’m definitely guilty of seeing God foremost as a friend, before Father or as Master.

    The main thing I learned is that sonship precedes both servanthood and friendship. Jesus didn’t straight away call His disciples His friends, but only after they obeyed His commands. It made me reflect: Am I His friend yet? Do I really obey His commands?

    Overall, I’m left with many questions for myself. Do I have the spirit of a mature orphan (someone who rejects the idea of a fatherly authority figure)? Am I willing to serve the church (New Philly & my home church)?

  34. This is one of those messages that I will be ruminating on for a long time. I’m not American, but I do value friendship with my leaders and I have grown to feel entitled to it, perhaps because I was privileged to have it and I have seen how it has blessed me. At a closer look though, I can see how it wasn’t their friendship alone that blessed me, but the balance between my being a son (daughter), a servant and a friend. When Pastor Benjamin asked which one comes first, it was really hard to come up with an answer! But I can see how God calls as to be sons first. I was especially blessed by his prayer – it spoke to fears and doubts in my heart, and proclaimed peace and faith over me. Like I said, I’ll be coming back to this message, so that I can fully grasp the depth and impact of it.

  35. Megan Holmes says:

    Sorry for any grammar errors- I had to type this quickly :/ PB is one anointed speaker! This sermon helped me process a lot of things that I struggled with in the first two sermons. We can see how we relate to God by looking at how we relate to others in the church. John talks about this when he says that if we say we love God but we hate our brother then we are liars. I love his bluntness. We are born without knowing our identity even though we have one. WOW! I really need to show my students and those who are still learning their identity who they ARE! PB’s example of his daughter’s name was a powerful example of this!

    PB because talking about the three biblical identity models/markers: We are sons of God which means He is our Father; we are servants of God and others which means that He is our master; and we are friends of God. We can’t be these with everyone however, or else things will get messy. We tend to “major” in one model but we NEED MORE BALANCE! PB is SOOOO accurate when he says this about churches today. My husband and I were on a “mission” to find a church when we moved to Korea that had more of a balance in these areas because our previous experiences in churches were very heavy on the “friend” model which had several consequences. We need to reproduce Jesus’ teachings and relations in the church and not reinvent or specialise in one of them!

    So I’m skipping about two pages of notes which is a little painful but I don’t want to write a story here. Basically, after a LOT of wrestling with my understanding of authority and NP structure, God has brought me to this place: I have been strong in trusting Him in direct relationship with Him, but I haven’t been fully rusting that He lives and works in and through those who are spiritually mature leaders for my benefit. I’ve seen and heard of many leaders/pastors abusing their power and authority, but I need to trust that if God is covering and holding my leaders accountable, I can trust that what they say to me is truly what God is saying to me even if I don’t hear it directly from God during my QT times, etc. Deep breath :)

  36. Danielle Kang says:

    My identity as a son comes before being a servant, which comes before being a friend of God!
    I love how pastor Benjamin explains identity in three components. The knowledge of my identity is not so foreign to me, but the acceptance and acting parts have been more a struggle. I feel like these sermons have been shedding light on major struggles I’ve been dealing with but I’m excited because I know that God has not called me to stay in these places, but instead grow, especially in the acceptance of and confidence in who I am.
    One thing that I love about NPC is how people are so unafraid and unashamed to just be themselves. When I visited the Sydney campus earlier this year I remember being taken aback because people were just so free and content to show their true selves, and I remember feeling that longing to be just as free and unafraid to be myself.

    P. Benjamin made a really interesting point about how our relationship with God must be reflected in our relationship with the house, and how our relationship with the house must be represented with our relationship with God. There is a clear distinction between holding identities as a son, servant and friend, and they cannot be used interchangeably.
    It really does change the whole dynamic of my relationship with God when I think about my identity as a son foregoing the other two identities as opposed to the other two identities being foundational/foregoing sonship.

  37. malimasinga says:

    I was blessed by this sermon from the get go when Ps Benjamin spoke of how identity is only formed in relation to someone else. The three levels of relationship to God and how that affects our relationships in church blew my mind. I too, have noticed in my spiritual walk how we all lean towards being a friend to God, a son to God or a slave to the Master. Personally I had always found myself leaning to the latter and treating any leader as such. I found so much release in understanding how these three relationships depend on each other, and the message of sonship from day 1 of training just made me even more sense.

  38. Grace Ko says:

    What a powerful word! As Christians, we are always told to “know our identity in Christ” but this sermon really provided clarity on what those identities are specifically and how they match the identities of God. But most importantly I really appreciated how clearly Pastor Benjamin explained how significant the order and sequence of those identities are, that we are FIRST sons, before servants and friends. I especially liked how Pastor Benjamin used his own relationship with his father and spiritual father as examples. It is exciting to learn about “sonship” and how fundamental and foundational it is to understanding who we are and who God is.

  39. Marius van Broekhuizen says:

    “There’s a relationship between understanding who we are in Christ and who we are in the house of God.” First of all we are sons of God. I think it is easy to over-simplify our relationship with God and to pick out one of these models. Jesus showed all the models though, God as Father, Master and Friend. What is mind-blowing is that all 3 realities are happening at the same time. Which one comes first? It is to be a son of the house. Friendship is the dominant model of churches in the western world. It is very unbiblical and even dangerous to start out with this model. In this message, I really liked how when Pastor Benjamin submitted to God’s model for authority, there was a blessing – i.e. being there for his wife. We need to first possess the teaching of the house, and then we can have friendship. This is a way to really enjoy and steward friendship. It is essential that we learn how to serve as sons. At New Philly, first I need to understand that I am a son. If I’m not willing to learn from the teaching in the house, I cannot expect to be a friend. I need PC and PE to be my spiritual fathers and not just my friend. One thing that I can never neglect as a leader of this house is to pray. When we are praying, we are serving the house in a powerful way. If I don’t esteem my CG leaders, then I really don’t know how to esteem pastor PC and PE. They have been appointed by the set man and woman of this house.

  40. John-Mark Christopher Raddatz says:

    This sermon totally challenged my notion of friendship and how it pertaining to the unveiling of my true identity.  Sonship
     cannot move forward into all its benefits without servanthood and friendship cannot have it’s revelation without servanthood.  Yes this sermon really made me reflect.  Perhaps I need to listen to it a second time.  Perhaps one of the most freeing revelations that I got out of this is that Jesus called His servants friends and even as His friends we still get to call Him master. It reaches to a new dynamic and new level of friendship maturity with our heavenly father.

  41. Betty Huang says:

    Knowing who I am in Christ is a life long journal. When I was young even till high school i wasn’t really sure about my identity. I always care for other people’s judgements and tried to be the one that favors everyone..Knowing I am a son, a servant of God courages me soo much in my life. Keep learning from the bible, by other people ever since having holy spirit. Having that honor and confidence in my heart is priceless. I will keep learning and growing in the church and strengthening the relationship between God and me.

  42. Daniel Dae Eun Kim (Itaewon) says:

    The order which the relations go between God and man makes more sense now after hearing this sermon. Many churches taught the theology where the relationship between God and man can be as light as holding a friendship between common men, but they did not recognize the value and reality that holding a relationship with God goes beyond just friendship. The fact that only God can choose who can be His friend or not points to the concept that people’s identity comes from others. When God gives a person their identity then it is something nobody in this world can refute or disagree with. God can call us sons, servants, or friends. It is through these that we get our identities.

  43. Dani Ashcraft says:

    I was really blessed in understanding with this sermon because my identity in the church and how it relates to God is not something I often think about. It was a little bit of an admittedly new concept to hear that our relationship with our pastors should be a reflection of our relationship with God. I was actually surprised, but I realize that I shouldn’t have been. Perhaps I had separated the two but I see clearly now how that works out. I’m really glad Pastor Benjamin talked about the order of Christian identities with God as well as how they work. Seeing how they all tie together really put into perspective for me how I should be going about my relationship with the Church, because if it made sense in my relationship with God then how is it different from how I should be in relationship with my leaders? Another concept I really liked was how identity is a relational concept. The fact that your identity comes from those around you really struck home with how I think of myself in relation to the church.

  44. Stella Lee says:

    Pastor Benjamin speaks with both power and wisdom. It brought me a lot of clarity on how my walk with Christ should be. It gives me clarity on who I am and who I am not. As I embrace the identity of a son, I’m learning more things about myself now as I walk in sonship than I did while brooding for months at a time, especially during the days when I embraced a pseudo-orphan mentality. It also is very encouraging to be informed that friendship is the last step. Seeing a pastor as a friend is an alien concept, and I was rather pessimistic about ever becoming “friends” with any spiritual leader. I’m hoping with some confidence, that as I walk through being a son and being a servant, I’ll be able to see my leaders as a friend someday.

  45. Rebecca Ye says:

    This was a very powerful sermon that really went deeper and explored the importance of sonship. The idea of friendship before sonship is something I really see in the churches back home in Canada and I never realized how dangerous it can really be. The part that really struck me was the idea that when pastors aim for friendship, they are actually robbing the members of the church from sonship. Ultimately, friendship will follow if they are faithful, but being a son is first and most important. I loved how Pastor Benjamin emphasized Jesus’ definition of friends. We need to know what it means to be a friend in Jesus’ definition. That way, we can fully possess His teachings and multiply it. Often times, this idea isn’t enforced and many pastors not only just try to be friends with the members but also preach that Jesus is a friend. Of course He is, but the message of sonship and the idea that one needs to be a son (and servant) before they become a friend is not widely discussed.
    Furthermore, this ties in to our identity as sons; we receive the inheritance. It is important for members of the church to realize that our identity is rooted in Christ because who you see yourself as, ultimately reflects your identity in the church as well. And Pastor Benjamin preached that the Father-Son relationship in the church is a direct reflection of the Kingdom of God. If we fail to replicate this model, we fail to do what Jesus commanded the apostles to do. This sermon was truly enlightening and really gave me a new perspective as well as a deeper understanding of how I should view my relationship with my spiritual leaders and what it means to be a son. In addition, it showed why it is important for the church to know their identity and what that entails for glorifying God.

  46. I really feel as though this sermon was something I was saying in my previous posts. I really like the part about the son vs servant attitude. It really is something that I’ve come across while in my time serving in my college ministry and church back at home. There’s a sense of entitlement going around the church, but no one wants the responsibilities that come with that entitlement. I joked about it when I came to NP and on the very first day I was stacking chairs. I literally traveled halfway around the world to do the exact same thing I do back at home. But I’m really blessed that I was taught the value of sonship and the responsibilities that come with it back at home. I think in part it’s because I was taught to be a servant before I ever heard the concept of being a son in the church. it was only in college when I really began studying the word myself that I began to see that Jesus used this father-son relationship far more than he did any other kind of relationship with God.

  47. i’m so blessed by this sermon. I’d never know that the spirit of sonship is very important in Christianity. If we being son, it is a duty to serve our father and sonship bring the fellowship even deeper. Your father can be your best friend but your best friend can’t be your father. Being His son is our identity and identity come first. If i identify myself only as a servant of God, than i only got hourly wages, but son who serve got the inheritance. If i identify God as a friend, than it would be easier for me to just walk out when things get hard. It is important to identify ourself as a son before Christ

  48. It was interesting to hear that friendship does not bring with it an inheritance. I could identify with wanting to be a friend of the church pastors or leaders first before being a son or a servant because this is how I relate to almost all other non-family members outside of home.

    I was moved by the example of one of Pastor Benjamin’s sons of the house who came to ask to start over, saying he had made the mistake of trying to be a friend first, robbing himself of the inheritance. It has been a little difficult for me to understand at first why an inheritance is important in the first place, because I am used to thinking that friendship is the goal.

    Ordering the relationships as son, servant, and friend seems to reflect the physical family life as well. You start as a son as a baby to just be loved, as you grow older you are given increasing responsibilities and tasks, and at maturity you are able to begin and deepen a friendship with your parents. With them also, you do not start out as a friend.

    PB said we often “major” in one role over the other two. So sonship alone is not the end, that is quite surprising to me. I hope it does not get too complicated, but I feel I need to know more about the importance of servanthood and friendship. I am starting out as a son, but that is not the end of the role I take.

  49. Lydia Kim says:

    This message reminded me how important community is in building up one’s identity. I used to be swayed by people saying our identity shouldn’t be influenced or affected by our community. But in a loving family of Christ it is right that our identity is to be affirmed by our biblical community. This is also why speaking life into one another is so key. I feel like NPC is so established in this area especially coming from a place where I didn’t experience this very much. Affirming each other’s identity really propels us to having confidence in the truth of who God made us to be. Also I’m so excited to be a son of the house as I am a son of God but also realised that becoming a true friend of God is another identity I desire. Not to just receive but to be able to be one with God’s heart, submit to His teachings and multiply what I received and share it. I love how the membership and leadership culture at NPC manifests how our relationship with God should be. I’m so thankful to be part of this house.

  50. Sally Kim says:

    I had to listen again to the middle part of the sermon to understand the message with more clarity. I had to set my mind again because I used to always say that I am a friend of God and that God is my friend whenever someone asks me who is God to me. I was pierced when Pastor Benjamin Robinson replied that no real close person to God calls him the ‘big guy’ when a man said that he is real close with the ‘big guy.’ I realized that I wasn’t a friend of God yet because I haven’t been serving him fully as a son.
    But one concern came into mind as Pastor Benjamin Robinson was mentioning that we should set this relationship model with God in the church as well. Because I thought there could be a slight implication of worshipping the pastor as we become servants(?) of the pastor. In fact, when a lead pastor moves to another church, many Koreans who ‘follow’ the lead pastor follows the pastor and change their church. But it should be God we are following rather than praising and worshipping the pastor. So I did come to a concern that it might be a dangerous implication to be ‘servants’ of a pastor.
    However, indeed I was inspired by Pastor Benjamin Robinson’s teaching on being sons, servants, and friends of God and then building such relationships in the church because the church is the body of Christ.

  51. Chloe Cho says:

    Through this sermon Pastor Benjamin really lays out how our relationship with God should start out and continue to grow. I used to think that God on the way to our heart can take up any role among a master, father, and a friend and that in the same perspective God highlights one identity as our major role in the relationship. But all three identities of ours, a servant, a son, and a friend of God come in a specific order and they should be represented almost equally. It was so powerful to be reminded of how Jesus started out as a son before He started to serve God and became friends of the disciples in a Godly fashion, not in the fashion that the Western culture maintains. This sermon really opens up my eyes because I in the past have experience confusion as to how to define my relational identity with my brother, sisters, and pastors. Before I started coming to New Philly, I attended this one church for as long as I could remember. I did not remember how my relationship with the leaders started out. Then I came to New Philly, and from the first week I noticed this immense atmosphere of friendship between the leaders and members. But I did not know that these relationships should start out with sonship and servantship.

    I sometimes struggle with accepting who I really am and acting with confidence and in the way that reveals who I am. But laying down how I need to submit before God- as a son first, a servant second, and a friend third- helped me clarify my vision of my relationship with God.

  52. It was interesting to think of sonship developing into friendship with God, where I rarely saw God as friend in my Christian walk. He was always Father God the provider, carer, the romantic suitor of my life, however, after listening to Pastor Benjamin’s sermon I am challenged to step into this higher level of closeness with Him. Then I came to think about the development of my relationship with my parents. Coming of age, I realised, they were treating me as an adult, discussing certain matters that they wouldn’t have shared if I were a teenager. That made sense to me. In order to be treated like a friend, you need maturity, intimacy to know the heart of the Father, to reproduce His works to others. Knowing that serving comes before friendship, I can cherish the process of this transformation of becoming a mature son of the House.

  53. Amanda Highsmith says:

    I think I have always understood the concept that God is first our father, then our master and finally our friend, but I’ve never thought to translate that to my relationship to any of my pastors. In one case it was a challenge because my pastor and I were around the same age and attended seminary together. Unfortunately due to seeing him on a friend level caused conflicts in our relationship as pastor – church member. Its has been easy for me to see the fault in others for thinking, and saying, that they can’t trust the word or leadership of a pastor who is younger than them, but never thought to examine how I viewed my pastors and what that relationship with should be. I am so thankful for this message as it has opened my eyes and has now changed my views on what the model should be.

  54. Crystal Smith says:

    This message is so good. I have been a part of the church all of my life and have never heard this taught in the church – but it is KEY it is pivotal – as Pastor Benjamin said – how can you know your identity if you don’t know your relationship to God and to the church!?! I am very convicted about how strongly I carry the spirit of an adult orphan. With mouth I say I want a father figure in my life – I want to blessing, the encouragement, the inheritance of a father – but in my heart I really struggle with and have not allowed myself to submit to the authority of a father. I fight it all the way! But you can’t have one without the other.

    In the young adult church body there is a big cry for community right now — “community” is the buzz word (and it has been my cry for the past 4 years) –which is the same as friendship. But perhaps what we really need to be crying out for first is sonship…is family!

  55. Luke Smith says:

    Pastor Benjamin really struck a chord with me with this message. Knowing or rather accepting my identity has been a slow and gradual ascent for me. I grew up in a military household so a lot of the principles of leadership are very easy for me to accept because I was raised to respect authority and understand the authority paradigm. But my struggle with identity can be found rooted in this military lifestyle too because I moved around a lot and each new place we moved to I had to start all over and sort of define myself to the next group of friends/neighbors/church etc. It was very easy for me to change the way I was based on what the new situation presented. Now that I am an adult I can look back at years where I clearly chose a wrong identity and I regret it. I so want to find identity in who God says I am but I still struggle with hearing His voice over the voice of my circumstances. P.S I also chose the servant as the first way of relating to God so it seems that I might have a performance mentality as well. Thank God He came to heal the sick! This message was great.

  56. PB’s sermon provided a powerful revelation on the mature orphan spirit I had been carrying and defending for a long time. What I saw as a valuing of independence was really a disdain for mentorship, wisdom, and health due to a lack of desire for maturity. In the past, despite doing the outward works of the ministry, I was very unhealthy because I spent much more time nurturing the orphan spirit in me rather than possessing the teachings of my spiritual leaders. If my relationship with the church had reflected my relationship with God, I think it would have shown that I liked the idea of God much more than his actual presence in my life. I stuck mostly with overspecializing in the master/servant model of relationship with church in the early years, which led to burn out and eventually to a time of complete isolation from church. PB gave a great illustration of the order by which we ought to arrive at each relationship model (father-son/master-servant/ friend-friend) by sharing the process of development he experienced in his relationship with his own spiritual father; understanding this order and recognizing that at New Philly, the covering provided by PC and PE is extended through CG leaders, is crucial for lasting, healthy spiritual growth.

  57. John Han says:

    I can point out various seasons in my life when God wanted me to experience certain identities of mine and His as well. However nothing really pops up in my mind when it comes to sonship. Therefore applying this concept to human leadership, let alone applying it to my relationship with God, goes over my head honestly. However I can understand why it is important especially when it comes to church leadership and ministry. After all Jesus’ identity during His ministry was God’s son; He didn’t come down here to lead armies, make policies, open up a healing clinic or enjoy His creations but to spread the Gospel and make disciples, which encompass all of the above. If I am to carry out the Great Commission, this is the identity I have to make mine sooner or later. I guess the season to experience this particular identity is coming up in my life.

  58. This sermon was really eye opening! Who I am to God and who I am in the local church is connected, and it should model the relationship that Jesus had with his disciple. The relationship deals with being a son, a servant, and a friend of God. BUT the important thing is that these 3 identities are not something that you can pick one and major in it, but are 3 sides of one reality, AND there is an order.

    First you have to be a Son, then a servant, then a friend. As I was listening to this sermon, I had a revelation of how true this is, because I saw that this is how it is with my relationship with my father. When I was first born, even before I can serve, even before I can have a meaningful conversation with my dad, even before anything, when I was just a little baby, my dad was my father. He called me his child, and he just loved on me as a father, and I just received it. And I received the fact that I am his child and that I have his surname, and that I have his inheritance. Then, as I started growing older, and being able to talk and act out my feelings, my dad started to discipline me. When I disobeyed, I would get in trouble by my dad. I was first a his child before anything else, and I grew up serving my dad, obeying his words, and then, finally, when I started college, and I grew and matured, we started talking to each on another level. And for the first time, I started to realize that my dad can also be a friend of mine.

    This is how our relationship with God should look like, and also, our relationship with the local church. When I come into this church, I need to know that I am a son of this house, that as a son I carry the inheritance of this church flowing down from Pastor Christian and Pastor Erin. And as a son, I need to learn how to serve, obey, and honor the leaders of this house. Then, once I’ve learned how to serve and obey, there will be a new level of relationship and fellowship as friends in which the teachings I’ve received, I’ll be able to take and multiply, and give it back to the leaders as well. Just as Jesus says, “I no longer call you servants, but a friend,” Jesus implies that being a servant comes before being a friend. Boom. Mind blown.

  59. Elbert Hayama says:

    I have always heard and read of the 3 different models (sonship, servanthood, friendship) but never was aware and certain of the order and the importance of the orders that they should be set. I felt that I was really lost in my identity in the church and have always served in the church only as a “servant”. This message was strong and clear to me that we are to be sons first, learn of the teachings of the father, and then we can have a friendship with God. I feel that I have been a servant to the pastors of my church and wanted them to be my friend, without letting them be my father. Now it is clear to me how I am to establish my relationship with the pastor as I establish my relationship with God.

  60. Lindsey Harrison says:

    After listening to pastor Benjamin i am realizing more and more how much i need a spiritual father. I have been wresteling for years with an orphan spirit, and lacking a confidence and acceptance in my identity. I have served at churches that specialized in the servant model and i have been at churcjes that majored in the friendship model. Everything Pastor Benjamin said about both of these models are true; both are extremely unbiblical. I miss knowing God as my father. I need a spiritual father who can not only give me my identity, but show me who God truly is as my father so i can rest in the knowledge, confidence and assurance of who i am in christ as his son (daughter).

  61. After listening to this, I thought back on the different types of leadership styles I had previously experienced in the handful of churches I’d been a part of. I specifically thought about one church I went to where the head pastor played more of a ‘friend’ role rather than a father role and I can’t say that it made me change my view of him or how I received the word. If anything, it made me think, ‘not only can I relate with this pastor on a spiritual level, but also on a personal level.’ It made the relationship seem horizontal instead of hierarchical.

    I don’t have an issue with leadership whatsoever – if anything I think having one or two set leaders opposed to having a group of leaders/elders making decisions for the church is a lot healthier for the growth/development of a church, but I think a lot of times people start categorising the pastors/leaders as untouchables in the church.

    I completely agree with what Pastor Benjamin preached – that we are initially sons of God followed by servants and finally friends, but at the same time I don’t see where seeing a spiritual father as a friend is wrong.

  62. SpringPark says:

    It was one of my favorite message to listen again and I would like to share other Christians friends. Wow, I do love PBenjamin’s sermon and love his clear explanations the three types. Well, I don’t really think about what comes first. I want to become more mature strong son who have a good relationship with God and will continue to seek His presence. I was so blessed to know my identity in God and with church. Also, it was so thankful and blessed to have a spiritual leader as a father and friend for my entire life. I’ll share this message to the next generation! Thank you!

  63. Our Father is not just a king, but The King of kings. And being our Father does not mean that He leaves behind His King authority outside our relationship with us. He does not become our buddy but instead the bar for our respect towards Him as sons of the most High God is set even higher.

    But the other side of this truth is that we can enjoy the deep intimacy which comes from Him being our Father’s sons and daughters, despite His King authority. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭15‬ ESV”. In other words we can call Him “Master” and “Daddy” equally. 

    Also, He is not only a Father but also a Dad. Someone we can take long walks with, someone Who delights in us. This is our Father who is our Friend.

  64. I love how parents are the only ones that have the authority to give the identity to sons. I love how P.Daniels didn’t allow P.Benjamin to give himself a false identity. There are times where I become the harshest critique and speak false identities over myself in my mind. No more from now. I don’t have the authority to do that! :)

    Being established as a son first, then a servant and a friend as you mature is the way! I hear about some churches putting new comers into serving, just because they are capable of eg. playing guitar. It can end up with those new comers serving/pouring out things that are not in alignment with the house and they’ll feel “used” as they don’t receive inheritance and they don’t get paid from church for their service.

    I think a father and a son can be friends only once the son is matured. When the son is still maturing, he/she could be maxed out with figuring out who he/she is and not able to care for anything else including the father. It’s also a loving thing for the father to “remain strong” for the son and not be vulnerable if the son is not able to handle that side yet, hence the son will only get stressed out.

    I think one of the reason why both parties start as friendship model would be because perhaps they view that being the father is of superior and son the inferior. Also, if neither parties want to commit. Be “casual”, be in a good standing with each other but not to be too involved. The son will be blessed by how much he/she honours the father and it’s a very loving thing for the father to take authority over the son and speak even what “may be offensive”. So thankful to be a son of this house!! :)

  65. Sarah Ahn says:

    This message brought so much clarity in my relationship with God. Our relationship starts out as the Father-son relationship. This is my identity. Every other relational aspect has this foundation of being the son. Although I knew this, clearly understanding this concept really made a difference. Because my relationship with God doesn’t start out with being His servant, my failures, shortcomings, and incompetencies are okay. Because He is my Father first, He will direct me, equip me, and help me be faithful as He uses me as a servant. Obeying His commands will then allow me to be a friend. I need to be a good servant first to become a friend. To be a friend doesn’t mean He becomes less but because He is my Father and a master first, He still has authority and dominion over me. I am His. This truth really strengthens me in my walk with Christ. Knowing that I am the son first, I can live with full confidence because I am forever His. My Father has my back. Even if I mess up, I am still under His hands, under His care, and under His discipline. This levels of relationship with God really challenged me to be a good son and a good servant to reach to the level of friendship where God will then share His heart with me. He’s been sharing His heart with me but to know more of His heart, I need to be more intimate with Him. I was so blessed by this sermon and I’m so thankful that my identity as a son will never be shaken because He became my eternal Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.

  66. Sergi Pallicé says:

    That was a revealing message. It is nice to hear that we can eventually be friends with God. That’s a new thing. I had learned that I had to see God only as a master. I remember how I was struggling understanding “to have the fear of God” since it didn’t seem right to me. But now I hear that friendship is also possible. That is shocking, but good to hear, and can fit with what I previously knew about God. However, I must not forget how I have to start (or continue). Even though I don’t fully understand yet the difference between servantship and sonship, I understand that friendship shouldn’t come before. I myself experienced a similar case where I was put in a position of more authority where I had to command people that were once my “equals”. And it was very hard. I am guessing it was pride that was getting in the way. I would like for the same situation to happen to me. Having a friend receiving more authority, because I don’t know if I would react the same (wrong) way and get stuck with the same pride issue. Well. I am not actually sure that I want that to happen just so that I can see if I have a proper reaction. But trying to let pride not affect me negatively is a good start.

  67. Esther Jeong says:

    My identity in Christ is something that I’ve been struggling with. Like Pastor Benjamin said, I totally understand the feeling of not willing to accept the identity I have. For me my flesh – my life without the spirit was comfortable and I remained in that identity because it is what I’m used to and in my mind, easier. And lately I’ve been understanding that I must accept my identity in Christ.
    This sermon talks about the three models of our identity in Christ: our identity as a son, servant, and friend. I think for the most part, I have been stuck in the mentality that I am a servant of God. Identity is relational, and from this you can see that I have not been able to completely grasp the idea of God being a friend or even establish a Father-Son relationship with God.. because to me, God is so great. Lately I’ve been reading John 15, and Jesus says that I’m his friend and that has helped me see my identity in Christ differently.. I realize that sonship should be the foundation of my relationship with God, and I realize that it is something I really need work on. Even my relationship with my own father needs work, and I’m seeing how much the worldly Father-son relationship impacts the way I see my identify in Christ.

  68. Rebecca Park says:

    Pastor Erin is correct in saying that we give way too much authority to our bodies & feelings and emotions. In order to give more authority to God’s word, I will continue to strive to spend time reading the bible daily and shift into the Spirit every time I feel myself giving into my feelings & emotions.

    • Rebecca Park says:

      ooops! I copy-pasted the wrong comment!
      This is the comment I should’ve pasted:

      I praise and thank God that I am a child of God trying my best to serve God and others in the security of knowing that God calls me friend. I pray that God would continue to use New Philly Busan to bring the spiritual orphans into sonship, teaching them how to serve God and his people and become the friends of God.

  69. Macey Martinez says:

    Pastor Benjamin is powerful and annoyed. this sermon was amazing and spoke so much truth over me. I always knew that we were servants, sons, and friends of God, but never had I really thought of them as a whole. But going a step farther but when we know who we are as a servant, son, and friend, we know who God is to us which is powerful. Because not only does it cover the question of who but where God stands in our lives and when we are in trouble, we know where God is when we cry out.
    Who we are is in connection of who we are in Christ. Just like Pastor Benjamin said, as Christians we usually see only one side of God. But when we do that, we cheapen who God is.
    As he pointed out, we are to reproduce the teaching not recreate it. We see it through the gospel; from God to Jesus to disciples to their followers. Jesus preached all three identity not just one. You see this through out different branches of Christianity and even so in different churches.
    It’s beautiful to think that before God is Master and God is Friend, God is Father. That before we are to serve and before we become buddy buddy with God, we are his blood.
    “Everything I’ve known from my farther, I give to you.”
    Inheritances is greater then wage.
    When Pastor Benjamin talks about his relationship with his spiritual father, my spirit sang. “You don’t have the right to say who you are, I am your father, I will tell you who you are and you’ve been faithful.” Ah! So good! That changes how we should see ourself. When we are complaining about ourself over this and that, God says “no. You don’t get to say your are *fill in the blank*. I am your father and I see you and you are XYZ”
    How powerful is that statement. I mean I know what God says about me but to know that he doesn’t see me as I see myself and even brushes it off, it’s beautiful.
    “The place where I felt unfaithful, he switched the scripted and say no you are faithful.” So good man!
    It’s been said over and over again, but when you have someone in your life that rebukes you, they really care.
    You have received everything I have told you that the father has taught me.
    Our relationship among each other in the church should reflect your relationship with God.
    Sons before servants. Servants before friends. Must be found faithful.

    All in all, this sermon was powerful and life changing. My view on identity as well as Gods identity has really opened my eyes.

  70. Rebecca Kim says:

    This message allowed me to grasp the concept of sonship to a greater extent. I think I have always thought of the sonship, servanthood, friendship model were 3 distinct models occurring distinctively. However, I was able to understand that the overarching relationship of sonship is the beginning and enduring. Within this relation can we gain servanthood, however not in a simple sense of master and servant, but within the realm of and overarching sonship. We serve him not because we are a slave but because we are a son. We serve for an inheritance rather than a temporary miniscule reward. Once we serve and obey will a friendship develop. I feel that in this season I must really receive God’s words and teachings and really OBEY and SERVE to allow me to finally fellowship with the father. Once that occurs I feel like my growth can become exponential.

  71. Louise Kim says:

    Our relationship with the church is an accurate reflection of our relationship with God (1 John 4:20). And there are three primary ways of how we identify ourselves in relation to God, and therefore the house of God; as sons, servants or friends. Whichever identity we think ourselves most to be will determine the way that we act and the expectations we have from our relationship with God and the church.

    What we need to recognise is that we do not become sons, servants and friends simultaneously, but that there is an order in which these identities come.

    God calls us first as a father, giving us a spirit of sonship and speaking identity over us as sons. After a season of this, he begins to command and correct us, and we learn to serve him as our master, whilst not losing our identity as sons. It is only after we have proven faithful and grown into mature sons that God will call us his friend. In the same way, we need to manifest this order in the local church, coming into sonship first with the spiritual father of the house, then learning to serve the house. It is as we do these things that we will learn to possess the spiritual father’s inheritance and multiply it, becoming mature sons and finally, friends.

  72. Galaxy Cho says:

    Just like Pastor Christian said at the end, I think this is actually a pretty difficult message to chew and swallow. I think I realized that because I had grown up in Western Churches that models the friendship model, I think that’s what I always ended up expecting from churches. Also because most of my Christian growth and depth came from campus ministry, I think the friendship model was something I was more used to. I think when I came to New Philly, I noticed something different in the culture, and I was thinking about what the difference is. I was beginning to realize that I expect friendship from my leaders and pastors more than the proper model of Sonship, Servanthood, that grows to friendship. But I didn’t have a clear understanding of why I felt confused, I had only realized that I somehow expect friendship. This message cleared up my confusion and I feel relieved to have learned what is correct and Godly. PB’s own experience with how he had to earn his friendship through sonship and obedience with Pastor Daniels really resonated with me and it made everything click. It just.. makes sense now =)

  73. Jake Murphy says:

    It was really cool to get to hear Pastor Benjamin preach and help lay out a practical aspect of what sonship looks like. It was really interesting to hear about the different aspects of identity and how those aspects affect our relationships with the Church and with our ability to submit to the pastor. I think there is a really call to not just do for the Kingdom or the Church with the heart of a servant but understand that before we can do or serve the Church we need to Be in relationship and understand why we are doing/serving the house. By entering into sonship it really can give us purpose and heart for when we serve and not make us seek a reward or a payment but understand why we serve our house.

  74. Jenny Han (Hongdae-Omega)

    Wow Benjamin Robinson. Even at 4:30 this morning while packing lunch his words were clear and piercing in my half-asleep stupor. After these sermons for NRTC I’m realizing more and more how much of my Christian life is in my own hands at the moment. I’m trying to take something that was created with full knowledge and life-giving intention and be ‘creative’ with it. “I’m going to make it my own.” “I’m going to pick and choose what I think is best for me.” I’ve always had a difficult time with structure and the must-dos. It’s always been in my nature to rebel against what I need versus what I desire. Pastor Benjamin made this concept so clear to me: that God doesn’t want to be my friend as much as He wants to save my life. My faith at the moment is so emotionally based that I am easily hurt and anguished by the way I fit into a church setting or my relationships with my community group leader, friends, and my family. Especially with my dad, I want to emotionally connect with him so badly, but am realizing more and more that the intimacy cannot happen without the foundation of mutual respect, me celebrating/honoring his actions/intentions, and recognizing boundaries for a healthy relationship before pursuing one. God is really bending my head forwards into a bowed crunch. “Jenny, I know you don’t like rules or the feeling of being boxed in/blocked off but a baby cannot learn how to walk until he/she starts out by crawling in the crib. God’s love I’m realizing, is not fluffy and whimsical. He has an agenda; He has a plan.

  75. melody welton says:

    I heard this message in real life and I still found myself questioning the order listening to it this time around. I knew that it was son, then servant, then friend— but I couldn’t remember why. I wanted to understand it for myself so I thought about it before listening to the whole message. Everything points back to Jesus and his ministry. Pastor Benjamin has a way of explaining things to me that clears up muddy water, and his revelations create whole new oceans that I didn’t even know existed. It is important for me to remember that I am a son first, and out of that relationship I am asked to serve, and then—- then I can be God’s friend. I wish I could put in some sound affects here. So good.

  76. Emily Pack says:

    My main takeaway from Pastor Benjamin’s powerful sermon was this: “If you want to see my relationship with God, look at how I act in the church.” Whoa! When I first arrived at New Philly, my heart was to serve, serve, serve. What can I do? Need me to clean a toilet? I’ll do it! I was so eager to be connected and was so eager to dive into this community that I immediately turned to serving the house first.

    When Pastor Benjamin spoke about the three types of ways we relate to God (Father/Son, Master/Servant, Friend/Friend), I was quickly convicted about the master/servant relationship with God and with the house. How did I know this was my relationship with God? I looked at how I saw my pastors and my church: I want to serve you and this community. I genuinely want to help however I can. I will clean and pick up and put out chairs because I want to be respectful and I want to serve my leaders and my community well. But, after Pastor Benjamin explained the importance of sonship (which I FINALLY feel like I understand after hearing this message and watching the “Journey of a Son” documentary), I was taken aback. My eagerness to serve the house isn’t bad. My eagerness to serve God and see him as my Master and Lord isn’t bad. But, it also isn’t first. God is my Father and I am his son (yes, even as a woman I am his son in the spirit because the son receives the inheritance!) I desire to receive the inheritance, not just from God my father, but from PC and PE as my spiritual father and mother.

    Again, this concept of sonship is completely new to me, but I immediately see the importance and power of this spiritual covering, this relationship. I also liked when Pastor Benjamin said, “all of us are born identificationally ignorant. We depend on other to tell us who we are.” In a world that is EAGER to tell us who we are (with a devil who desires to give us a false identity rooted in lies) having a father/son relationship with God and your pastors is vital. Having healthy, spiritual leaders who model Christ, mentor you based on scripture and the Holy Spirit, who say, “follow me, live like me!” is refreshing and quite freeing, actually. There are many times I have felt like an orphan spirit. I am extremely thankful to be part of a church family where I am called a son!

  77. Sohjeong Maeng says:

    I always struggled with knowing who I am and strived to other person. From knowing who you are in Christ, embracing and being like it has so much power. We are all called in this world to be sons and daughters, servants and friends of God. When we truly embrace these identities then we can say we are christians.

    Not so long ago, God has added extra identities in me. God strongly confirmed that my name was not given by my grandpa but from God (through him). It is so true there is so much power and authority when embracing true identity.

    For Jesus was also son to his Father, we are also sons and daughters of God, he was a servant to his disciples and washed their feet telling them we should also be servants. And He called his disciples friends.

    Not only at church we should live out our identity, I think we should put more effort to be true Christians in this world.

    • Sohjeong Maeng says:

      “your relationship with God should model your relationship with the church’, was highlighted in my heart. It is first time hearing, that we cannot be friends before we serve God and listen to his commands, then we are able to ‘fellowship with God’.
      now that i think about it, we can’t have friendship with God straight away, once we have that sonship, we can have that intimate relationship with God. Just how PB emphasised, the fact that Jesus said ” I no longer call you a servant but a friend,” I agree that we must seek Him and desire that intimate relationship in order to be called as a friend.

  78. Kyla Hoggard says:

    I had to listen a few times to a few parts. 3 identities sonship, servanthood, and friendship. I agree that we gotta start with being the children of God and grow into servants and later friends. I understand well that if we start with just hanging out and all buddy-buddy with pastors and leaders then it is much harder to be servants and even sons. But honestly, this sermon was real hard to listen to. #thestruggleisreal I don’t think pastors need to purposely hold their members at arms length and at the same time I don’t think leaders need to be put on pedestals either. Yes, give honor where honor is due. Yes, respect others. The Lord certainly has given title and position as He sees fit. Christianity is not democracy. There is one King and then it flows down from there. I get all that. But I just don’t think we gotta play people and be like “Yo, go listen to the sermon and you will know me.” “Did you do the reading? If you do it, then you won’t even need to talk to me.” “You were my friend for 5 years always asking me for help and now you are my revered and honored spiritual father. Take my humble efforts to serve you.” It’s just not real life in my opinion. I feel like if you are a serious Follow of Christ then you learn how to operate in these identities and how to accept the identities of others as well, even as they grow and change. But yeah, this one was tough.

  79. Conner Eriksen (Hongdae-Omega) says:

    This sermon examines three model relationships we as Christians need to focus on in our walk with the Lord. We are not to “overspecialize” in a particular model, however, they must follow in this order: sonship, servanthood, then friendship.

    While we are called to be friends with Jesus, it has been overemphasized in the Western church. This is a problem because it tends to lead to a lack in reverence. By ignoring the aspect of sonship and servanthood, we may become lax in our relationship with God. Pastor Benjamin stated, “…friends help, and servants serve.” This demonstrates a difference in attitude. When a person serves, they knowingly do so because they know they will receive nothing in return. If we approach God with an attitude of ‘You help me out, then I’ll honor you Lord’, then we miss the point.

    Ultimately what is being communicated in this message is our attitude toward God. It is critical that we view ourselves as near to Him, however, we must show Him the reverence that He deserves.

  80. Clive Poh says:

    This sermon has brought forth an immediate paradigm shift of how I identify myself to my church pastors and leaders. There is an “AHA moment” when Ps Benjamin describe his relationship with his father become “good friends” when he has done everything his father has commanded him and served well as a son. I understand what this mean because of my “good friend” relationship with my mother. This state is only possible when I obey all her commands and inherited everything from her. This highly conditional friendship model is the highest level of joy I experience as a son to my mother. I remember I can spends hours with her just talking about life.

    Now, this points to the relationship I yearned in my identity as a friend to God – starting from a son, a faithful servant and the prize of “friend of God”. Our Lord Jesus has affirmed that it is possible!

    I am confident that now, I will no longer be a spiritual orphan but a spiritual son – starting from the pastor of the house. There, I will receive spiritual inheritance from my spiritual father. Blessings will pour forth. I rejoice over this revelation in the clarity of son|servant|friend relationship. With this identity, I know how to relate to my Father in Heaven. I look forward to the deeper intimacy with the LORD.

  81. It’s so true that it’s important to know our identity. I was blessed & refreshed by PB breaking down the definition of “identity.” Knowing who we are in God is a huge joy & comfort because how God shapes each person is so unique. Just like it’s written in the Bible, we’re fearfully & wonderfully made. Also, finding out our identity in God is an ongoing process that will keep going until we die. My past season was all about finding out my identity & who I am as a person, and it was a season that I cherish a lot because I got to see how unique God has made me, not just spiritually, but also physically & emotionally.

    I also learned through this sermon that our function with the church encompasses all 3 identities; as a son, a servant, and a friend. This was something I was curious to understand, but never really questioned because the Bible indeed talks about all 3 identities. However, PB’s sermon clarified how each identity functions.

  82. Greg Salvo says:

    The friendship model of the western church has made me bitter and angry at the church in the past. Where I desperately needed discipleship and guidance I felt like I had to attend a church for X amount of years before the access to becoming a disciple was possible. It has been a frustration of mine for quite some years. I am thankful to NP that the model here is to start discipleship, accountability, and sonship immediately. “Sonship is an impossibility if we start with friendship.”

    I didn’t realize until listening to this that friendship is the last order after sonship, and servant. It’s powerful to realize that in my life and in my history with Christianity that I have been taught it completely backwards. Sonship comes first. And that is what I have been longing for in my relationship with God.

    When I was in Amway, the idea was similar to what Pastor Benjamin talks about. If you want fellowship and friendship with leaders then sonship, and servanthood comes first. The main problem that we have as humans influenced by western culture is because so many examples of this type of leadership structure we are presented with look like eastern communism. We also see the same leadership structure in other sects of unorthodox Christianity, which are easily labeled as dangerous things to be involved in. In reality, PB is right that we need to recover this model for the church. I’m so thankful for NP that I don’t have to go through two years of coffeeshop, getting to know you, structure, and that I can connect immediately, receive covering immediately, and become a son immediately. Amen.

    • Greg Salvo says:

      Thinking more about this I realized that Amway, and other successful network marketing organizations actually sell sonship, not soap and vitamins. I bought into Amway because I saw community, I saw brothers and sisters, and I saw fathers and mothers. It was not a business decision, but a choice to join community. It is especially a potent organization when authorized Amway organizations are Christians. I’m no longer in the organization, but maybe I would still be there had I been taught more about the concept of sonship and fatherhood instead of how to sell soap.

  83. Sujin Lee says:

    It has been 3 months since I came back to New Philly. I left New Philly last year and one of the problems I had was about my identity in church and how I saw pastors and leaders. With all the good teachings and discipleships, I failed to get connected to the church because I wasn’t sure about my identity, plus It was difficult for me to see lead pastors as my spiritual father and mother. In a nutshall, I thought I didn’t belong here. And I just embarked on doing it all over again. Yes, i feel like it is a new beginning. There will be some tough times, too, but seeing lead pastors as my spiritual father and mother and seeing my CG leaders as community pastors for our CG are really important not only for me but for the entire body of Christ. I should learn how to humble myself to truly receive what God wants me to receive through pastors and leaders.

  84. Joen Lee says:

    Even having attended church all my life, the idea of sonship in the house was a new one for me and something I was still trying to grasp fully. Listening to Pastor Benjamin’s sermon, I was reminded by my relationship with my parents–which helped put sonship and the order of the three models into perspective. I have such a special and intimate bond with my mom and dad, so thinking about our relationship made me see how these three models flow from one to the next.

    My parents loved me from the beginning–my name “identifier” was only the start of it all. They told me my identity through who I was, what I could be capable of, encouraging me to be true to myself, by being my constant support, by keeping me grounded, and reminding me of everything all over again when I forgot. Naturally because of this, I respected them and their authority. I respected everything they had to say, because they were wise and saw the bigger picture when I could not, because they knew me even better than I knew myself, and because they only wanted the very best for me. Knowing this I just obeyed, I expected nothing in return, I loved having their covering and having their input. I was faithful because I understood their heart for me as their daughter. Because of this dynamic of trust, intimacy, and love, what resulted was our friendship. Our bond extends beyond that of just a father/mother-daughter relationship and to that of a best friend or even sibling (as I have none) relationship. It completely made sense to me the way PB put it, alluding to the bond between him and his biological father and him and his spiritual father. Now having this in mind, I can see this reflected in my relationship with God, and furthermore, the necessity of this relationship flow (of the three models) within the church.

  85. Heather Smith says:

    Having grown up in the Western church I can completely attest to the problem Pastor Benjamin describes about how the church reverses the order and seeks church leadership/God as a friend first. Over the past couple years God has walked me through going back in my relationship with Him first as a Father, then as a servant, and finally as a son. I have grown a lot in my understanding and perspective towards Him, but what Pastor Benjamin explained about the “mature orphan spirit” really clarified the process God has been asking me to walk. I can look back and see how true that mindset of “I’m happy to help where I can, but I can do my life by myself” has been in my attitude towards past leaders and towards God.I know that even now I need to go even deeper first as a son, then as a servant, and finally as a friend. I am grateful that God is giving me New Philly as a family that is anointed and equipped to help me walk it out with more clarity while also giving me accountability and practical avenues to engage with what I am learning.

  86. Somyoung Choi says:

    Wow such a powerful message! Pastor Benjamin really broke down the christian models of identity down to the essentials, servant and master, son and father, friend and friend. When Pastor Benjamin asked what we think our first role should be, I answered slave. I think that’s what my relationship with God has been like for all these years, and has been the main reason that I lack intimacy with him. But after listening to this sermon, It has become clear that sonship really is the first model we have to take on, because serving, and friendship follows naturally after sonship. My heart was filled with peace when pastor Benjamin mentioned that the first model we need to take on when we join a church was sonship, because that was exactly what brought me to NP. I’ve longed for a spiritual father and a family that is truly connected through christ who can speak into my life, because I know how undisciplined I can be. Also I think It’s a blessing to have leaders who are so young, but are so spiritually mature that the maturity totally dismisses their physical age, which makes it so much easier to honor them and receive teaching.

  87. Deborah Kang says:

    The sermon really aligned the essentials for me. In the past and even to some point now, I have been struggling with my own identity. Ever since I carelessly took up the identity that was given by the people around me as a child, I had much struggles. I believe that this was essentially because it was not the truth. Listening to this message really highlighted my identity in God and in the church. I had known the identity of the servant, son, and friend, all separately but not as one. Now, with the order at hand, I am grateful to find out that I am a son, servant, and friend to God and to my spiritual leaders. Now that I know who I am, I am willing to accept and love who I am and become who I truly am.

  88. Isabel Syers (Hongdae A) says:

    Let me make sure I got it all.
    First growing in sonship, then servant, then friend.
    So glad that the Lord is graciously and patiently teaching me about sonship… I truly need that grace, as it’s taking me a while to wrap my head around.

    So interesting to hear Pastor Benjamin’s relationship w/ His Spiritual Father, purely teaching God’s ways at first, and eventually leading to friendship.
    I do believe you can’t focus on one without the other.
    God is the perfect balance of Truth and Grace.

    While I was listening to this, my mother questioned why he kept calling his spiritual father “Father”? I’m not sure myself… I think I must re-listen to this sermon. Or that the relationships we practice in the church demonstrate our relationship & understanding of the Father, that part I agree, but wondering what biblical references give us this model.

    I’m listening to different studies, one is saying not to judge other believers, and that we only give an account to God.
    But then it says to bear one another’s burdens, and when we get revelation to give it back to our leaders.

    I hope we learn more about this on Saturday, I really need to learn more about these relationships!

  89. Finding our identity in Christ:

    Son-Servant-Friend. Who am I really, in His Kingdom? Am I His son, servant or friend?
    Back in my hometown, I did nothing in my church, and I did not attend my church Sunday services for years, but I myself called myself as a friend of Him. Indeed I’m already a friend of Him, but I lost my directions in finding my identities as a son and a servant of Him. We have to understand these 3 identities to fully realize our identity. God has been walking with me as a spiritual Father(I can’t see, I can’t touch) in lots of circumstances, and He’s been constantly showing me His unconditional love. We want to know who we are, and get ourselves identified because we know that we don’t have to pretend to be like, to try to be another person in disguise, or use a “cover” on our real selves. Finding identities in Him via son-servant-friend reverse order is a good way to establish our relationships with Him.

    When we fully establish ourselves with this, we will be available to grow confidence of who we are in Him and we will be able to complete confidence in finding the real identities in Him. And we serve God not because we want a reward, not because we are His slaves, not because we want how others judge us based on what we do in the church, but we serve to gain an eternity of life and to establish a REAL friendship with Him, to find joy, to find blessings in His custody.

    This semester is going to be a HARD and CHALLENGING yet an EXCITING one. I’m ready to witness whatever He wants to sow in my earthly life.

  90. Emil Bredahl lavsen says:

    This sermon was so powerful. It challenged me to consider how I relate to pastor and not block the inheritance that is there. In Denmark is it looked bad upon if you call the pastor for pastor and this attitude i have brought with me into my own christian walk. I though this message was able to rediscover what mod I use and how I relate to God and my pastor. The friendship model is not the mod that is essential for a good Christian life, it must be the sons hip model i follow. It All starts from sonship and what this mean to the body of Christ. I thank God for clarity and a new teaching that I have struggled with for a long time. I loved the teasing and I am willing to learn and change if there is anything in me that is blocking from the inheritance as the son I am :-)

  91. CK Tong says:

    This sermon was about understanding the proper order for how we should see our identity and specifically our identity in relation to God. Popular culture promotes the idea of friendship first, and then possibly servanthood and after a long period of time, maybe sonship. But Pastor Benjamin wants to correct that understanding and make it clear that we need to see ourselves as sons of God first, and then servants, and then friends. He emphasizes that we must start with sonship because that’s the only way we will get the inheritance from God. After proven faithfulness in being a son and servant, when the son is able to “multiply and give back” to the father what the father has given to the son, it is possible to be a friend, in fact, this is the only way to be a true friend, because God is only friends with those who are first his sons and then his servants. True fellowship can happen only after receiving teaching. Because this is the way we must see our relationship with God, it is also the way we need to structure our relationships with our spiritual fathers in the church. We must be sons to our spiritual father, and by extension, the leaders appointed by him to watch over our souls. The church relational structure must reflect the structure that God has laid out.

  92. Max Park says:

    During my Christian walk, I only considered God as my leader. I thought I am to completely submit to his authority and leadership. Although such idea is not wrong, I believed I was missing something. Like the sermon suggested, I was to act like a son and engage in a father-to-son relationship to receive inheritance. It was essential for me to acknowledge that God is not only fearful but also very graceful. This sermon was able to gave me such clarity that can potential shift my mind in my Christian walk. From now on, it is clear to me that God is a powerful leader who wants to give his grace to me as a father.

  93. David Kimball says:

    I hadn’t thought so much about my identity with the Lord. I kind of took it for granted. I understood His identity as my Lord whom I serve, my sonship as a royal brother and share in the inheritance of a son, and the intimate fellowship with the Lord. But I didn’t place them in a healthy order or how when in order point to a healthy understanding of the Lord in my life which in turn helps me in understand my walk more clearly.

  94. Isaac Yi says:

    In our lives we have many different identities that could be valued and placed over us. However, we must become rooted in understanding that our true identity is a son of God above all else. This is to change a worldly range of perspectives on identities to our identity rooted as Christians, who will turn from the world and turn to Christ. This sermon on the importance of sonship reflects varying attitudes that many Christians could have in their relations to the Church. Pastor Benjamin showed how sonship, servanthood, and friendship exists as our identities to God but revealing their importance in varying degrees. For sonship is first, then servanthood and lastly friendship. I believe this sermon is very essential for a healthy Christian in a healthy church but also to help us realize our identity in God very clearly. Once our relationship with God is constructed the way he has willed it to be then we will reflect that only within the church but for the world to see.

  95. Nick R. Pack says:

    First off, “Yes and Amen!” to my wife’s post! She’s just great!

    Honestly though, where do I start? This sermon was fantastic and PB is a masterful preacher, varsity level. Thank you for these truths!

    Before anything else, after taking PB’s words in, I want to really sit down and think about how I view and understand my relationship with God. I want to make sure I’m not viewing things nor living out of order; God is my Father – that’s number one – then He’s my Master and finally, someday, He’ll be my friend. I know He isn’t yet because I haven’t been faithful with all His teachings. That’s the day I’m living for. That’s what I want. I want to know that glorious and brilliant communion (and His laugh and humor)!

    And since friendship with God is highly conditional – obeying all of His commands and making them your own – I was convicted to obey God’s teachings more thoroughly. Hearing this message gave me a new excitement for searching the Scriptures for overlooked teachings of Jesus, Paul and others and putting them into practice.

    There’s so much more I could say but I’ll end with this: I was blessed to have understanding regarding the Western Church’s inappropriate emphasis on the Friendship Model. I can attest to PB’s assessment and correction and I see how it has shaped me. I want to help reverse this diversion, first in myself.

  96. Pak Tanya says:

    I really was blessed by this sermon. I’ve never thought about the differences of my identity to God and to church. PB spoke about three models of relationship with God and which one is the first: son-servant-friend. It made me think about my identity to God and which one is the first for me. I have to understand who I am to God and who I am to church.

    • Pak Tanya says:

      As PB said some people think that they can pick only one to be son, friend or servant but it is not right. First God is my Father and then we learn how to serve as a sons and then we become a friend with Him. It also relates to our Church and it’s important to have this relationship with our Spiritual Father, because when we learn the right order of this relationship we’re growing and our church growing too.

  97. This is soooo good and long but it’s too good to bother me about the length.
    I haven’t even taught that Sonship has to be first in identifying ourselves in God. And then we learn to serve and if we do all the Father’s commands, we become His friends.
    Now I realize that why God kept telling me that You are my daughter when I was in the states alone. Before then, I was kind of messed up with my identity in God and couldn’t accept myself, of course no confidence of myself even I was in the KCCC as a leader. And I thought myself as a servant of God first. I guess I was affected our campus pastor is conservative Korean style of minister giving us a lot of work. I didn’t think that I was a real “daughter” of God at that time. And then I go to the states, have a plenty of time to pray and be with God and He kept telling me that I am His beloved daughter and that struck my mind. My identity began to change. I totally agree what PB spot on in saying knowing who you are in Christ and who you are in the house of God is important. I now know God was trying to reform my identity what has to come first.
    And also He pointed out that identity is pure relational. And that makes me reflect on my past walk in faith, thankfully God placed me in the good faithful community in college whether I liked it or not, that I could figure out what my personality is and who I am. I was a spiritual daughter to someone and also friend to someone, and also spiritual mom to someone.
    I pray that now I am in new community NP so that I could find myself as a daughter, servant, and friend not only with God, but also with NP people.

  98. Tae Eun Kim says:

    P.Benjamin talked about 3 different relationships: servant/master, son/father and friendship. Church today often tends to focus on one matter over the others. The western model especially focuses on friendship. However, sonship comes before anything. I’m realizing that I also come from a background that emphasizes on friendship with God. Through New Philly, I feel that I’m learning more about being fathered and also realizing the importance of it.

  99. Jennifer Kim says:

    I didn’t know that my relationship with God was in three: Master/Servant, Friend, and Son/Father. This sermon was eye-opening and educational because I have always seen God as a master. I sometimes forget he can be my friend as long as I follow His commands. It’s so important to understand my identity in Christ, and it’s amazing how the church should be an important model in exemplifying the relationship in the Kingdom. I feel that it’s important for members of the church to understand this model because this model can enhance the fellowship, servitude, and honorable attitudes of the members. I hope that other churches can adapt this model because I feel that many churches have this disconnect between the pastor and its church members, and also individuals have trouble identifying their relationship with God. Now I’m able to understand what my relationship with God is supposed to be like, and how I can glorify God!

  100. Mary Jung says:

    I think this sermon challenged me to question my relationship and identity with God. I think many times I strive for excellence in what I do and want to perform high for a certain goal. However this tendency leans towards the servant-master relationship which we learn is definitely not what God intends. I have also found that I can also veer to the other side where because I am so stretched thin at work and life that I only request that God be my resting place or just a place of comfort and friendship. Through these sermons and our spiritual fathers and leaders at New Philly, I feel that I am slowly but surely learning about what a healthy Christian life looks like- how to be in sonship. A servant will always be a servant and a friend a friend, however a son receives all of God and his glorious inheritance.

  101. Jennifer Choi says:

    Pastor Benjamin spoke about our identities as sons and servants. I believe that it is important to understand our identity in Christ. Knowing that we are completely saved by God’s grace and received as heirs of the Lord is a humbling and an encouraging fact in our lives! Therefore, it is important to act as heirs and sons of the Lord by faithfully doing His work for the Kingdom. That includes our trust in our churches and the identity he has given us in the church. I believe that it is through our faithfulness that we and the church would be blessed ten fold.

  102. Deborah Kim says:

    I’ve always been silently confused as to what exact dynamic our relationship with God is supposed to be like, given the different ways we are able to interact with him and within the church. Pastor Benjamin’s outline brought so much clarity not only to the 3 models, but also that the order does matter and why so. I think the Western expectation he mentions of wanting friendship to precede leadership comes from feelings of entitlement and/or the fear that authority will be abused. It’s totally the consumer mindset of ‘fill my cup first before I agree to listen to anything you have to say’. Desiring friendship over sonship is denying ourselves the actual intimacy level we get to access as sons. Also, it makes sense that because sonship must come first, our responsibility is to reproduce and represent our relationship with Christ, not reinvent it. Submission out of faith isn’t about getting creative and showing what we’re capable of separately from others, but full on obedience and honor for those who see the reality of our identity and have a father’s authority over us.

  103. Jenny Shi says:

    Pastor Benjamin!
    feel like this three sermons are related in someway.
    When I was young.. the first thing I came to church was..sleep…=)
    I never thought about the sonship of God or friendship with the house. I have never thought about my relationship or identity to GOD. all I wanted to do in church was have a good rest on Sunday morning and took a peaceful nap in His house. somehow I just feel so peaceful sleeping during the sermon.. but! God sees ..He knows
    He immediately put me in a role of media team which I was the one take the responsibility to make the powerpoint and control the slides during the sermon… omg. I still remember the first week of my service, I tried every hard to keep myself awake ..from the beginning to the end ( 2hours, and I have to stay fully concentrated ) I learned the lesson of obey… our Father truly cares about his lovely daughter, He wanted me to have a better healthier daily routine. Serving the Sunday service made me go to bed earlier, work out regularly, have breakfast before church and I realized that He is really trying to pull me back into a right track. After 3months media team service, I started listening the sermon concentratedly and started hearing His voice from the sermons. Something new I felt in church, not only peaceful but also the power of Holy spirit.
    He teaches me step by step from the little things. All I need to do is obey and be faithful on Him.
    Yes, many of us know we are the son and daughters to Him; yes we know it but maybe we don’t feel it. If we can’t feel it, the first thing we need to learn is pray and obey, and we will be awake in some of Father’s way. He can’t awake us if we pretend didn’t hear anything right? He is our Father who is watching us; He knows everything before us; when He try to change you; just obey, declare Him is our Father, lead us, guid us transform us and we will be stronger and stronger and becoming more powerful in Jesus name.

    • Jenny shi says:

      It’s awesome to see that the past three sermons are related; taking us step by step through our leadership process. Amen to such a powerful message from Pastor Benjamin! When I was young I never thought about the sonship of God or friendship with the house. But as my faith grew and I was entrusted to be a part of media team at my home church, God taught me step by step from the little things. All I need to do is obey and be faithful on Him. I started to find my identity as a heir of the house and a daughter of God.
      Yes, many of us know we are the son and daughters to Him; yes we know it but maybe we don’t feel it. If we can’t feel it, like pastor Benjamin has said we need to know and embrace our true identity in God. We will be awake in some of Father’s way. When we are established in our identity in God and in His church we can walk in authority and in freedom God has given us!

  104. Diane Yoon says:

    This sermon greatly clarified the confusion I had about how servanthood, sonship, and friendship are intertwined. It really made a lot of sense when P. Benjamin says friendship comes last, after sonship and servanthood. I was never taught the importance of the order of these three concepts. I used to believe that if I didn’t have a personal relationship (i.e. friendship) with a pastor/leader, it meant that I couldn’t truly receive blessing from the pastor. After hearing this sermon, I realize that thinking is wrong. I have to submit myself as a disciple, a son, first! Then the friendship that follows will be much deeper, hallelujah.
    There was a period of my life when I was very spiritually dry. I would ask God, “why are you withdrawing yourself from me? Why can’t I be in joyous fellowship with you, like some other people I see?” Now I see it plainly- I wasn’t doing what He commanded. I wasn’t living in obedience to his Word and so of course, that meant fellowship was withdrawn! It makes so much sense now. Sonship and servanthood come first.

  105. Natalie Weaver says:

    I really enjoyed this sermon as a continuation of the seminar on sonship, as well as the first two sermons and the documentary. Learning more about sonship within the church and what it looks like, as well as what it builds towards. There is a lot of information in this sermon, so much that I’m not sure I can fully grasp it, even having had almost a full week to do so. I’ve recognized the church in the U.S. being pressed into the mold of this world, reversing the order, but I never saw how it should be. I appreciate the clarity of this message in regards to this. Taking in the teachings, stewarding and multiplying it, giving it back – this is what moves us into the realm of friendship and fellowship. It’s also something that is a newer idea to me. I’d never thought of a son giving those teachings back to the father after having stewarded them well, and I appreciated hearing it. I liked how he broke down the three models of our identity in relation to God, as well as how reversing the order affects our relationship and essentially robs us of the true depth of each model and the inheritance that is there for us to grasp. I was very blessed as I listened to it this week.

  106. Jessie Behrman says:

    It was really great to learn the different parts of our identity and how that has a part in our relationships, especially in the church. It is important to understand God’s identity and how we relate to him as servants, sons and friends. It really struck me when Pastor Benjamin talked discussed these and how people tend to pick one and neglect the others. It really made me realize when he gave examples of this and how well I recognized these examples and how I personally do this.

    Learning about our identity, starting with when we are born and how our names are given to us, made me realize how important our identity is, when we can make decisions on our own. Including how we interact with others. Meaning the expectations others have of us and the responsibilities we have, like Pastor Benjamin said in the models of our identity, to be His servant, to love and to fellowship with Him.

    I have loved learning about sonship and like Pastor Benjamin said that we need to submit as Sons then become servants and friends. It is important to commit to our church family and leaders when becoming friends, servants or Sons. This message really humbled me as I am learning more about the church and sonship. It was helpful to learn about the different parts of our identity and how that affects our relationship with the church.

  107. Jae Hee Suh says:

    This is an essential teaching on the foundations of our identity and relationship with the church. Our relationship to the church should model our relationship to God. When we relate to God, He is first our father. Therefore, sonship comes first. We are sons of God. Then, we serve as sons. And then, once we’ve done all that God commands us, we become friends of God. In the same way, in the church, we should become sons first, then servants, and then friends in relation to the pastor. Many western churches still tend to get this confused and assume friendship with the pastor right away. But the lack of sonship being established first robs people from receiving their inheritance from the spiritual fathers God has set in place. God is restoring the doctrine of sonship in the church at this hour and it is key to understanding our identity.

  108. Sheila Moh says:

    Son-ship is key in our identity in Christ, as well as in the house of God – the church. This message blessed me with so much understanding about identity and church. In the beginning of the message, Pastor Benjamin shared about the 3 points of identity (self) and it made me think deeper in “who I am…” At times, I do not have the confidence in sharing about myself, and sometimes being cautious in what I say, which I know it is bad as I am not acting the way I should behave to be myself. Identity ignorance applies to me as I do rely on people to describe to me who I really am. The lack of confidence and courage in myself leads to self-doubt. Remembering what Pastor Erin shared about shifting into the spirit, I should think of the truth of spirit instead of the flesh and know that I should not look down on myself as those are lies that made me feel I am no good.

    In the second part of message, it gives me a better view of the identity models – son-ship, master-servant and friendship to God and to church. Being a son to the father will build up relationship with respects, serving Him will receive inheritance (which is abundance of joy that nothing in this world can give), and the deeper the relationship grows, that is when father and son becomes friends as obedience takes place. I pray that I will really seal the importance of son-ship and practice the act of being a son to the father, obeying His commands.

  109. Emily Lauren Kim says:

    I first became friends with my spiritual mentor (when I didn’t even believe in God or Jesus), then she became my father, then she became and is now my teacher, and sometimes I get to enjoy fellowship with her as a friend– but this is always a privilege. I praise God for the work He has done through New Philly in her for me. There is a deep and strong relationship between fathers and sons– much stronger than the bond between brothers or friends.

  110. I agree that we should give more authority to God. The moment we start giving authority to other earthly desires in life, that is when we break down and fall apart with God. And this is why we should not take for granted the fact that God is a loving and forgiving Father, and fear the Lord. Once we do face God and God alone, that is when He reveals himself to you, and reveals your identity in Christ at the same time as well. I pray that I continue to actualize the practice of surrendering myself to God, so that I build to have a relationship with God, closer and closer.

  111. Jess Kim says:

    This message has given me a deeper understanding of the three types or relationships we have with God and how these relational models should be reflected in the church. I especially have a deeper understanding of sonship now and how the anointing flows top-down but the fruits that are multiplied also flow back up. Without sonship, all of this wouldn’t be possible and we wouldn’t be treasuring all of the blessings and inheritance that we have been given. I also understand now that there is an order to these three levels of identity (which I never considered before) and that we earn our friendship with God by serving Him first. But before serving with the right heart, it comes back again to having that foundation of sonship first.

  112. Bekah Cho says:

    I’m learning more and more the importance of sonship and understanding my identity as a son of the house. When we enter the house we must first come as sons and understand the love and authority of a father. Then as sons we must serve and obey fully the commands of our father. And THEN we can become friends with the father. It’s so true and I never thought about this that we need to differentiate the between the different kinds of relationships that we have, but I love how the 3 models are all part of one reality.

    It also hit home that my relationship with the house is a reflection of my relationship with God. So true and what a wake-up call!

  113. Pastor Benjamin really blessed me with this sermon. I love how he went more in depth about the things we went over in NRTC Training day one. How we are in the church reflects our relationship in God and vice versa. We all have an identity in Christ. You have too know who you are and also have confidence in that. He really clarified how to form an identity in church. Sonship really can delegate how your relationship with God will form.

  114. Brittany Mickell says:

    This video is about understanding our identity in church and the order in which our relationship takes place in the church between pastors and members. Sonship, Servant hood, and Friendship that we develop in church between pastors and members mirrors the relationship we see in the bible. Particularly Paul and Timothy’s relationship , Jesus and his disciples relationship, and also Jesus and God’s relationship. We can apply the lesson here to first come as a son allowing our leaders to love on us, then we can serve with a heart of humility, and know how to be a true friend. All of this helps to further develop our relationship with God as we develop our relationship with our leaders , we reflect God’s true intention and relationship with his children.

  115. James Song says:

    Knowing your identity and being competent in who you are provides you with great confidence. I used to place that identity solely on myself and the confidence turned to arrogance and what I thought was excellence was just exaggerated emptiness. Knowing your identity as a son of God, and being able to operate as a son, has opened doors for levels of excellence I have never experienced before. By placing my identity in God first as my father, and Lord, I know exactly where my inheritance comes from and get to taste just how good it is, every day. The way PB dissected the three identities of God that churches focus on really informed me on how crucial teachings on the Father-Son relationship is in the current church.

  116. valentina kim says:

    God is so amazing and this sermon was very enlightening for me about my identity and the order that I should follow in my relationship with God. By the guidance of God I have been going under the sonship but I could not help myself looking at others being the loyal servants and intimate friends with Him. I have been frustrated that I lack those qualities but now I understand that those ones come as I develop deeper relationship with Jesus.
    When I heard many adults go around seeking people to speak identity on them, I remembered how it used to be before I was saved.. it helped me to be thankful to the Lord for calling me His daughter. It is not always easy to embrace this identity but God is so persistent on telling me who really I am. I have peace knowing that those identities come later with my maturity. Thank you for this sermon Pastor Benjamin.

  117. Julian Cheung says:

    This sermon tied in really well with the Spirit of Sonship seminar, giving more context and reasoning for the necessity of the father son relationship. The fruit of this relationship is a willing heart of a servant without begrudging the service, sons walk in the knowledge they have an inheritance. This context produces a deeper friendship where the teachings and dialogue can go back and forth between father and son. If a relationship starts as a friendship, any service will be conditional on the friendship.

    This message helped me understand why there is such a significance and emphasis on the message of sonship at new philly and how it differs from my previous church relationships.

  118. Lindsay Costello says:

    It was interesting and insightful to hear Pastor Benjamin’s perspective on identity. It really stuck out to me when he said, “We are all born without a sense of Identity” and must be told an identifier of who we are and that we are dependent on those closest to us to tell us who we are. And also when he said, “There is something about your identity that you cannot fully embrace it unless it is acknowledged, unless it is affirmed and unless it is encouraged”. It really made me think about how and who shapes our identity and then when we come to Christ, how the Holy Spirit speaks to us and tells us who we are in Christ. It was also interesting to think about how our relationship with God as a Servant, Son and Friend also impacts and shifts how we view the church.

  119. Grace Cho says:

    I have always wanted to have a clear definition of what is identity and what it means to have a strong sense of identity. Ps Benjamin really gave me more clarity to what identity is through this message. Identity is not just a noun or an object. There are three elements of identity – (1) knowing who you are (2) acceptance of and confidence in that knowledge (3) acting on, a doing of the identity.

    And then in the context of this clear definition, I learned about the three models of core Christian identity. It was a revelation to me that friendship with God is a highly conditional reality. “If you do everything I command you, then you’re my friends.” I was challenged – Do I do everything that God commands? The message helped to clear the confusion around what God means by friendship, it’s different to what the world means, and I’m looking forward to growing more in this way in my relationship with God.

    • Grace Cho says:

      Also cleared up for me that identity is not about “finding myself” as the world might say, but about hearing who God says I am, as my Creator. Only He has the authority to tell me who I am, and what my name is and the whole world including me has to submit to that.

  120. joshua kim says:

    The Lord’s been teaching me about the my identity for last several years and PB’s message was a great confirmation and new revelation to me. I’ve been recognized God as my father but I realized that I have not been seeing Him as a my friend. I need to grow up to develop a friendship with Him. I know that it’s going to take time but I’ll try and make it

  121. Yoon Han says:

    Firstly, I agree that NPC is a powerful house. A house that knows their identity in Christ and where they stand in the world today. I love the passion that overflows within the church with its identity as ‘mighty warriors’.

    I think I am still on my journey to seek for my identity in Christ. I have always searched for my identity. Why am I here? What am I to do in this world? What is my purpose? And when I started to walk in faith with NPC, I discovered I may have a possible calling. Now, my question is, what is my calling? I was at first afraid of my calling. What if I didn’t like it, I may know who I’m meant to be, but what if I don’t want to be and it won’t satisfy my selfish needs of this world?

    These questions would arise and I would be struggle on the topic of my identity. I was always seeking for someone to tell me my identity. However, I have learnt that before even seeking for God’s calling upon my life, even before figuring out who I am and what I am meant to do, I needed to call upon the Lord first. To become and accept that I am a Son and that this would be my first step and God will lead the way.

    It was interesting for me that Pastor Benjamin pointed out to “reproduce the Biblical teaching. Don’t re-invent it”. I always had a thought in the back of my mind that the Bible, a teaching from so many years ago, how is it STILL relevant in this time and age? I thought there should be a new, new testament in the Bible. So this was an interesting point for me that we are to relate to God the EXACT way that Jesus related to God, and the way Jesus related to people. I do feel like churches pick and choose what to preach to the community and I didn’t think that was the right thing to do.

    Also, on which relationship with the house, I first thought friendship was first, then sonship then servanthood. I thought this way because this would be ideal picture I get when trying to get more people to attend church. Getting to know them first, accept them as a son and then once committed, serving the house. However, I did not relate this with how you would start the relationship with God and to start with sonship. I feel like I was blinded by this because I am concentrating to please people not God. Doing what is convenient for most people. Personally, I think I struggle with being a son but want to serve as a leader of the house. Friendship with my relationship with God seems quite distant to me at this current point in time.

  122. Myko Okada says:

    This topic was well explained and it gave me more clarity on what sonship is.PB has aleays been precise with his sermons. Friendship is something that I always value, but then I just learned how important it is in the church community. Before I didn’t really know how to be a son in the context of spiritual fatherhood. and be under covering of a structured church.I focused on being a servant,not a son of the house and not even a friend. It’s amazing how all these three concepts should go together in establishing identity.With God telling us whoe we are, my identity is now deeply rooted in truth. I am now ready to honor leadership and be discipled.

  123. Michelle Hwang says:

    My struggle with identity has been an ongoing one. I have sufficient knowledge of who I am, which is attributable to my endless curiosity on this. However, I struggled with acceptance and confidence with this knowledge. I have accepted certain attributes of myself as matter of fact. That is, that “yes I am like this” or “yes I am this person”. However, this hasn’t been in a positive way but come from a place of dissatisfaction. I am unhappy with these revelations of my identity and as a result, what constitutes my identity has become increasingly unclear and confusing. I lacked a lot of people speaking into my identity – particularly in a positive way. I was told that “You are such and such” but often with negative connotations or as a means of rebuke. This caused me to have so much difficulty in accepting and being confident with my identity. However through NPC, I have developed relationships that truly built up my identity and have given me the ability to be in a place of acceptance and confidence of that identity. The leaders who have spoken into my life and truly invested into me have been powerful in building me up in this way and I completely agree with Pastor Benjamin – identity is not a solitary concept but emerges from relationships.

    With the servant, son, friendship relationships, I really think I have over-specalised, leading to the neglect of others. I was always aware that Christianity is not merit-based, it is about servitude, it is not a ‘ticking the boxes’ religion. However I have always been like the “Older brother” of the prodigal son – doing the acts and very less inclined to defy my parents or even God. Naturally, I felt that servant was the first relationship. However, this truly subverted that belief and challenged my perception on the approach to relationships within the body of Christ. I must become a son first. Being someone who does not easily develop friendships, this model sits well with me and I truly believe it is the way that we are able to have greater intimacy with God, greater intimacy with other members, leaders and the pastors of the church, as well as providing the congregation with covering. We have co-ownership of the teachings – the ceiling of our leaders and spiritual fathers is our floor, and I really think that this is such an empowering model from the Bible that will raise up strong leaders within the church.

  124. JKim(Busan) says:

    Through this message I realize that I had a wrong understanding of role and authority of leadership. I wanted leaders to be my friends first if they wanted to speak over my life but i was wrong. We are sons, friends and servants of God but the relationship with Him needs to be setting in a proper order. We start with becoming God’s sons first then we become His servants and friends, and the relationship with our leaders is same as relationship with God.
    Thank you PB for correction. Opening my heart to pastors and leaders won’t be easy to me but I’ll try again and again and will make it.

  125. David Chong says:

    Identity is established by first knowing who you are, accepting who you are and finally being who you are by walking it out.

    We are servants, sons and friends of God, but we go through seasons of over-specialising in one model. Truly walking out in all three models feels a like a bit of a juggling affair sometimes. As PB says, that may be because we have misplaced the order in which we approach the establishment of our identity when it comes to relating to our spiritual mentor/authority.

    So sonship, then servanthood and then finally friendship. I loved how PB recounted one of his earlier interactions with Pastor Robert Daniels. In terms of how I related to my spiritual authority in the past, I don’t think I ever went as far as coming into sonship. When I look back on how I used to relate to the Lord, I can definitely see that there must have been so many times where it would have done me a world of good to simply be still and wait upon God. Learning what it means to be a son has taught me how how to be humble and how to receive. Its been a steady process of allowing God and my leaders to speak into my life so that the groundwork of my identity in Christ may be established. At the same time, I have been learning what the significance of having an inheritance in the kingdom means, and it has definitely changed my approach to sowing into my own walk as well as the house. I am just starting to step into a season of learning what it means to relate to my leaders and to God as a servant, but being established as a son has fundamentally changed my attitude when it comes to serving and sowing, whereas obligation was the predominant motivation beforehand, it is now a joy and a privilege.

    And friendship. I’m not quite there yet, but I am definitely looking forward to that season when it comes.

  126. Jennifer Choi says:

    I raised my hand for “Sonship” when PB asked which one comes first. It’s ironic because “sonship” was the last thing I understood growing up in LA. My identity was all over the place before I became the person I am today. PB was right when he said that friendship is a westernized culture. Growing up in LA, I came to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior in seventh grade. I was first exposed to servanthood. In high school, I served as a worship leader. I only believed that God is my LORD and master. Whatever He commands, I need to follow because I fear Him. That fear wasn’t even the proper fear. Then in college, many pastors in LA tries to be friends with the students. They try to emotionally connect, and that’s all the students desire. The Lord’s word is just a sprinkle to the relationship between the pastor and the student. To be honest, sonship was a hard concept for me. Growing up, my parents didn’t have a wide capacity or leisure to take care of me and my sister. Situations were tough. My identity was messed up because I didn’t like who I was. Rather, I didn’t know who I was and why I was even in this world to begin with. So when I was introduced to the word, sonship from one of my home church pastors, I began to grow rapidly. I finally understood who I was and was able to be confident in it because I knew I was receiving everything that my Father has. Wisdom, authority, love and so forth were the inheritance He entrusted me with after our relationship developed over time. As I grew, I was able to serve the church without feeling “burnt out” because I was not looking towards men for approval.In fact, I was already satisfied of the works I do for the church. God already said he was pleased with me from the beginning because I AM HIS SON. Being a child of a parent cannot be altered in anyway. It is bound by blood. My friendship with the Lord only grew overtime, intimately, and it was really the only friendship I ever wanted. I am so grateful to have found a church in Korea that teaches its sons of their identity and speak life over them.

  127. David Chong says:

    Identity in Christ is established by learning what it means to be a son, a servant and a friend, in that order. People tend to over-specialise in one facet of the three. Just off the top of my head, I think I over-specialised in servanthood most in my walk.

    It was definitely a revelation when PB said that our identity that is established as we relate to the church is determining factor in our identity that is established as we relate to God. I have been going through a season of what it means to be a son, both in the context of my church and in my relationship with God. When PB recalled some of his early interactions with P. Robert Daniels, in which he literally wouldn’t say a word and simply sit under the teaching of his spiritual father, it reminded me of a significant part of being a son in my own season, which has involved learning how to humble myself and simply listen to my leaders, as well as learning how to slow down, be still before God and listen for His voice. Sonship coming first makes even more sense when PB pointed out that sons server their fathers because they know they have an inheritance as opposed to wage. As I draw close to entering into my next season where I learn how to be a servant both in the context of church and in my relationship with God, this revelation that I have an inheritance in heaven and am a beloved son definitely changes my attitude for the better in regards to serving the house and the kingdom.

    I’m not quite there when it comes to friendship, but I am looking forward to it!

  128. This sermon has shown me that i need to be rooted at my church in order to have a true identity in Christ. To be established as a son first, a servant, then a friend, not the other way around which i have previously thought. This triangular paradigm that PB has spoken about has given me a clearer perspective and order on how i can walk the Christian walk in my life.

    This current season I have been learning how to live out sonship in all areas in my life not only in church. PB’s teaching has reminded me how universally connected and important this concept is in my life at this moment. Achieving this balance has been fruitful and life-changing for the relationships with my parents but it has also been challenging with other father son relationships like my work. If i am unable to practice and live out how to be a son in these areas than I feel like i am not maturing and applying these teachings from my church enough.

    I like how PB has reiterated friendship and how a father and son can only be friends once the son is matured. I enjoy knowing that God’s heart and intimacy can be revealed more and more to me once i am able to come to this stage of relationship.

  129. Ashleigh Kwak says:

    This was a powerful sermon which ultimately challenged me in terms of how I identify myself. Ultimately, I learnt that identity is not formed in a vacuum – it is always relational to a specific context / relationship. This truth is challenging as it means that identity is not found within myself or just about me, but it is determined by my community and ultimately by God.

    It was interesting, provoking and refreshing to learn that God first calls us to be His sons, before we identify ourselves as His servants and friends. Sonship is a powerful truth because it means total acceptance by Him, that is not based on our works but out of His love for us through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is when we mature and grow within our Sonship that we are also able to identify ourselves as His servants, and also His friends who partner with Him to fulfil His purpose.

    I believe it will be a lifelong challenge for me to constantly know what my identity is, to remain confident in it, and to also live and act it out as well.

  130. Martin Kang - Sydney says:

    Man this one was challenging. My identity is a relational with the church and God. We always say that our identities are found in God, and while that is true, it is practised by how we relate to Him and to one another in the body of Christ. Also, thanks for setting the order of sonship, slave, and the friend. And for the rebuke of the modern, western church who has jacked it up by putting friend first.

  131. Tina kang says:

    This message was so good! I learnt so much about my identity and the church. My walk into sonship wasn’t in the right order (sonship, slave and then friend) but God is good! I’m very thankful that i know now. I know how to encourage others to do it in the proper way.

  132. Orji Noble says:

    Friendship and fellowship is so much rooted in sonship and serving as a son in the family, and i can only come up to fellowship level when i understand and keep commandments.
    God first made manin his image, and gave instructions, commands, to controle the earth, and then he visit him in the cool of the day ( fellowship/friendship).
    Fathers creates the identity of the son, in the case of Benjamin jacob had to decide not to allow his son to be called Benonim (son of my sorrow) but Benjamin (son of my right hand).
    For me this is a call to for humility, submission and obedience.

  133. kayla vezeau says:

    The world tries to press the church into a model and the church begins to Christianize things. It’s important for us to know who we are in Christ and who we are in the house of God. What is identity?
    1. The knowledge of who you are.
    2. Acceptance and Confidence in knowing who you are
    3. Act of being who you are.

    All of us are born with no sense of identity – we become dependent on others to tell us who we are.

    Identity is a relational reality. We receive identity through the different relationships we have with others. I am a daughter, sister, and aunt. That is how people in my family with whom I have personal relationships with identify me.

    Many people come into the church with a friendship model but this is a western mindset. Friends don’t receive the inheritance but sons do. The problem with this friendship first model is that servant-hood will not come because the reality is that servants serve but friends help.

    Sonship is a distant possibility is we start with friendship. If we want to become a friend of God we must first become a servant of God. I like how PB talked about his deep relationship with his father. He was first a son and as a son, he did everything his father told him to do. Of course as he grew older and grew in maturity, he is now able to be considered like a friend.

    This teaching was very powerful and it makes me feel safe within the church. There is a great responsibility to serve in the house and to become established in the house as a son. Something that I really took from this is that it important that we understand our identity in Christ and in the house. The way we relate to God shouldn’t be different than how we relate in the house. In the house Everything is interconnected. Also, by being a son of the house, it’s not just about me and my own personal walk with God. I am to be a good steward of the teachings and there is a responsibility for me to reproduce not recreate. When I listen to the messages on Sunday how am I stewarding them? As PB was talking about multiplying and giving back in greater measure, I was thinking about the parable of the talents. The one who used it wisely and brought back double of what he was entrusted was given more. As a member of NP who is doing this training into being a future leader of the house I have a responsibility to realize and accept this knowledge of my identity and act on it. I appreciate these teachings because I feel like this is setting the ground work of building us up to be disciple makers and mighty warriors. Thank you again for these great teachings!!

  134. Rochelle Watt says:

    I learned so much from this message in regards to identity. It was very interesting to hear that identity is the knowledge of who we are, the acceptance and confidence of that knowledge, and the act of being who we are. It was also interesting to hear that who we are is in the context of someone else because we cannot have an identity in a vacuum. Although such an obvious truth, it wasn’t something I’ve thought about before.

    The main thing that I took away from this message, however, is how important it is to make sure we get the order right in regards to our relationship with God and the church. Jesus did not begin His ministry until after He was baptized and God said He (ie. Jesus) was His beloved son in whom He was well pleased. This is such a great example of how sonship is meant to come first, and then service follows. Then Pastor Benjamin proceeded to illustrate from John 15:15 that friendship follows servanthood once the master is pleased with us. It was great that Pastor Benjamin not only told us what the order of our relationships should be and why, but also that he used key stages in Jesus’ ministry as illustrations.

    I was surprised to hear that although we are all sons of God, we are not all friends of God. It is easy to get caught up in the “Jesus is my homie” mentality. But unless we do as He commands, fully serve Him, and possess the inheritance of His teaching, we are not called friends. And true service can only come from having sonship. It was neat to learn how all the relationship models are connected.

  135. Hope Schaeffer says:

    I have been warned before that an unbalanced or “specialized” view of God is dangerous, but just as an individual; I had not heard how this danger could affect a local church. However, the “specialized” concept fits with my understanding of most denominational differences within the global Church – local churches tend to have an emphasis on certain aspects of faith, whether that be the on gifts of the Spirit, or on understanding the depth of grace, etc. Having different emphases is not wrong as long as we learn from each other and keep unity, just as individuals within the same local church build each other up by sharing the different areas in which they have more maturity or revelation.

    That said, what is striking about this sermon is that because the way church leadership approaches discipleship has such considerable influence on the way the congregation will relate to each other and to God, this is an important issue to address. Having different models of discipleship is not just a difference of tradition or spiritual emphasis between churches, but a matter of getting the point of discipleship or missing it completely.

    Reflecting on my history of relating to God and spiritual leaders, the three facets Pastor Benjamin defines as Lord-servant, Father-son, and friend-friend have all been modeled to me, especially the first two. But just as PB says, I had no clarity about how these parts fit together or that there even was an order to follow. I remember hearing the song “I am a Friend of God” for the first time around the age of 10 and feeling completely shocked. My mother responded that it wasn’t an unbiblical concept that Jesus is our friend, but we should be very careful not to overstep our bounds by maintaining a reverent fear of the Lord.

    For most of my life, I have been specializing in the master-servant model in my relationship with God. I often had a bad attitude about obeying, but it was my duty so I did. Eventually I got burnt out and quit trying to relate to God at all. The fact that possessing an identity as a son must come first makes so much sense, especially in light of 1 Corinthians 13:1-3: without love I am nothing and have nothing. It sounds ridiculous, but I even thought of loving God as a duty, not as the foundation of and overflowing of a relationship with the Father.

    Secure in that Fatherly love and empowered by it, we can and want to keep his commands (John 14:15). I always understood this passage to mean that if I truly loved God I wouldn’t want to break his commands because I wouldn’t want to disappoint him, as if he had given those commands just as a meaningless test of my loyalty. But as Pastor Benjamin reminded me from Romans 8, my motivation to serve God is not because I am a servant who has to earn a wage or approval. Because my identity is sonship I can feel free to serve already assured of my inheritance. That takes off a lot of pressure and allows room for so much joy!

    The receiving and multiplying of teaching and giving it back to a spiritual father that Pastor Benjamin mentioned near the end is something I wish he had explained in application. It makes me wonder if that’s the key or somehow connected to understanding how to be a conduit of God’s love and blessing to others.

  136. This message was really amazing. I have never heard a message preached on this topic and Pastor Benjamin has definitely left me with things to think over.
    I learnt and understood the relations mentioned in the three models of our identity and the three models of God’s identity, and how my relationship with God must be reflected in the church. This clear message has made me look at identity in a completely different and practical light, one I’ll begin to apply.

  137. Ryan Vogel says:

    Wow this message is powerful. I’ve never fully understood this principle of sonship, servanthood and lastly friendship. I’ve disrespected leaders far to often in my past and I’ve paid the price for it. However, this message fires me up to find a Godly man who will be my spiritual father and authority figure over me. For the last year I’ve had little spiritual authority in my life and I’ve tried to walk with Christ completely on my own. And I agree with everything that was said about the orphan spirit in this message… It DOES NOT work! We need a spiritual leader over us to discipline us and hold us accountable for the glory of God. I’m excited to really step into this new season and walk under biblical authority again for the first time in awhile.

  138. A summary of Pastor Benjamin Robinson’s sermon on Identity and Church. He talks about a global crisis. The church is being pressed into a mold by the world. It is allowing itself to be conformed by the world. It’s related to our identity, who we are in Christ and who we are in the house of God. Usually we tend to operate in church in a way that is not healthy. We tend to operate in a way that reflects the world. If you want to see the quality of my relationship with God. You look at the way I operate in the house of God. We cannot say we love God and hate our brother, God calls us liars. In the Bible John says that you can discern how I relate to God based off of what I do in the church. Pastor Benjamin then goes on to talk about the definition of identity.

    Our identity consists of three things. (1) The knowledge of who you are; knowing who
    you are. (2) The acceptance and confidence in that knowledge. (3) The act of being who you are. When we do not accept our identity, our life becomes a contradiction. we put up a persona. When we are born, we do not have an identity so we need others to define that for us. Our parents do that by assigning a name to us. We also see this in the Bible when Jesus is baptized and then God acknowledges him as his Son. PB then talks about our spiritual identity.

    PB mentions three irreducible core models of the Christian identity. (1) We are servants of God and of one another. (2) We are sons of God. (3) We are friends of God. He then quotes Mark 10:43 The faithful and wise servant; Luke 10:42-43 He who is greatest over you is a servant and Romans 8:14 We have a spirit of adoption. Our identity goes with God’s identity. God’s identity is also defined in three core models. (1) Master and Lord, (2) Father, (3) Friendship. We see this in the Bible. Everything comes from the Father, God calls abraham his friend, and Jesus refers to his disciples as friends. Each relational model looks different. The Master-Servant model means that God is my master and I am his servant. The Father-Son model means that I am to love God and receive love from God. And in the Friend-friend model my job is to fellowship with God. But usually we tend to over specialize in one model. When we do that, we don’t have a proper view of God. Even churches, they tend to focus on only one model.

    Jesus commanded his apostles to make disciples. Their job was to represent Jesus in their teachings and to have them obey everything he told them. They were not allowed to leave anything out. Churches tend to pick a model and focus on it, but Jesus did all three. In the Master-Servant modeled church; members are rewarded for obeying and punished for disobeying. Essentially god is your boss, you are his employee. In the Father-Son modeled church; the job of the pastor is to love and accept the members and we are to love our pastors as a father. In the Friend-Friend modeled church; the pastor must maintain an emotional connection with the members. Members who remain loyal are rewarded and the members who don’t get ostracized. PB then asks a good question, what is the order that we should follow the models?

    In the western world friendship is first. If we start with friends, then we never reach servanthood and sonship is an impossibility when starting with friendships. Sonship should be first; before Jesus serves the father he becomes his son. Then he starts his ministry. If we don’t have start with sonship, we can never have real friendship. God has no friends that are not first his sons and PB mentions that this is where the church has been pressed. In John 15:14-15, Jesus says “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” With this mentality we serve knowing that we will receive an inheritance.

    PB throws out the definition of friendship in the world with what is defined in the Bible. Unless you accept the teachings of your spiritual father, you do not become friends. Their needs to be a co-ownership of the teachings. The son needs to posses the teachings and grow. Once there is growth then there can be real fellowship. The church today puts friendship first. But there needs to be a paradigm shift in order to really grasp the kingdom definition of friendship. Sonship is first, then we serve as sons. Finally when we do all that he commands we become his friends. I think PB really solidified the concept through his great examples and quoted Bible verses.

  139. Kristian Doncillo says:

    This was a very mind opening message, that answered questions I didn’t even know I had before. What really caught my attention was when Pastor Benjamin was explaining that the order of the three models of identity mattered. In all honesty, when he posed the question as to which one came first, I had answered friendship without really realizing the implications. Pastor Benjamin later went on to explain that if we start from friendship, we can never really move towards servanthood much less sonship. As he explained, what kind of friend would serve another? Sure they could help here and there, but not so much serve. It was only through sonship that the other two are possible in the way God intended it to be. This especially resonates with me because I never thought about my own situation back home. I realize that at times the friendship model is much more prominent than the sonship model with my interactions with my pastor. Actually, our families knew each other prior to him becoming a pastor and his daughter and I grew up together. At times I would see him as an uncle figure rather than a spiritual father, which I now see has robbed both of us from a deeper relationship in the spirit. With this new understanding, I believe a shift of identity and reconciliation is due.
    In the podcast, Pastor Benjamin also explained that real friendship in the biblical context is where true fellowship occurs. Fellowship is co-ownership, it is only when we have not only received the teachings of Jesus but own and live it out as referenced in John 15:15. In contrasts, Pastor Christian explains that friendship in a worldly context is just a masquerade of an orphan spirit with no one to guide them. They are looking for the love in the wrong places. In essence, starting with a worldly perspective of friendship leads to nowhere, whereas beginning in sonship leads to true, biblical friendship as God intended it to be. God desires fellowship, but it’s only through true understanding and internalization of His Word that we can boldly say we’re His friends. It’s through the process of sonship, servanthood then friendship that we’re able to grow and live the way God intended.

  140. Sindy Montgomery says:

    Shedding off the spirit of orphanhood is difficult after living in that state for so many years, yet despite the attitude of independence and “I’ve got it together”, these people (including myself ) still yearn for a spiritual father’s love and authority within their life.
    As Pastor Benjamin said the order of roles are important. If you to connect on a deeper and intimate level with God rebirth must take place. How can enter into the family of God without the DNA makeup; without the blood of Christ upon us rebirth is impossible. As sonship becomes ingrained into our spiritual DNA, a heart of servanthood should begin to foster. If you are unable to submit to a loving Father though how could you ever relent and obey a faithful and powerful Master. It is all interconnected. Through the love of a Father and the commands of a Master we will find the fellowship of a close friend.
    The people of God need to go back to the basics and learn their identity in Him. Too many are instead trying to fit God into their limited understanding. This can only lead to more instability and weakness with the body of Christ. To raise up an army of mighty warriors they must first know their identity.

  141. Daniel Lee says:

    The part about how infants don’t have a sense of identity even though they have one was good for me, that parents are responsible for knowing who their children are and the whole world is to acknowledge what they have named that child.

    Going through different models of relationship with God and for discipleship within the church really clarifies how sonship compares with and is at times at odds with the friendship model and the servant model. It’s a weighty subject – starting with sonship, then servanthood, then friendship instead of the other way around is a sound model and it really does go against the way of the world. Christ completed His work for His disciples, when He first called them (and also named in the case of Peter), and then taught and sent them out, and then finally laid down His life for them.

    The story of beginning with declarations of truth and promises, then the commands with authority, and finally the falling of walls and boundaries into intimacy that Pastor Daniels demonstrated in his discipleship of Pastor Robinson is beautiful. It just shows so much wisdom in guarding the heart of loving God before loving man, and not allowing any compromise when it comes to the sanctity and authority of Scripture and its stewardship in the hands of a man of God.

    It’s so good to hear of discipleship and sonship in a way that just is alive and submitted to the full body of Scripture, not trying to fit God into a mold that man would fashion for his own satisfaction.

  142. When I was young hated the name my parents gave me because I thought it didn’t reflect who I was. I always looked for a new name, an English name, and something stylish because I wanted my identity to come from this name, so people knew what kind of person I was. I was bullied a lot when I was young and so I just kept telling lies to myself that I don’t deserve this name my parents and their spiritual father(?) gave me.

    After I became saved and learnt that God calls me His child, the first thought that came to mind was, “then what does He call me?” Because I knew that God calls us by a new name. As I was praying about this new name and as other people prayed for my new name I learnt that God was calling me ‘precious’. That was something that people have been praying over for me for a good 3 to 4 years and took me 3 to 4 years to find out. But the interesting thing is my new name that God gave me was the name that my parents originally gave me and called me by since birth. It was my identity from the beginning!

    So from then I think my identity as a Son took a stronger hold in my life but as I was listening to Pastor Benjamin’s sermon, I realised that my past still lingered, hindering me from being a true Son. I grew up as a Pastors Kid so I always grew up serving the church. When Pastor Benjamin asked “which of these do you think comes first, son, servant or friend?” a part of me knew it was Son by my head was saying “hey you have to serve the church, you have to serve your pastors and the people because etc.” I just can not not break out of this servant-hood mindset and it is still taking me back to a time where I was confused about if this name is a real and new name that God has given me. I thought it was super interesting that Pastor Benjamin talked about names to start this sermon because it is something that is very very close and dear to my heart and so I believe that in my walk with God that this new name will take a stronger and deeper root in my heart as I accept this Sonship to the fullest!

  143. Seojung Ha says:

    I loved how Pastor Benjamin started with our identity in Christ. It is always so powerful to be reminded of who I am to our Father!

    When Pastor Benjamin asked the question about which comes first in relationship with God – sonship, serving, or friendship – I had to think about it for awhile for an answer. However, the clarification he gave through the message was so powerful! I wanna be a son of this house that can serve for the inheritance and have the kingdom relationship with my spiritual father. I can’t wait to have that authority!

  144. Christine Kwon says:

    Pastor Benjamin helped clarify some areas that I have struggled with for a while, for lack of experience, knowledge, and wise, mature counsel. I get confused about my identity, and what it’s supposed to look like, but when Pastor Benjamin stressed that identity is something that must be walked out, and lived out, and specifically in relationship to other people, particularly the people and leaders of the church, I realized that my efforts to establish identity have usually been mental and intellectual, or dictated by feelings, rather than “physical”—walked out in action and lifestyle. I’ve also usually often tried to figure out my identity, and secure it, and internalize it, in isolation from teachers or leaders.

    The rest of the message—sonship, servanthood, friendship, their proper order, why this order matters—really challenged certain preferences, opinions, and modes of operation that have become habitual and almost intuitive to me, so I had to do a lot of wrestling, as Pastor Benjamin knew well might be necessary. Hearing him talk about relationship, and so much vulnerability and exposure and intimacy, even good, God-ordained intimacy, certain longtime fears of mine were brought to the surface, too, but I guess in a good way, because they are being exposed as false and weak under the light of truth.

    In short, I’m still grappling. But the things Pastor Benjamin laid out really are in the Bible, and friendship and love and discipleship according to Jesus really are different from the relational dynamics of the world, and yet all of this accords fully to what I am learning to be God’s purposes for his chosen: to be born again; to become a son, and so an heir to our Father’s inheritance; to become a servant who obeys all that He commands and thereby earns the right to be called friend; to be brought to glory, and to glorious liberty. I was encouraged by Pastor Benjamin’s reminder at the end that this is the ultimate aim. I was comforted, and my fears were quieted, by his prayer. I was also reminded of Pastor Christian yelling in “Do Not Go Naked”—“I don’t WANT to control your life!” Haha, because that’s not the purpose.

    The key things I want to hold on to and work through from this teaching is the understanding that God teaches me how to be a son to Him (and down the road, a servant, and a friend) by teaching me to be a son to the leaders he has appointed, and that the relationships in the church are supposed to reflect the Kingdom of God. If that’s the way God designed it, I believe He’ll give me the faith and grace to “jump in with two feet” like Pastor Benjamin prayed, and to see that this design is beautiful, biblical, and for my good.

  145. This message challenged me to continue to look closer at the way I have led my lfe relationally–making shallow friendships here and there but denying my true need for a father I can totally respect and love. This father-son relationship takes the top priority in how we relate to God. First and foremost we are his beloved sons. Then we are his servants. And lastly we are his friends.

    Orphans or kids without a father figure may grow up and deny they ever needed a father and all they need is friends for companionship and to justify their way of living. I now recognize I need a father that I can love and submit myself to.

    Friendship can only go so far without the love of sonship. The way we relate to God is reflected by the way we relate to the house of God. At New Philly Lee and Diana are my spiritual parents. And while Lee is my 동생, I won’t call him that in earnestness. I trust that he is guiding me as a disciple, sent by Jesus and following Jesus’ model of discipleship. Thank you God for bringing me spiritual parents.

  146. Sofia Kim says:

    After listening the audio, I’ve realized that my identity was centered one of the models but I didn’t consider the 3 of them togethe. And today we see that the 3 of them are different sides from the same reality and the order of this 3 matters.
    How we operate in the House of God reflects our relationship with God. During a long time I was focusing more on the servant approach, looking for a community where I could serve and get involved in ministries  as much as I could because that’s what I was used to do back in my home church. But today I’ve learned that we are called FIRST Sons of God, and that’s also what God want us from us, to feel that we are Sons and Daughters of the House of God, and he gave us the right to receive his inheritance.
    So after we truly believe our identity as Sons of the God, we learn to serve but the difference is that we do it with OUR Father, and becuse we obey his comments at the end we are called friends. So good!!

  147. Tom Lim says:

    This sermon highlighted exactly how I have been viewing my relationship with God, sometimes a friend, sometimes a servant, sometimes a son. Also, it pointed out how i view my spiritual authorities. it was powerful how PB stressed the fact that not everyone is a friend of God. Relationship with God does not seasonally change, but it is a progressive development, starting point being a son. As a son, you serve, as a son, you obey, then as a obedient son, God acknowledges you as a friend.

    this was so good because I’ve been bouncing off different identities in different seasons. How i develop my spiritual relationship affects what I receive from that relationship and the sermon let me know to identify the type of relationship I am in, and regard them correctly in spiritual terms as God meant it so that I may inherit the inheritance God has intended. I do not want to let erroneous view of relationship i hold with God and spiritual authorities cut me off from God’ s inheritance. In conclusion, sonship is the first in order before servant and friend.

  148. Diana Park says:

    This message brought so much freedom and clarity about a believer’s relationship with God and the body of Christ. Pastor Benjamin’s teaching on identity models: sonship, servanthood, and friendship shed light to new perspectives for me.

    I embrace my sonship and identity as a son, but I want to know him more through service and fellowship. When Pastor Benjamin said that the relationship models are sides to a single reality rather than separate realities, puzzle pieces clicked in my mind.

    I saw how the set order of relationships in the model reveals the divinity and perfection of God. It was interesting how if friendship or servanthood is prioritized in a spiritual father-son relationship, the order is irreversible. It’s difficult to call your friend servant or become a son to your master, etc. I love how servanthood and friendship flows from sonship. Sonship truly establishes our foundation and identity. It’s no surprise that mature sons make excellent and faithful servants – because service flows from honor.

    The westernized belief of friendship before father was also a game changer for me. It first awakened a desire for me to examine which beliefs I’ve accepted into my life that originated from culture rather than the Bible. I see how detrimental it is for the body of Christ to mold into worldly identities instead of fully reflecting God’s character. In perfect representation of the three models, there is no ostracizing or exclusion, but an everlasting love flowing through the union of sons.

    In the past, I was influenced by this priority of emotional value in pastors in the western culture. It led me to form an unrealistic expectation of them needing to attend to my spiritual and emotional needs; they were more mentors than spiritual fathers. Thankfully, fatherhood frees me from those expectations. Simply the presence of a spiritual father over a house not gives permission, but also the blessing to live out my calling and destiny. The friendship that comes after sonship, like the example of Pastor Benjamin and his spiritual father, is beautiful. A tried and true intimacy after years of obedience and honor. I now have a better understanding of what Jesus meant when he said he only does what the Father does.

    This message was full of wisdom – and my prayer is to grow in these models of identity not only with God but as an active part in the Body of Christ.

  149. Valerie Ng Hui Sze says:

    I’ve gained so much wisdom from this sermon. I know of the three relationships we have with God; as servants, sons and friends but I didn’t know there was an order. Now, I see and understand that the order is very significant. First seeing God as a father allows me to experience the intimacy and love He has for me so that I may understand that God loves me even when I did nothing to earn that love. Then, submitting to Him as a servant so that I may serve Him knowing that it is my inheritance as a son and not serve like a slave who do so expecting a reward. After that, being in fellowship with God can only start by first faithfully stewarding and having co-ownership of the teachings that Jesus (our father and our master) has taught us. “Friends don’t receive the inheritance, SONS do.” So, it is important that we manifest all three models in the appropriate order. Also, I’ve learnt that relationship to the house/church models my relationship with God and I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the structure and covering of NewPhilly.

  150. InnGee Kim says:

    I really enjoyed the part of the message where Pastor Benjamin talks about how you have to own the teaching found in the Bible before you can become friends with Christ. I couldn’t agree more. It seems like you become friends with people who love the same thing as you. Since Christ is focused on pleasing God, the more we align ourselves with Christ’s will, the more Christ becomes a friend.

  151. Chai Kim says:

    There are three identity models that Pastor Benjamin explained in this sermon. First, we are God’s servants and He is our master. This means that God, as a master and our Lord, gives us commands and we are ought to obey and follow Him and also serve Him. Second, we are God’s sons and He is our father. We are to be loved and love Him, our father, and He loves us and gives us inheritance. Last, God is our friend, which means that we get to have fellowship with God.
    These models apply to our roles in church and relationships with pastors and leaders in church. The first model, the master-servant model, tells us that pastor is a master and members are servants. We are ought to be obedient and serve. The father-son model tells us that pastor is a father and members are sons. We get to have an intimate relationship and be loved and love, and we get to have inheritance in gospel. The last model, the friend model, tells us that pastor is a friend to all members of church.
    Pastor Benjamin says that sonship, the father-son model, is the first priority. Once we get to have a father-son relationship, the rest of the identities and relationships come naturally. We have the father-son relationship and then we serve our father and obey to our father naturally. We have the intimate father-son connection and then we have fellowship with our father. Thus, in church, our first priority should be the father-son model as well.
    I have learned so much by listening to his sermon about identity and relationship with God and identity and relationship with the pastors and leaders in church. I haven’t thought of having a pastor as my spiritual father and me being a son of him, even though I’ve always thought that God is my father and I am his beloved son. This teaching has awaken me to realize what my identity in church is. Pastors are my spiritual father and mother and I am their spiritual son. I get to be loved and love them and serve and be obedient. They also have the authority to tell me who I am as my spiritual father and mother. I also get to have an intimate relationship with them and have a fellowship with them. Most importantly, I get inheritance from them in gospel!

  152. Kylie Posteraro says:

    This was such a powerful sermon!! I feel like I need to listen to this sermon 5 more times to fully process. This concept of sonship has been such a focus since I’ve been coming to new Philly. I love how pastor Benjamin identified three kingdom identities and the importance of their order. I’ve known that God calls us sons, servants and friends but never took time to think there was significance in their order. What really impacted me was when pastor Benjamin used Jesus’s example of sonship with his disciples. Jesus’ friendship with his apostles was conditional, Jesus told his disciples: if you do everything I command, then you are my friends! After the apostles had earned their friendship with him, Jesus said: no longer do I call you servants but friends.

  153. Sarang Park says:

    Though the sermon was technically 1 hour long, It took nearly 2 hours because I kept rewinding to truly listen to key phrases that Pastor Benjamin was speaking. 6 pages of notes later, I’m stumped to where I should even begin in this comment. Like Pastor Christian said towards the end (1:13:27), there are huge ramifications to applying this sermon into my life.

    There are 3 main points that struck deeply with me:
    1. Not everyone is God’s friend; friendship is /given/ when I possess AND follow the teachings of my father so intimately that I begin to multiply and give it back to him and to others.
    2. God has no friends who aren’t his sons, and secondly, his servants.
    3. I must. Be. Found. Faithful.

    There’s something about being told that friendship with God is a highly conditioned reality. It really struck the fear of the Lord in me because I’ve been skirting by with the master/son model my whole life. Maybe it’s because as a missionary kid, duty has been a high priority. What’s clear is that I can no longer stay a servant. Instead, I must shift my identity to one as a son and to accept my true identity. In the beginning, I couldn’t help wonder how I will embrace my son-identity, my true identity, without it being acknowledged, affirmed, and encouraged. And to be real, I’m a little apprehensive if I’ll be able to completely shift to sonship when all I’ve ever really experienced was servanthood. But I recognize that under PC, PE, my CG leaders, and the active leaders within the church, I am covered and I am to trust in them. I am covered because now I get to walk out my identity in context of trusted relationships with wise, mature people. This is where I began to really appreciate the level of intention that PC and PE has put into New Philly’s structure as a house of God.

    This message is one that I think will continue to be on my heart for right now, and also for the rest of my life as I continue to grow as a son, as a servant, and then as a friend within myself and within my relationships in the Church.

  154. David Albano says:

    I found this a very interesting message. Servants, sons and friends of God are excellent models of our identity. All three are so different yet all relate and connect so well and describe our identity in Christ. Reminding myself of these models will be very beneficial. As he said, it helps us understand our relationship with God better. I really liked how he said we like to ‘pick’, but God wants us to use all the models AND in order. I definitely in the past have felt like I needed to serve God first but starting as a son changes everything. What a sweet understanding to have.
    His story about his father commanding him is very eye opening to the importance of having a spiritual father. They see truths that we don’t and they have our backs. Receiving the teachings and then have fellowship with us… wow. Real fellowship! I am in this season of receiving and learning but I know God wants me to sow back and that’s why I’m moving forward with this leadership process. I want to learn as much as possible. I loved his example of his personal experience. What an essential message to hear!!

  155. Tanisha Cosby says:

    There was so much to digest in this message and I really like how this sermon relates to “Shifting into the Spirit” and “The Journey of a Son” through the concepts of sonship and identity. Pastor Benjamin broke down the concept of identity into three key parts (the knowledge of who you are, the acceptance and confidence of that knowledge, and the act of being who you are). I really liked his example of how in the natural, parents set this identity by giving their child a name.
    Up until now, I was only aware and really focused on the servant-master model of my identity and doing what I thought was right to please God. I’ve sung the song “I am a friend of God” numerous of times but never had a true understanding of the kind of friend the Bible was actually talking about and that I can truly become a friend through the fellowship of teaching.Before coming to New Philly, I’ve heard sermons on how we are all children of God but never sermons on the importance of being a son of God, I’m so blessed to be apart of a church that focuses on the importance of sonship. Instead of just “majoring” in the servant-master model, I’m now aware of the importance of using all three models.My identity starts with becoming a son and through the spirit of adoption, then as a servant, and then finally as a friend.

  156. Anna Suber says:

    I had no idea their was different types of models of relationships we can go in and out of. I also didn’t know that we can get trapped in a certain type of model. I can identify into one model that was taught to me when I grew up in church; the master-servant model. I grew up in the southern part of the USA and many churches in that area have the commandment type lecturing. I was told that if you have this “check-in” relationship with God, where I am to tell him good things and just give him the play-by-play of my life, I would be in good standing with Him. I always thought this way was very shallow as I got older. I always observed those at conferences as who spoke with authority about truth and the love of God they experience. I didn’t understand how God spoke to them or how they knew their identity as a child of God. They were always so passionate when they talked of their walk’s with God. I wanted that passion! I always wondered how they got to where they were because I always felt stuck in the same place, with my faith. I never understood that first I am a son and I have inheritance. God wants me to learn and serve along side of Him. I have unfairly put God in one mold and missed out on opportunities of the past of richer fellowship. But, God’s plans are timely. And I know He is calling me now to see him as a father and I as a son. This message was so timely.

  157. What I learned from this sermon was that I was in the wrong thinking that i had a relationship with God as His child without fully understanding my role and duty as His son. Now i am a member in leadership training, i may have a spec of understanding and appreciation of what being God’s son is truly like- it comes with responsibility, servitude, and true ownership of that sonship. As I serve my earthly parents, I will serve the Lord and the house of the Lord with God’s grace.

  158. Grace Ng Chia Huei says:

    This message was just so packed of wisdom from beginning right till the end. First of all, identity consists of knowing who you are, liking who you are and acting who you are. A lot of times we try to be who we are without first knowing or even liking who God made us to be. Second, the three models of our identity according to the bible: servants of God/one another, sons of God and friends of God. I know how important all three of these are but I never really thought that the order or sequence matters. I like how PB breaks it down for us one by one (servant-masterhood, son-fatherhood, and friend-friendship) and shows us how we are first accepted as the sons of God, then we proceed to try to serve Him and His people, and then when the son did all that the Father commands, he is then welcomed to the friendship level. I understand how twisted my mindset was when I thought the friendship identity comes first than the other two. In fact western culture has heavily influenced a lot of us into thinking that God is our friend (more than it has influenced us into thinking of God as our spiritual father). I now understand that sons get inheritance and friends do not, and it is through the model of sonship that God is clearly trying to establish in New Philly that we have access to the inheritance our spiritual father has. This message is a blessing to me!

  159. InnGee Kim says:

    Pastor Benjamin begins his sermon by warning against theologizing the carnal. He reminds us that we have to resist the world and goes on to explain that his sermon will be about identity and Church. 
The Church has to reflect the Kingdom of God, not the pattern of this world and we have to relate to the Church in the same way we relate to God. Christians cannot treat God one way and then treat fellow Christians in a different way.
    Pastor Benjamin then goes on to define identity as the knowledge of who you are, the acceptance of and confidence in that knowledge, and the act of being who you are; identity is first knowing but is then an acting. Because we are born with an identity but don’t know our identity, we have to be told who we are. Moreover, since our identity cannot be fully embraced until it is acknowledged, affirmed, and encouraged, we need those who are closest to us to tell us who we are.
    According to Pastor Benjamin, there are three irreducible core Christian identities: that of servant, son, and friend. These three identities correspond to God’s three identities: master father and friend. Many Christians focus on one of these models of identity when relating to God but neglect the other two. But God wants us to relate to him and the Church in exactly the same way Christ taught us. Pastors also have to exercise their three identities when relating to their congregation.
    But which identity do we exercise first in our relationship with God? PB says that we aren’t first servants to God because then we can’t complete God’s requirements and therefore cannot move on to become God’s son and friend. If we start by first being God’s friend, then we can’t be God’s son or servant because we wouldn’t recognize God’s authority to give us commands. PB asserts that our first identity in relation to God is that of a son. Only as sons can Christians become the best servants since sons work for an inheritance and not a reward. Furthermore, if we become sons first, then servants, and friends last, we can enjoy a deeper level of friendship because our service to God gives us a deeper understanding of Him. Such an understanding provides for deeper fellowship.
    I really enjoyed the part of the message where Pastor Benjamin talks about how you have to own the teaching found in the Bible before you can become friends with Christ. I couldn’t agree more. It seems like you become friends with people who love the same thing as you. Since Christ is focused on pleasing God, the more we align ourselves with Christ’s will, the more Christ becomes a friend.

  160. Yongchan Kim says:

    I’ve always known who I was as a Christian but I have always struggled to accept my identity. I was never confident in my identity and I have learned to be adaptive to my surroundings. The way I acted in front of my non Christian friends, colleagues and church friends were totally different. There has been a growing sense of division within myself and I was frustrated and exhausted from serving both God and the world.

    PBs sermon really helped me to understand my current relationship with God. I was behaving like a mature orphan where I didn’t feel the need of having a father. I served to seek for reward rather than inheritance and this was a powerful revelation for me. I longed for more intimacy but now I realised that I was the one distancing myself from God.

    Over the last 12 month, I feel that God has been really challenging me to put my faith in Him and really accept my identity as a son, a servant and a friend.

  161. Young Cho says:

    Pastor Benjamin’s sermon clarified why my relationship wasn’t steadily growing with God. I personally had the knowledge of being the son of God but I lacked in having confidence in that identity and truly accepting it. Through this sermon, I realised that my relationship with God was really shallow where I focused on having a clear label as “Son of God”, yet I struggled to go deeper and truly “accept” my identity and “act” the way. This mentality was clearly affecting my relationship with family, friends, life in general and also the church. I prioritised to please others rather than being true to my identity. When P.B mentioned that “we’re actually born with no sense of identity” and that “we depend on those closest to us and in authority”, it opened up my heart and brought clarity for me to actually receive the TRUTH. I realised that I ruled my own “right or wrong”, “normal or abnormal” standard in my head, according to how I was brought up and influenced in the past. Hence due to my lack of understanding in my identity, I was unable to wholeheartedly KNOW my Father, and be a faithful servant and actually befriend Him.
    Through this powerful message I realised that the order of being a son, a servant and a friend was there for a reason. I now understand that I need to build a strong foundation in each model in an orderly manner to become a true disciple in God’s Kingdom. I’m really glad that I listened to this sermon because it truly shifted my perspective and l feel that I’m in the season of building intimacy with God and his people. I honestly feel that it will take a while before I have that friendship with God but I feel that my heart is ready to obey and honour Him through the convenance of NPC.

  162. Jason Jung says:

    The concept of identity was always difficult for me to grasp but through this sermon I feel that I have a better understanding of it as Pastor Benjamin broke it down into three parts: the knowledge of who you are, the acceptance and confidence of that knowledge, and the act of being who you are.

    I never knew there were different models of the church and growing up in a conservative Korean Presbyterian church, I was only taught about the Master/Servant model. When I switched churches from my home church to a new church due to moving to a new city and to a new country, I didn’t serve the house and I felt my relationship with God decline. I think I was punishing myself because I wasn’t being a good servant. I know now that being a son is the first step and servanthood follows it. I feel that I have been cultivating the Father/Son model over the past couple of years at New Philly and I truly believe that I have received the inheritance. I am ready to progress to being a servant of the house and I am hopeful that through NRTC and becoming a leader, I will be able to progress to a level where I can confidently and proudly call Jesus my friend.

  163. Grace Lee says:

    The church I grew up in followed the “servant” model which for me meant that I was to obey God. If I obeyed Him, I would be a good servant and if I didn’t, I would be punished. I remember when I was very young, I stole money from my parents then decided not to go to church the following Sunday because I thought that as long as I don’t go to church, I won’t need to face God and the consequences of my actions. I grew up throughout the years with this kind of mindset and I think I’ve still been like that to this day; when I am unfaithful, I get the feeling of not going to church to avoid the feeling of shame and guilt. This has led me to move away from God multiple times until I no longer felt guilty through my own power and/or got over the feeling of guilt. I think this fear towards Him has hindered me to develop an intimate relationship with God. Through Pastor Benjamin’s sermon, I have learnt that it is critical as a first step to accept God as Father and to know and accept my identity as a child of God, develop that intimate father-son relationship, then to act out my identity as a child of the Father by serving Him in order to be His friend.

  164. Alyssa Fung says:

    Identity was something I have struggled with throughout high school. My identity was moulded to what people wanted me to be. I had the need to please my family and friends. I tried to hide my identity because I was ashamed of who I was. Now, I am guilty of behaving differently in front of my christian and non-christian friends. I need to find an identity in God. It is important for me to be who God made me to be. As PB said, identity is knowledge of who you are, knowing who you are, and acceptance and confidence of that knowledge.

    I used to think that the relationship with God and me follows that of the master and servant model. However, PB’s sermon has made me realize that I am more than just a servant of God. I am also a son and friend of God. God has no friend who is not a son or a servant. We have to learn to be sons first, then servants second then friends last in order to gain greater intimacy with God. As I continue on my walk with God, I want to be able to receive and multiply His teaching.

  165. Danny Fung says:

    The way that PB breaks down our relationship with God brings a lot of clarity on the topic. It is true that we tend to overspecialise in one model over other models and we tend to neglect other models. We are failing to fully represent him if we are only majoring in one model. Jesus excised all three models and so should we.

    This sermon challenges our mindset and about my own relationship with God. We need to change my perspective that in order to become friends with God, first we have be a Son of God and then a Servant of God.

    The notion that God wants to wants a friendship appeals to many Christians and often that is pursued first. We often get into friendship first mentality so we can have an emotional connection with the Church. If I start with friendship, I will never get to servant hood as my hearts will never long to be a servant. We are afraid that if we don’t start with friendship, we will never get it.

    It makes so much sense that unless that we unless I start with Sonship, then I will never have the heart to serve. Unless I am a servant, I can never build a friendship. I can only be friends if I obey everything I am commanded to do. Friendship with God is highly conditional. God has no friends who are not Sons and God has no friends who does not do as he commands. We need to break out of the mould that we have been pressed into.

    This message is so important for our growth in developing a deeper relationship not only with the Church but also with God.

  166. Sooji Skye Kim says:

    Quote: Identity is knowledge of who you are, knowing who you are, and acceptance and confidence of that knowledge. As I was growing up as PK, I had put myself an expectation of what a PK should be as I had to keep my parent’s reputation as church ministers. Unknowingly, my identity was shaped to how others would percieve me. I became very self conscious and put a mask on many times to hide my true thoughts/feelings. Thankfully, my identity has been reshaped as I grew my intimacy with God, however my old-consicious-of-others-self still creeps in. This message reminded me of the importance of knowing who I am as a child of God first. I have learnt that we are sons, then servants, then friend. I am thankful to be part of NP community, where I am able to grow with sons of God.

  167. Mike Oh says:

    I really appreciated how Pastor Benjamin laid out the different models of relationship with the Father.
    I have never thought about it like this but I can testify to the richness that I have found in this past 6 months in being
    in a relationship where all 3 models are present.
    There are some key things He’s been speaking to me about.
    Firstly, God has been speaking to me about His lordship over my life, the fact that He is Lord over all! That He reigns supreme, and that His sovereignty over my life is the beginning and the end. And I believe this relates to the Master/Servant model.
    Secondly, what flowed from the first was a challenge for me to be obedient in what He said to me. There have been several things, big and small, where I knew I had to respond in obedience.
    And as I remained faithful to Him in these things, my relationship with Him as Father/Son, and Friend/Friend, was a natural overflow. The inheritance, the favour, the blessing, the intimacy.

  168. Michael Kang says:

    Having all the leaders and future leaders of the house listen to this message totally reinforces how the church and body operate. It almost feels too simple yet so hard to distinguish at times, and sometimes difficult to carry out in a genuine spirit of sonship, servanthood and friendship. I have been with this house only for a short period of time but the identity of the house and of the leaders is so evident – it is a true sign of a healthy community that is lead with the true heart of the Father.

    The training, teaching and podcasts have been vital – not just to tick boxes for leadership – but to ignite a deeper passion to find myself more within Him as a son, servant and ultimately as a friend.

    It is such a deep learning process of new and old content – but importantly, a journey into what it truly means to be apart of God’s design.

  169. Ujin Lee says:

    Wow. what an amazing, insightful message. It really clarified my understanding of the relationship dynamics i had with God and gave a new and clear perspective of how relationships should work in the church. It really stood out to me when PB said the western world’s dominant model of friendship first (with both God and our pastors) has been a stumbling block and been robbing us of the inheritance from being a son. I also had a minute to think when PB asked us to think which one would come first and i said friendship!!! ( :O ) because i felt that how can you be a son without being a friendship. but soon i realised that id also been so influenced by the wordly norm and that doesnt make sense at all! how can i go from being a son from a place a of friendship! There is a unbreakable, natural bond that comes from being a father and a son. how can friendship come before that. This has given me a fresh perspective on my relationship with the pastors too. having the right priority of this relationship model is definitely going to help when engaging with them but also in receiving and living out my full inheritance.
    Also, when PB was speaking about his relationship with pastor daniels and how his friendship really begun when he received it and multiplied it and gave it back to p.daniels. and that this is how it should work, I was convicted to really steward the word of the house, to examine and apply it to my life so that i can in return give it back to the house!

  170. Sooky Park says:

    Identity and Church
    In the Models of Church, the way PB emphasized to ‘reproduce’ not ‘recreate’ the teachings of Jesus within the church reminded me of the church as a family. Every child has DNA passed on to it by his/her parents, and those parents from the parents before. Like this every church has teaching DNA passed on to it from the spiritual parents who taught it, and those spiritual parents from theirs, and ultimately from Jesus, who ultimately received His teachings from God the Father.
    This sermon totally shifted my paradigm on which Model comes first in the church. People use the friendship model to evangelize, many times, which makes me think many people have a Westernized mindset. Friendship IS the dominant model of Western discipleship. Is it wrong to evangelize through a friendship model? PB says Friendship is NOT first. It is not “You want to be my leader? Start by being my friend!”—in the House of God we are all sons first.
    In the example of Sonship with Pastor Robert Daniels and the church in Arizona, I love how PR kept it real and put family above mission (or such is how I call the circumstances).
    I remember when I was discipled by an upperclassman in college (before I came to New Philly) and it is true—sonship and fathership comes before servanthood, and then comes friendship. There was always a mentorship, and then a master/servant dynamic, and then friendship. There was always a tension in my submission to her as a leader first, and a master second, but a deep love as a friend also.

  171. Sarah Al Homadi says:

    Pastor Benjamin says this teaching makes us forerunners and pioneers of restoring order of relationship to the body of Christ. I have long wanted to be part of something radical like that.

    It’s a relief to have the God as buddy-buddy concept corrected. It was weary to my soul as I could not reconcile it with Holy fear and reverence. Ah yes friend as in trusted long serving servant or mature son, that kind of friend.

    In Korea hierarchy and interpersonal distance are still valued. I admire this aspect of Korean culture as it speaks to what God is teaching me about loving-boundaries, submission to authority and honoring others above yourself. Yes, I know it can be abused but at it’s heart it’s a good thing. I hope we can embrace this part of Korean heritage that is aligned with God’s Word. Hierarchy is not a dirty word if you read the bible.

  172. Shannon Chien says:

    Pastor Robinson really helped to clarify the role structure in our relationship with God. Even though I knew about the sonship/servanthood/friendship model before, having it put in order was very eye-opening.

    I personally feel like I’ve been stuck in the Sonship role for a while, without making a clear commitment into servanthood. I have served in various areas of the church, but obeying God and actively SEEKING out His commands is a whole other story. The road of striving for friendship with God has been rocky, largely because I tend to get scared about what God might ask of me. This message shook out a lot of those cobwebs and redefined what it means to be in holy fellowship with God.

    Moving forward, I am proactively tuning my ear to listen for God’s commands and counsel, so that I can walk in the path of servanthood diligently, and multiply what God has in store.

  173. Yoomin Lee says:

    There was so much wisdom and clarity to grasp from this sermon. The definitions that PB gave for the different relational status that we take on board in our relationship with God and with the church allowed for a real and deeper understanding on what sonship is. The father-son relationship that we pursue with God, that then leads to servanthood and then to friendship. In hindsight, having grown up singing ” I am a friend of God” really did in some way trivialize my relationship with God, whilst at the same time, still feeling a need to serve him out of fear of retribution. Sonship is still something that I’m coming to terms with here at New Philly, and it’s so encouraging to know that through maturing in this father-son relationship, that i can also wholeheartedly serve God and to be called His friend; and through all this, not just to receive, but to multiply it and also give it back!!

  174. Lexie Okosa says:

    Firstly, I have always felt like a super hypocrite singing “I am a friend of God”. I have a hard enough time accepting that I am his daughter, but at least it makes sense for a good father to have a bad daughter. I could never call myself his friend. I realize however that I actually had a spiritual father before (as weird as that sounds). My spiritual father was a woman actually. She mentored me from the time I was saved. She made a consistent effort to speak into my life and Shepard me into spiritual maturity. And I remember when I had grown up enough and gained enough wisdom, she allowed me to speak into her life.
    But enough about her. This sermon has resolved some “inconsistencies” I thought I had observed between God’s identity and the identity He gives us. I understand that grace is free. And just like I had no say in being born as my father’s daughter, I get no say in whether or not grace was granted to me. That makes sense. But being a good servant being the prerequisite to being a friend of God makes so much sense. I can finally understand how Paul had earned all the insight he used to write the new testament. He had been so good a son and so faithful a servant that the Holy Spirit had shared everything the father wanted Paul to know and he was finally a friend of God. I guess that’s how c. S. Lewis can have such insightful writing about God and heaven. He must have been an intimate friend of God’s after being a son and servant

  175. Dean Legomina says:

    Your relationship to God should model your relationship to the house. Sons, Servants, Friends. Order is important: 1)Sonship 2 )Servantship 3)Friendship Its not gonna work out in the other order or it might but not properly. Well balanced and structured sermon. It bares witness with me that sonship comes before service, otherwise people get frustrated and bitter and disappointed doing work without having relationship. God called Jesus his BELOVED son, before he did any work for God, its acceptance that allows us to open and grow in the church, then comes service(ministry), obedience, then from acceptance and working for God together comes friendship. Also worth noticing that bible concept of friendsip is unlike Western one, its not relationship built on chatting together about stuff but rather on obedience that builds up trust. Abraham was called the friend of God, but not in the beginning, after he trusted God and obeyed Him. Jesus calls desciples Friends, but not at the beginning, at tge end of his ministry.

  176. (Miles H. Rost)

    I learned two big things out of this sermon. Major things.

    One of the biggest things that’s missing in the modern American church, and in many other churches around the world is this hierarchy of identity. Pastor Benjamin makes the point that we have to be sons first, to learn and to grow under the guidance of a spiritual father, before we can truly serve at deeper levels, and then to become friends of God. The fact that there is a key order is something that I had a major problem working with when I went through NRTC in 2015, but this time around I have realized and accepted the premise that there is an order. When it is acknowledged that we are sons of God, and we follow that idea, we then are able to go into deeper service. After getting into that deeper service, then friendship comes along as a final step. That’s the first thing that I picked up from the entire sermon.

    Second, relating to identity, I absolutely disliked my name when I was a child. I thought the name Miles was not like all the others, and I wanted to be like the others. It was only after taking that first step of moving did my name become enforced. The name Miles, from the classical latin ‘miles’, means soldier. As a Christian, it means that I am a soldier of God’s. A member of an army of mighty warriors. Within the sermon, the fact that God has also called us “sons of God” identifies us as inheritors; as heirs. We are called “brothers”, relational to those in the ca-thol-ic church. God has given us many names, and there is a purpose for each one, just as the names of the Lord have purpose.

  177. Hannah Lee says:

    When Pastor Benjamin was asking the church about what they think when it come to ourself and to the relationship to the house of God and the leaders: as servants, as friends, or as sons. I honestly thought any three of those answers could be the first one. BUT after PB explained the differences and used the different examples, there was an a-ha moment. I liked when he said when going in as a son, you don’t expect anything else but an inheritance. An inheritance is something that is given to you through a relationship built through honor. He clearly defines why we must go in as a son first, servant second and then a friend. This message has shifted the way I look at the church and the leaders of the body of Christ.

  178. Yelynn Ho says:

    I can confidently proclaim that my identity is found in Christ, but what truth does it hold if I don’t understand what that identity looks like? In this sermon, Pastor Benjamin articulated really well what exactly this Christian identity entails. I was used to the master-servant, father-son, and friend-friend models separately, but I never saw them as a “three-sides-in-one” kind of relationship. Nor did I realize that there was a specific order to how we should identify ourselves with God. This order makes perfect sense, though. It makes more sense that we should first and foremost learn to identify ourselves as sons and God as our Father. As sons, we then naturally serve and obey our Father, who in turn entrusts us with his inheritance: fellowship. Pastor Benjamin really redefined “friendship” for me in relation to God. Friendship with God isn’t just about emotional intimacy, but more importantly about reverence and obedience to His teaching, which leads to a trusted co-owned relationship between a son and and his Father.

  179. Chadol Lee says:

    I never really thought about being born without knowing my identity. Knowing that there are three models with God is good. Servant model. Father son model. and Friendship model. Relationship with the house shows how we relate to God, I never thought too much about the friendship model overtaking the Sonship model. listening to Robinson’s relationship with pastor Daniel showed me how important it is being in sonship before being friends is. Sons before servants and servants before friends.

  180. Kasey JooHyang Lee says:

    The three models of relationship with God mentioned by Pastor Benjamin are master/servant, father/son, and friend/friend. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I was always aware of God’s identity and my identity described in the Bible. However, there was always this confusion of how can I be a servant and a son at the same time? If God is my master, can I be his friend and son? Without much guidance I kind of gave up giving much thought to it. However, as I listened to Pastor Benjamin’s sermon, I realized that I have been misunderstanding the relationship completely! How the world describes these relationships is not how God intended them to be, especially when it comes to friend/friend relationship. Friendship is not the friendship that the western culture has in mind. It is about having fellowship, learning the teachings, and going out and giving. I was so thankful when Pastor Benjamin mentioned that there is a progression and order of the three models. Sonship comes first then serving as a son and then we become his friends.

  181. Jonathan Yoo says:

    Throughout the whole sermon I really felt Pastor Robinson’s heart for wanting us to understand fully what relationship we are to have with God. I got a glimpse of it through the Journey of a Son documentary but this sermon explained it to me in a more practical sense. A way that I can relate to God in terms of servant master relationship and then father son relationship. And finally to do all that God commands of me to be called His friend. I want to have this kind of relationship with God and apply it in how I relate with those over me in the church as well. Not just because that I will gain the inheritance or because Pastor Robinson preached on it but because this is type of relationship God desires and the one He deserves.

  182. Ella Radwan says:

    This message took me to another level of understanding my relationship with God as well as my relationship with my church and my pastors.
    The first thing PB talks about is knowing our identity. Having knowledge of who we are, accepting who we are, and being who we are. Although this may sound easy and straightforward, if we don’t have a relationship with God and the church, we will never know our true identity.
    Our relationship with God is three-fold: 1. son-father 2. servant-master 3. friends. The three walk together, and it is a process we should go through in this exact order. Many people just want to serve after they feel a “friendly connection” with God, when in fact we must first serve and earn friendship as our inheritance. Many of us are afraid that when we don’t start with friendship we will never get it. But the truth is, if you don’t start with sonship we wont ever get it. First we need to approach as sons, open to learn, listen, receive advice, discover who we really are, and obey (a loving relationship). Next, we must be servants. We must serve our Master, serve our Lord, serve our church, our spiritual father. As we become more confident of who we are, as our identity is strengthened and our relationship becomes more solid, we inherit fellowship.
    Never in my life have I thought about the order of our relationship with God and how it applies to our life in church. This was a fresh sermon, and I feel extremely blessed.

  183. Benjamin Jung says:

    I was so blessed by this word by P. Benjamin and the paradigm shift that it presents to the modern day church. The 3 Models of Identity and the significance of the actual order of each component to one’s spiritual identity is profoundly different from the various Westernized church models that I have experienced throughout my life.

    1. Sonship
    2. Servanthood
    3. Friendship/Fellowship

    I was also deeply impacted towards the beginning of the message, when P. Benjamin said that there is a component to everyone’s identity that must be revealed, encouraged, affirmed by a spiritual father/mother. (Illustration of a baby receiving a name from his/her parents)

    It really made me pause and reflect on how I was approaching membership and leadership at New Philly. I see the tremendous importance of becoming a son of this house so that genuine servanthood and meaningful friendships will follow the progression that was intended by the LORD. (Our relationships with others in the house should reflect our relationship with the Father.)

    The way a son serves the Father is far different than the way a servant serves his master… Such a great word!

  184. Lydia Park says:

    This message put a new perspective in the way I see church and the type of relationship we have with God. Just like PB said, knowing our identity, accepting our identity, and then living out that identity is crucial for all believers. Without that understanding, we can’t truly relate to God in the most intimate and meaningful way. He introduced three different types of models that we easily view our relationship with God. In the sermon when he asked the congregation which model they thought should come first, I had to actually pause and think about that question. As I continued to listen, he explained that one model is not greater than another model but that they are all interconnected. We can’t be His son before we’re His servant and we can’t be His servant before we’re God’s friend. By having a clear understanding of our relationship with God, we can relate to Jesus in the way that He related with His disciples.

  185. Emily Lee says:

    The most notable concept PB preached in this message was his explanation on our identities. Being Christian for many years, I was quite familiar with the concepts of myself being His servant, son and friend. However, just as PB emphasized, I had a tendency to just pick out one identity over the others rather than knowing the priority and excercising all three. Unless my identities are aligned according to the priorities, the level of relationship I will be sharing with Him is not going to experience growth everyday. I also rember PB’s incident with a guy who’s been calling God a ‘Big Guy’. I used to think this kind of relationship with Him was not at all problematic and somewhat creative but turns out I was very wrong about it. This sermon was such a blessing in that it corrected my distorted view on who I am in God as an individual church.

  186. Aaron Krumsieg says:

    This message has helped to clarify my understanding of the relationship dynamics within churches between the leaders and laity. To be honest, I have never systematically thought through the models for these relationships and the accompanying implications. I have understood my relationship with God as including the aspects of Lord, father, and friend, but I never directly transferred those identities into my relationships with the church leaders in my life. I have experienced these three dynamics with my pastors in various ways, but I really appreciate Pastor Benjamin’s conviction and explanation of the importance of explicitly understanding these roles in regards to our relationships with spiritual leaders and with God.

  187. I first heard this teaching at my first furnace meeting. Being new to New Philly, it was also my first time hearing from PB. However, this teaching has stuck with me over these years as it provided the foundation for my understanding of sonship. The order of our relational identities matters. Before calling us anything else, he made us sons. This is our most basic and inherent identity as believers, and it is from that identity that all else is to flow. While I had a loose understanding of my identity as a son in relationship to God, understanding my identity as a son in a church context has changed everything. Before a servant, before a friend, I belong as a son, loved and accepted not for what I do, but for who I am.

  188. Jayden Choi says:

    First, what I’m surprised by this sermon is that there is clear steps in relationship with God!
    Actually growing up in Church, I’ve known about “some relationship” with God as son, the Lord, friend etc. But the order of priority of relationship? Nothing in my train going to the destination with one eye.
    Being son to him first, difference of serving between as a son and a servant, what I have to do first to be a lovely son and the relationship with pastors as well.. these things made me clear more as being maturing Christian.

  189. Niranjan Thomas says:

    Ps Benjamin gives a really powerful sermon here. One that totally changes the paradigm that I have unconsciously been submitting to for as long as I can remember. In the past I have often tried to come into a new church community seeking to be friends with everyone including the lead pastor. And initially I found that things were pretty good. But as time went on, even after serving in positions of ministry that there was still something that was lacking. And that was the realisation that my identity in the church was a reflection of my identity and relationship with Christ.

    Ps Benjamin lays this out so systematically. How the core Christian identity corresponds to God’s identity. Showing how our identity is reflected in our relationships within the church community, and how this reflects our identity and relationship with Christ. That we need to be sons first, before we can be servants or friends, because we are sons of God first before we are his servants or friends. That by being sons first, the servanthood and friendships are so much deeper and profound.

    For me the challenge is now to redefine my identity in the church and in doing so, align my identity with that which God has called me to. To first be his son.

  190. Nahee Kim says:

    I always knew that God was our father, a friend and our Lord but I had no idea that there was a specific model that needed to be followed and that if these orders are followed incorrectly, then we are in danger of pressing into the model of the world and not of the spirit.
    I was very convicted because I realized that I overspecialized in the model of friendship and neglected the others (mainly sonship) because I am always so focused on my relational identity. I came to New Philadelphia church because of the valuable friendships that I had made with the community but there was no security there, and whenever something happened with those relationships I automatically felt disconnected and discouraged and this hindered me from growing closer to God.
    As I shifted my mind from the flesh into the spirit during this sermon I now realize that I need to submit to God as a son first, and then a servant and then friendship will follow once I possess His teachings and return it back to Him and that this model should also reflect within the church with the pastors and leaders.

    Thank you PB for your powerful teaching and the revelation that a friendship spirit is an orphan spirit and that “no-one leaves an inheritance to a friend unless they are sons.”

  191. Janice So says:

    Pastor Benjamin lays out really clearly what being a son of God and Christian identity is. PB identifies three models of our identity from the NT – with reference to the Bible – as servants, as sons, and as friends. This is the way we relate to God, and also the way we relate in Church to our spiritual fathers and mothers. From the message, I understand the danger of giving up our inheritance from our spiritual fathers and mothers (words, teaching, anointing, way of life) when we emphasise too much the friendship model, over servanthood and sonship. I also found it really interesting, how God gives revelation to the spiritual father about his sons – so Pastor Daniels knew Pastor Benjamin was his son, even before Pastor Benjamin recognised it. Also we reproduce the teaching of our spiritual father, rather than do our own new thing. There is also a love between a father and son, even if there is discipline. We need to start with sonship, before we become friends. Even Jesus said, “now we are friends because you have obeyed everything I have commanded”.
    This is foundational message, and as I walk as a son of God (God as master, but also I am his son and friend), I will also model that in the Church!

  192. Eun Woo Hailey Park says:

    As I grew up in a church environment since my young age, the concept of God was much like a master. I felt the need to completely submit to his authority, to a point I felt I did not have any kind of relationship with Him. I often felt forced to act or do things in some sorts of way because the God Almighty might punish me. As the sermon mentions, I needed to understand the concept of sonship. There was an absence of a father to son relationship in my church life. I had to shift my mind that He is not a forceful God but gentle and patient… caring and graceful. As pastor Benjamin mentioned ” If I don’t have a relationship, I really don’t have friendship”. I need to establish a strong relationship with Him, listen to the Holy Spirit, so that I can fully understand my identity as a “friend” instead of a “servant”.

  193. You Sup Joseph Park says:

    This sermon allowed to me understand the types of relationship which I can have with God. It also identified my current relationship with Him. I must admit that servant-master relationship was something that I thought was ideal, however, knowing that the son is the one that inherits the father’s blessing, I will now identify myself as the son and live accordingly.

    • You Sup Joseph Park says:

      Becoming the son first, servant second, then friend. I never realised that the order of which the relationship evolves into had such an importance. As previously stated, I felt that for a long time, serving the Lord as a servant was the ultimate relationship which I can be in to glorify His name, however, after the biblically evidenced explanation which Pastor Robinson gave, I understand that serving the Lord as His son is the correct mindset I should have. I believe that this would ultimately allow me to take ownership and be more responsible for the task which God has given me to do as His son. Through this, as I obey the Lord and live out His will, I will be called His friend.

  194. Michael Chan says:

    We are all born with no sense of identity and I’ve totally ignored that fact that I’m a loved servant, son and friend of God and now also realising I’m a servant and son of the house! I spent all this time in church not truly understanding this, and I think this is why I was not able to connect and understand God, and how He is working in our lives.

    And the point that it applies to the church is so true! Although I was part of my previous church for 5-6 years, I couldn’t truly fit in with the brothers and sisters there. I couldn’t find any true friendships deep down, but they were all just hi, how you been, bye relationships. We need all three models, which are all part of the one reality to truly connect with God and the church.

    Sonship -> Servantship -> Friendship. Now I truly understand how we should be fellowship-ing with God and the church and our spiritual fathers. At new philly, I am able to form real relationship that is based off love that was originally given to us by God.

  195. James Kang says:

    This was a challenging message to take in. What a powerful revelation it is that the way that we relate to church is also mirroring how relate to God!

    I now understand that I have much to learn about my identity and my perception of God’s identity. I definitely had an incorrect view about God as a friend – but I had always thought that it was odd how being a servant could work together with being a friend. I had dismissed the former as being an old testament reality and the latter as being a new testament reality. How erroneous that theological interpretation was!

    Sonship, then Servanthood then friendship. Again I am reminded of how important it is to be a true son of God and the house before anything else. However, it is also challenging to learn that to be a true friend of God, I must abide by his commands first. Now I truly understand the progression.

    Knowing this order, it is also remarkable how easy God has made it for us. Serving would be so much easier knowing that I am a son and that I am serving for an inheritance not a wage. Also, being a true friend capable of true fellowship with God is also makes so much sense when I am a son obeying all his commands. How fruitful that fellowship can be, at this stage I can only imagine.

    I hope that I can reach all three tiers of my identity in God through serving the house and growing in Christ in this season and seasons to come.

  196. Sally Lee says:

    The importance of Sonship was reaffirmed by Pastor Benjamin in this sermon, and he really stated the orders of our identity to God so clearly that it was such a powerful message to take in. I realized how unorganized my identity was, because I changed my identity from being a friend, to being a son, and being a servant whenever I wanted to, wherever I wanted to, which was very wrong of me. This sermon disciplined me in to learning the ‘truth’ that without being a son first, I can never be a servant and a friend of God. I was confused at first when Pastor Benjamin mentioned how our relationship to the house should model our relationship to God, but eventually I was able to comprehend. I think this sermon was very eye-opening in terms of knowing the importance of identity, because in a world where people set standards on what’s right and wrong, we are able to push through because we know who we are, and we can prevent ourselves from being pressed into the mould the world has set.

    • Sally Lee says:

      Sonship, Servanthood, and Friendship were stated as the Christian Identity by PB. Before PB preached on how we tend to “overspecialize” one model over the others, I was not aware of this, but I now know that it is important for us to accept all three and learn to balance the three models altogether.

      Pastor Benjamin mentions the order of approach we should have towards God: 1. Being a Son, 2. Being a Servant, 3. Being a Friend, and how he broke down the three concepts with examples allowed me to understand and accept the importance of the orders.

      It is crucial for us to stand in the position of a son before anything else, because “God has no friends that aren’t sons beforehand”, and we need to earn our way into becoming a friend of God. The idea ‘God is my friend’ or ‘God is my master’ preceding before ‘God is my Father’ will definitely affect the relationship because who would want to submit to a friend? Who would be willing to obey, seek spiritual guidance, and serve a ‘friend’? Same applies to the idea of servanthood, as we will only see God as our “facilitator” who provides and protects us. Hence, for this reason, the order is set out to be sons first, servant second, and friend third.

      I understand now that the relationships we have should be the models of the church, therefore expecting to have another set of relationship with our spiritual leaders before accepting them as our spiritual mother & father will make it difficult to submit to them too. Therefore the importance of Sonship was demonstrated through this sermon.

  197. Megan Chow says:

    The three tiers of our identity is something new that was introduced to me. When P. Benjamin broke it down into its separate parts, it became clear that many churches do, indeed, major in one aspect. However, what really struck home was the illumination of the order in which we approach the pastor and the church.

    Sonship, Servanthood, Friendship, and that friendship is conditional on first being a son who obeys the commands of his father. When P. Benjamin said that we tend to approach with friendship first, then servanthood — where we serve and serve only as long as we feel emotionally connected — and that sonship is a distant, far-off possibility, that resonated deeply with me, because that’s what I’ve been doing all along. It’s what all of my previous churches have also grown a culture of, consciously or unconsciously.

    The reversal that we’ve incorporated into the modern Western church in not only discipleship within the church but also how we approach churches ourselves is so ingrained that I didn’t even realize how un-Biblical it was.

    “The friendship model cuts you off from the inheritance, because no one ever left their inheritance to their friend.” I am excited to change my thinking and to approach God again with the mentality of a son first, and to learn to serve him faithfully, and finally to be a friend who is his faithful son and servant, as well.

  198. Benjamin Wong says:

    The are three aspects of the Christian identity, they are – Servants, Sons, and Friends. These three aspects corresponds to God’s identity of – Master, Father and Friend. It is this relational identity that we must press into the Church identity, not to be pressed into the mould of the world’s expectations.

    In many Churches around the world today, and also in our own relationship with the Church, one out of the three is focused on, or we tend to shift from one to another depending on the season we are in. But we have to understand that the three aspects are just three sides of the same identity, that all three are important to our and the Church’s identity.

    The order of the three is also important, Sonship then Servanthood and then Friendship. A lot of times we see the order being misaligned, we see members who focus on servanthood first, they eventually “burn out” because they do not have Sonship or Friendship, just serving in order to recieve reward, be it love or praise or acknowledgement; and when they feel that they do not receive these rewards, they become discouraged and ultimately leave the church.

    In some instances, members seek Friendship above Sonship and Servanthood, the friendship they seek are friendships in the worldly sense, and they also become discouraged when they do not recieve it.

    We should however understand the correct order, where Sonship is first, preciding Servanthood and Friendship. Once we established our role as Sons and the Father/Son relationship we have with the Church, we will not feel any lack of Love and Covering. From that point, we will be willing to serve with our Father with joy, not looking to receive anything in return, and once we possess the teachings of our Father, live our life manifesting our Father, we can have real fellowship or friendship, where we receive and multiply what we receive then in turn give back to our Father.

    The relationship in the Church is a reflection of our relationship with God.

  199. Margaret Cuevas says:

    I have heard many sermons about Sonship, Servanthood, and Friendship. I am not sure if I have ever heard a preacher discuss how we need all 3 in our relationship with the Father and the church. I know for sure that I have never learned how to pursue them in the correct order. Being raised in the Pentecostal church, I was always taught that I am a daughter of God, but I assumed friendship came next, and servanthood came last. This confusion has lead to “overspecializing” in one area “while neglecting the others”, like pastor Benjamin said. I have seen the friendship model preached in countless churches, and this leads to congregations growing lazy and relaxed in their relationship with the Father. It is because they don’t truly understand that they first need to be sons and then servants.

    Pastor Christian mentioned, after the sermon, that some people struggle with accepting this 3-step process because they already have a relationship with a specific person, and it is hard to change perspective to look at that person as a spiritual leader. This made me think about my parents. They opened a church a few years ago and I immediately began serving on the worship team and as a Sunday School teacher. I never thought about asking for sonship from my father, and it makes it hard for me to see him as my spiritual leader at times, especially when I see him vulnerable. This is a sermon I needed to hear.

  200. Sookyoung Park (Sooky) says:

    I was overwhelmed by the amount of love pastor Benjamin shows for NP. Truly the love of a father.
    I learned that identity is knowing, liking, and acting like who you are.
    I thank GOd we are given identities in the Bible, because satan tries to attack our identities. (maybe it is vice versa)
    It is true0we need to get our identities straight first.
    I did not know that you need to obey first in order to become friends.
    It was so challenging to hear about fellowship-receiving and multiplying and hearing Pastor Benjamin challenge the house to make a new sound.
    This is not an easy teaching.
    Thank you Pastor Benjamin for rebuking the westernized “friendship first (with God)” mentality.
    First you are a son, then a servant, then a friend.
    I felt something shift inside me when Pastor Benjamin prayed “I renounce the orphan spirit to a spirit of sonship.”
    I think what PC said at the end was really important: not to approach NP as a ‘friend’ but as a ‘son’.
    Personally, I am fine with submitting to and revering my leaders.
    I was thankful for PE’s exhortation near the end, and for PC’s prayer for the new leaders.

  201. Ah Sung Yang says:

    Through this sermon, I realized again how important the sonship is within the church. I learned that how I operate in the house of God reflects who I am to God. Understanding our true identity and acting out of that identity are important. There are 3 primary identity markers / models of identity which are servants of God, sons of God and friends of God, and these correspond to God’s identities as a master/lord, father and friend. Sometimes we over-specialize one model/relationship between us and God to other; however, these 3 relationships are actually 3 sides of one relationship, so we need to embrace all three of them and act out them. The sermon pointed out that the early disciples of Jesus represented him by reproducing the teachings that they received from Jesus and having the same relationship with their disciples as the one that they had with Jesus, so the relationships that we have with God have to be models to the church. The sermon also highlighted that when it comes to the 3 types of relationships, the order of establishment of each relationship matters. The first has to be sonship in the church as we establish our relationship with God first as his son. Then the servanthood precedes friendship. We need to serve the church as a son not as a slave and the difference is that sons do not expect rewards from the service because they know they will receive inheritance. Once as a son, we possess teachings received from our spiritual fathers, multiply and give them back to them, then the friendship can be built and a deeper fellowship can be achieved. I realized that often times I neglected the importance of sonship and servanthood in the church, and as a spiritual son in the house my responsibility to possess teachings I received and multiply them. The sermon helped me a lot to understand my identity and relationship to God as well as in the church.

  202. Jamie Boehmer says:

    Honestly this message is really hard to interact with. Years of ingrained ministry in volunteer roles and jobs have ingrained in me how I see we should relate to each other in the church. I’m not going to pretend and say, this message alone really changed my thinking and now I am fully convinced. I can’t say that. But I can say that I’m willing to learn and think about it. I agree with the idea of sonship, being under that teaching is good and biblical. But the approach of this message struck me as a little distant and formulaic when interacting with people who are under your care. I guess I want to hear more on this topic to learn more about it.

    • Jamie Boehmer says:

      I think the thing I struggled with the most with this message was the barrier’s to intimacy I thought were present. When listening to the message it seemed that full acceptance and christian fellowship was only available after you jumped through hoops of full submission to the person right away. After listening to the other messages, and talking with Emily I get now that it is not the acceptance in Christ that we don’t immediately receive. It is a deeper intimacy of true Christian brotherhood, of a spiritual father and son dynamic. The Paul/Timothy relationship is not immediately present with every believer and I was confusing the two.

  203. Pastor Benjamin’s explanation of the son-servant-friend relationship was very complex and thought-provoking. I’d heard these relationships explained as 3 different entities before, but never as an interlinked relationship (let alone one that we should reproduce in the church). Not only was I challenged by the interlinked relationship, but also by the significance of the order. I could understand the son-servant order (servants serve to earn, sons serve out of love and confidence in inheritance), but the servant-friend order was very new to me. Having the “worldly” view of friendship, it was hard for me to understand how servanthood could precede friendship. But P. Benjamin’s example of his relationship with his spiritual father helped me understand the servant-friend order, and why it makes sense. When we are able to be servants to our spiritual authority figures, we become trustworthy because they know they can teach us, correct us, and we will multiply and return the teachings. And then from that place, a friendship can develop. I’ve never been able to view my spiritual parents/authority figures as people who I can have this interlinked relationship with before, so I think this sermon helped me in understanding and pursuing this relationship.

  204. Deeply moved by the message that Pastor Benjamin preached. The importance of us having an identity in this world is something extremely serious, and I feel like I was not it taking into consideration. I got my perspectives shifted after hearing this sermon and Pastor Christian’s additional comments over the structural body of the church that is based in the “Sonship foundation”. I instantly put my self in the position of being reprehended by any possible staff at church, and the idea of subjecting myself to someone else’s (that I am not fully acquainted with) leadership wouldn’t have been one of my favorite things to go through, but this message had such a powerful argument based on Jesus’ relationship with its disciples and Apostle Paul with Timothy, that I could immediately connect the dots and comprehend about this so important truth that I had completely missed its practical applications over my life as a son and one day most likely as a father.
    Thank you Pastor Benjamin and Pastor Christian for this powerful message.
    God bless you all.

    • [rectification]
      I was encouraged and got my heart stirred up by re-watching the message. In simple words, we can derive from the message the importance of our identity, and how that affects our thoughts and actions. PB mentioned that our identity can be defined in knowing who we are, accepting and having confidence on who we are, and lastly on us acting as who we are. This becomes really important, because it dictates on how we behave in the society and in the confidence over the core values that we stand for. PB connects the perception of our identity in the context of the church, hence the name: “Identity and Church”. This is a true, powerful, but misinterpreted concept of, as PB described, the “relationship model”. The Father-Son model, the Master-servant model, and lastly the friend model. As it is described, these are all valid models that are shown in the bible of how people would relate to Jesus, however the “order” has an essential if not critical impact on how our relationship to Jesus unravels itself. To keep it short, we should not alter the order of of how we relate and perceive to Jesus. And this is exemplified by PB’s relation with his spiritual father, and his spiritual sons (e.g. PC and PE). The order that they set up the foundation for their relationship starts with Sonship, Servanthood, and only then Friendship. And until we get to the friendship condition, the first two steps, might even take many years until our spiritual father and God evaluates us as “friends”, or as PB would classify as reproducers of the teachings possessed by the Father. The Father’s relationship with the spiritual Son, as exemplified with Paul and Timothy’s relationship, would step up to a friendship status (i.e. “I do not longer call you servants, but friends…”) when the father would have complete confidence that the spiritual son have grown fully mature in faith in his servanthood possessing all his teachings, and his heritage. In conclusion, I guess we can say that the same way we relate to God, it should be equally established with our spiritual father and our leaders in church.

      I had completely not payed attention over this core aspect of the message, and that got me thinking: “Wow, I am glad I got to re-watch this message to rectify/rewrite my previous comment”. I know want to say that this message is SO powerful and I would like to encourage everybody to watch it paying extreme attention to all details. We leave in a society that even what is perceived as right can many times by wrong, leading us to death of our spirit.

      Thank you PB for this powerful message!
      and thank you PC for rectifying the importance of integrity in our journey in walk by faith as Christians.

  205. Grace Lee says:

    Two interesting statements Pastor Benjamin made:

    1. Who I am in church = Who I am with God
    This means that my level of commitment in church, how I operate in church, and how I relate with others at church is a direct reflection of my relationship with God. Thinking about my own life, I agree. It serves as a healthy reality check.

    2. In the relationship of master-servant, the servant’s reward hinges on obedience to all the master commands. The pastor is the master, the members are the servants. These words can be hard to swallow, but I think one of the keys to understanding this concept is that ultimately God gives the commands to the master to give to servants, and God is also the rewarder when servants obey. Because God holds everyone accountable, there is no fear in obedience, submission and commitment. Half-way submission is not submission at all. I believe Christ was calling the disciples to put everything on the table, not only obedience to all the commands but for them to do it completely – heart, soul, mind, strength. I believe Paul was calling for the same, in that just as he held back nothing to pursue Christ, he encouraged the same commitment from Timothy and other son-servant-friends.

  206. SooJi Suzy Kim says:

    The three models of our identity, servanthood, sonship, and friendship, are all necessary in our relationship with God, but the first of the three is sonship. We are first his son, and that is why we serve (our father for his inheritance), and by serving and obeying we can be called friends. However, believing in our foremost identity of son can be difficult when we have a “performance mentality” where sufficient work and action makes us feel qualified enough to be called a son. Also, our profound human weaknesses and lack can make us doubt whether we deserve to be called to such an honorable relationship with God — however, this sermon reminded me again of the deep extent of God’s love, grace, and mercy for us, and the importance of sonship as the basic foundation for service and friendship.

  207. Hanna Bang says:

    What does it mean to have an identity? This was one of the questions I had in mind before listening to the sermon. Pastor Benjamin’s sermon stressed three models: servanthood, sonship, andfriendship. When Pastor Benjamin talked about friendship, I couldn’t help but to feel such honor and gratefulness that even if I am a sinful person, He still wants an intimate relationship woth me. Jesus didn’t treat his disciples as how worldly people would treat fishermen, He personally went to each one of them and I pray that just as Jesus changed the lives of His disciples, I would be changed as well. This sermon is definitely a message I should keep note of and listen to once again.

  208. Sam Johnson says:

    The principle of spiritual identity was a very important concept for me. I feel this is something Satan is constantly attacking with me and people that are close to me. The idea that identity is given to you by someone in authority is closely related to the issues in the father-less generation. The models of spiritual identity were also very helpful in gaining a better understanding about our relationship with God. At the end I could really identify with PC’s comments about being in spiritual sonship with people that are younger than you. In my home country my pastors were always much older than I. Experiencing a different dynamic here has really caused me to gain a deeper understanding of my spiritual identity. I’m not sure if this is true but I can see how it coukd also be difficult for some new young leaders in Korea to really own the role of being a spiritual father to sons that are older.

  209. I’ve struggled with both my servant and friend identity towards God, in my previous church and with my relationship with God, always feeling burdened and dry. I heard about the spirit of sonship in the church through New Philly, and this message has reaffirmed its importance in my current walk with God. This identity as God’s daughter is the most foundational part of my identity, before my identity as a friend and servant. I feel that once this truth, that I am God’s daughter with his full inheritance, becomes ingrained in my mind and the foundational truth of my identity I will be able to function in my other identities as a friend and servant more healthy and proper way.

  210. Mirabelle Knowles says:

    THIS SERMON!!!!! SO GOOD. I will be as brief as possible but SO much gold!
    So, Pastor Benjamin (ft. the Holy Spirit) spoke some powerful, and desperately needed truth into my life with this word. I have been resistant to authority my whole life although I wasn’t very actively aware of it. I was a pretty round-table, hyper-equality, post-modern Christian kid who thought she was smart enough that she knew better than any leaders who said “respect this adult”, or “behave appropriately in this relationship” etc. In family, school and church I always took the attitude of seeking (or sometimes even demanding) friendship with those to whom I should have embraced servanthood; but I never saw this as a fundamental heart issue, and no-one in my life ever really called me out on it.
    When Pastor Benjamin declared that this behaviour is actually a result of an orphan spirit, I felt so much clarity and personal revelation because it’s just SO true in my own life. I have always sought relate as friends to my leaders, teachers and parents, and to pick and choose from their wisdom and advice – ultimately being shepherded only by myself – because the failures and sins of those who were supposed to be ‘above’ me had broken the trust and respect I felt I needed to submit to them in a spirit of servanthood. I had decided so early on in life that I couldn’t depend on anyone but myself, and this resulted in a pattern of rejecting not only leadership, but also rejecting community, especially within the church. I made myself a spiritual orphan. I literally realised all of this in an instant when Pastor Benjamin spoke those words. And the amazing part is, I didn’t feel sadness, shame or condemnation, I could see what God was breaking off of me with this revelation and I was so joyful!! I actually feel really excited to submit to my leaders (words I can’t believe are true….) in New Philly and also non-church areas of my life, because I suddenly have this clear sense that that is God’s will for me. I know know that I don’t have to fear submitting to flawed leadership, but instead I can completely trust that He is working to execute His perfect will through imperfect vessels.
    I am so excited about this message and about the model for relationship which God has sowed into New Philly. I wish I had grown up in a church where the structures and teaching had been more direct and intentional about this (although maybe I would still have been too stubborn to listen). It is certainly a very counter-cultural message and I think it will need the Spirit to work actively and move many hearts on this – especially, perhaps, in the West – but it is so clear to me how it is something with huge potential to bless believers and church relational health internationally. I want to help God spread this!! Finally, I just feel so much joy, love and gratitude for Pastors Erin and Christian for being so bold and direct in establishing this sonship, servanthood, friendship culture in New Philly; for not shying away from the controversial and trying to fill seats with comfortable, inoffesive church, but in this area (and so many others) seeking to fully implement God’s vision for His bride with passionate and uncompromising hearts. The Holy Spirit is giving me so much love for Him, New Philly, and my Spiritual Parents through these sermons… and honestly when I first came to New Philly these things annoyed me and turned me off a bit from the church… but God has done a lot of work on me in Korea!! He has scooped out so much hostility, judgement, arrogance, skepticism and doubt from my heart and He’s just filling it with love love love love. Hallelujahhhhh. (sorry this is so long)

  211. Jasmine Renee Womack says:

    I know everyone has been saying this, but it’s true: this message is POWERFUL. I was so blessed the entire time. One point I would like to start this comment off with is that the western church is totally missing out. For some reason, friendship is seen as the first checkpoint even though everyone first needs to be a son. I feel like no matter how much people claim friendship is the first important thing, deep down they are actually longing for a leader. Personally for me, I just don’t respond well to someone who is just trying to be my friend right off the bat. One time when I was still attending U of Michigan, I checked out a friends church and it was nice, but something just felt off. There was no sonship whatsoever. The pastor was seen as a friend and I’m not sure anyone really saw him as their spiritual father and gave him respect as such. And I, immediately noticing this deep down, just could not connect. I didn’t know anything about sonship then, but I knew in my heart that this wasn’t a place I could commit or submit to. After hearing this sermon, it’s because of the lack of appropriate boundaries and the 3 levels Pastor Benjamin mentioned. People were allowed over his house and even to serve as leaders so easily. To be an SG leader, the process was so easy, and I could just feel in my spirit the lack of leadership in some of these leaders. Knowing some of them as friends at school, I could just see they weren’t ready, and it reflected in SG. This kind of brings to one way that I was blessed that I wanted to share about. Pastor Benjamin said that if a church majors in one thing, it is not complete. This reflects in how the church will run. It would be absolute chaos and there will be no growth or respect. It is so important to base the church upon all three models as this will show the congregation how to relate to God. Though Jesus died for all of the sins of man, does not mean we can just come to God any kind of way. The veil was torn, but we must still approach God correctly and submit ourselves as sons. How can we be friends of Jesus if we don’t even listen to what He says? It makes no sense because He gave us these decrees for a reason. Just because we don’t understand it all, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be followed. We must first submit as sons, and with that we serve His Kingdom, and then we will be in deep relationship with God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I hope this long jumble makes sense and shows how incredibly blessed I was. There is just so much power and knowledge in this sermon. It really holds the key for meaningful relationship with others in the church and with God. I could seriously listen to this over and over again, and I will definitely go back to it from time to time to refresh and help me reflect on how I behave as a son. Thanks for assigning this to us, and thank you Pastor Benjamin for blessing us with a mighty word to help us along our path to leadership~!!

  212. Gavin Yoon says:

    It was a very simple and informative message with three models for different relationships and dynamic of the relationships. Reinforcing the importance of “Sonship” and to why it comes before the other two dynamics of the relationship. I would like to learn more about being in sonship now and walk in sonship with God.

  213. sooky park says:

    Paul said do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but there are some places the church has been pressed into the world’s mold. We must resist the leaven of the world.
    There is a relationship between knowing who you are in Christ and who you are in the house of God. The church is supposed to reflect the Kingdom of God. If you want to see the quality of my relationship with God, you see the way I operate to the church. (not based on what I do in the prayer closet).
    Identity is the knowledge of who you are, the acceptance of and confidence in that knowledge, and the act of being who you are. Sometimes we resort to pretentiousness because we don’t like who we are. We are all born identificationally ignorant. No sense of identity.
    There is a certain level of authority given to parents to give children a name. the entire world is to submit to that decision the parents make. We are dependent on those closest to us to tell us who we are. Our identity can only be embraced when it is acknowledged and affirmed and encouraged. Jesus, before He did any ministry—God the father revealed His Son’s identity to the world.
    The irreducible core of Christian identity (models of our identity) are servants, sons, and friends of God. Not in that order.
    Mark 10:43 Jesus talked about the faithful and wise servant
    Romans 8:14 God has given us a spirit of sonship.
    John 15:13-15 Jesus said no longer do I call you servants but friends.
    These three models of our identity correspond to three models of God’s identity. God is master/Lord, Father, and friend. With these we can come up with three models for understanding our relationship with God. Who you are is always in the context of your relationship with someone else.
    If you try to be a son to everyone that’s called being an orphan. We have relational specificities. If we don’t understand them we get in trouble.
    In the friend friend model, the biblical definition of the term friend is something different than the western definition of the term.
    We tend to overspecialize in one model, going through seasons in one model. We tend to do it to the neglect of the others.
    There are models in the church. Jesus commanded His apostles to make disciples. Their job was to represent Him as rabbi. Jesus was saying youre not rabbis of your own teaching. You are sub rabbis under my teaching. Give them the teaching I gave you. Jesus even said my teaching is not my own it came from Him who sent me.
    Paul said to Timothy teach the things you heard from me. Reproduce the teaching. Don’t reinvent it.
    The way the disciples related to their disciples MUST correspond to the way Jesus related to them.
    For instance if I major in the master servant model, the pastor is the master and the congregation are the servants. Members are rewarded for obeying and punished for disobeying. What the pastor is communicating in that sense is that this is the way people are to relate to God.
    For the father son model, the pastor is the father and the members are the sons. There is a bond of love.
    For the friend friend model, the pastor is a friend to all the members. The pastor is to maintain a bond of connection with the members.
    The bible teaches all three. But the important thing is these three models are three sides of one reality.
    The order matters. Which one do you start with? Which is your first priority when you walk into the church?
    Remember, the way you operate in the house of God is supposed to represent your relationship to God.
    We first became His sons.
    This is the problem: friendship is the dominant western model in churches. People even come into churches with a friendship mentality. “you want to become my leader? First become my friend. Tell me about your life. Your journey. Lets hang out. To the degree you develop our friendship that degree I will serve you.” To the degree one feels cut off from the friendship one starts to feel a slave. If we start with friendship we actually never get to servanthood. The pastor never gets to be the boss; at best he is the facilitator. Everyone has a say. This is western and unbiblical. Sonship is a distant possibility, or even an impossibility.
    If you don’t start with sonship, you never have real friendship. Friendship with God is a highly conditional reality. God says if you do everything I command you you are my friends.
    It is sonship first, servants second, friendship third.
    This is where the church has been pressed into the mold of the world. Servanthood precedes friendship. Jesus view of friendship is one that is developed between a master and a faithful slave. Also, sonship precedes servanthood. The fellowship and camaraderie of mature sons. “as a son serving with his father” paul and timothy. This is different from slave and master serving. Good sons serving with their fathers don’t expect a dime in return for the serving. An inheritance follows, which is greater than a wage.
    Pastor Benjamin’s relationship with Pastor Robert Daniels is exemplary of the father-son relationship. When PB said I feel unfaithful, PR said I am your father I tell you who you are. And I said youre faithful. That is awesome. Then PR started giving commands. PB first knew PR in the father role. And then as master. And then as friend. That was when PB possessed the teachings and multiplied and gave them back.
    John said if you receive this teaching you can have fellowship with us.
    In western Christianity this has been reversed.
    In the early church if you wanted fellowship you had to have the teachings first. And then you have real fellowship.
    Friendship is the stewardship and coownership of the teachings. We have to own the teachings and grow in it first. Then we have friendship and fellowship.
    In acts the people held the apostles in high esteem and no one dared join them. Sonship is first. We must get back to the place where the relationships in the church relate to our relationship with God.
    Jesus says to sons never will I leave you never will I forsake you. The friendship model cuts you off from inheritance because the friend doesn’t get anything. God has no friends who are not his sons and secondly His servants. It is not an oppressive paradigm. We should become sons then servants then friends.
    This is foreign to western culture, but np is encouraged to become frontrunners and pioneers to see God restore this to the body of Christ.
    This was not an easy message.
    The friendship spirit is actually the orphan spirit, who feels he does not need a father.
    There have been people at NP who try to partake as friends. But have not received teachings, submitted to leadership of the house, not been ready to serve. The Friendship centered spirit was a ‘mature orphan’ spirit. They reject authority figures.
    PC says he will be careful in how he relates to members of the church. PC and PE, if they give ppl access to friendship too easily, it can rob people of their sonship. They will examine and be careful how they relate to sons of the house, in view of kingdom relationships.
    The Korean Confucian culture values and honors people just because they’re older. But we cannot apply this to PC and PE (if they are younger than us). We cannot look at PE as a ‘cute younger sister’ because that is robbing ourselves of sonship. People who saw PC as the staff member when they first met him, and not as a father of the house, eventually left np…but those who chose to stay and shifted in the way they related to PC, were blessed in the end, and possessed their inheritance. IT is to our benefit to see PC and PE as our spiritual father and mother. Even though in seminary the only thing to avoid is heresy, that does not make a church fruitful. The letter kills, but the spirit gives life. The mysteries of God must be stewarded. Wisdom and revelation are needed, which come through fatherhood and sonship.
    It was touching to hear about how PR and PB came into relationship as father and son with each other, through prayer.
    Joining leadership we go from sonship to servanthood. We can build up the house and contribute to the house.
    God looks at the heart.
    The reserve leaders PC and PE appoint manifest the relationship of sonship they have with their CG leaders, etc. (PE has such authority.!) PE encouraged reserve leaders to steward influence properly. To take themselves seriously. Even if they have not been activated. Great influence can be stewarded without even a title. This is the hidden season where they prove faithful before the eyes of God and not of men. Leaders don’t represent their own actions any longer. They represent the whole NP house and God’s aspects.
    It moved my heart when PC spoke ‘in the father’s voice’ that these are my beloved sons…by simply who we are in Christ.

  214. Sam Johnson says:

    The principle of spiritual identity was a very important concept for me. I feel this is something Satan is constantly attacking with me and people that are close to me. The idea that identity is given to you by someone in authority is closely related to the issues in the father-less generation. The models of spiritual identity were also very helpful in gaining a better understanding about our relationship with God. At the end I could really identify with PC’s comments about being in spiritual sonship with people that are younger than you. In my home country my pastors were always much older than I. Experiencing a different dynamic here has really caused me to gain a deeper understanding of my spiritual identity. I’m not sure if this is true but I can see how it coukd also be difficult for some new young leaders in Korea to really own the role of being a spiritual father to sons that are older. The primary relationship model with God is the father son model. God loves us, gives us identity and provides his teaching. The next model is the master servent model. We serve with our father because we know there is an inheritance, not for a reward. We learn to apply the teachings through serving. The last model is the friend model, but this can only happen after we are first sons and servants. A friend takes the teachings, multiplies it and gives it back. You must be co-owners of the teachings.

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