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. Joe Chung says:

    Man, that was such a powerful message. I was definitely hit HARD with the revelation of my identity, that I am His son who serves Him knowing that I am receiving His inheritance. I know that I am His son FIRST because my mind has been transformed into the Spirit. I completely accept and have confidence in my identity as a son because I know that I lack nothing.

    I learned the significance of our role as sons who serve, which is to receive, multiply, and give back to God what we have been provided by Him. Then, once that act of being a son who serves, we must take co-ownership of His teaching, and out of that, fellowship with God appears.

    What also stuck with me was when Pastor Benjamin mentioned that God has no friends that aren’t first His sons and then secondly His servants, which is supported from John 15:14; “you are my friends if you do what I command you.”

  2. Joyce Ku says:

    This sermon blessed me so much by showing what I was doing wrong in trying to find my identity in church in the past. It really clarified some of my relationships with pastors. Pastor Benjamin explained three identities we have in Christ: sons, servants, friends. He took it further by explaining there is a temporal ordering: sons, servants, then friends. I understood this process better when Pastor Benjamin related his own journey with his spiritual father, Pastor Daniels. There were something things that PB didn’t know about PD but little by little, the bits and pieces began to unravel naturally- after PB fully grasped the master/servant model. I really can’t wait to apply this to myself

  3. Jasmin Agese says:

    This is an awesome message that the body of Christ need to meditate on. In my heart I have always thought the three couldn’t go together at once. I have received great clarity in all three. I see how love and grace and all the fruits of the Spirit can be planted and grown at the different levels of relationship. Pretty cool!!!

  4. Angela Van Gorp says:

    I feel like I would completely minimize this message by trying to explain any “take away points” that I received. But honestly it was amazing.
    – Reproduce don’t reinvent what Jesus did (and then PB going through how Jesus’ relationships with his disciples evolved from son to serving son to friend)
    – The idea that people being over you creates order- not giving in to friendship relationship because it’s easy
    -Friendship cuts you off from an inheritance- you don’t inherit from a friend but a father
    -If the order of the church is different than the order of the kingdom then the church is something other than the manifestation of God- wow.

    His message just verbalized what I see being done at NP and what I want to reproduce in every church I am a part of- especially since I want to church plant. I see how what PB talks about is a strong church- not just a charismatic church but a church that is powerful. Can’t wait for this revelation to continue to spread around the world so we can see the Church look more like it was meant to look.

  5. Lydia Lim says:

    I know my identity in Christ. I often wish that Christians know their identities in the Father, yet, I stop there. I can’t accept that identity of mine. Not because the identity is not good for me, but because it’s too good, I feel unworthy for it. Because I wasn’t able to accept the identity as a son, a servant and a friend of God, therefore I wasn’t able to live these identities out completely. Then, in the sermon, PB said that how his spiritual father told him to stay with his wife & don’t go for the people that invited him because it’s his wife that he’s gonna live with for the rest of his life. And it struck me that it is God that I’m living for in this world, I need to get my relationship right with God before I start working on the relationships with men. Truly, I need learn how to accept my identity in order to be able to live & act it out fully.

  6. Magdeline Goh Seen Hui says:

    This message is so powerful n it blessed me so much. I know that God can be our master, father and friend but I never knew that there is a sequence in it. Now I can truly understand that we should start with adoption by seeing Him as our father and then serving Him as our master. n sons serve the father because they knows they will receive the inheritance. Lastly , if we obey his commend, we are His friend. I like what PB compared that if we see Him as our friend, it doesn’t link to servant-hood and it actually become the stumbling block for us to receive our inheritance. I’m so glad that I joint leadership this semester because I’m in the process of going from sonship to servant-hood.

  7. So timely! This message had so much revelation and answered questions that I didn’t even know I had! Providing so much clarity I am able to see the proper relationship that we are to have with not only our Spiritual Father/Mother but also our Heavenly Father. Also for us to know what Identity truly is, the knowledge of who you are, the acceptance of who you are, and the act of being who you are. So powerful to know the progression of and proper order of our models of Identity. Living in this day and age where friendship is sought out before anything else, I often find myself trying to be friends with everyone when in fact I am to be a Son before anything else! Especially to PC and PE, I found myself under a strange tension where I didn’t fully understand my relationship, I felt myself trying to balancing between Son and Servant and Friend when in fact I must be a Son 1st! Servant then comes next and finally friendship, and that friendship will be so much more intimate and real than I could evey have hoped for. Seeing our Father as a friend will rob the intimacy of Sonship from you! We are often afraid that if we don’t start off as friends we won’t be friends, when in fact we must start as Sons to end with friendship! Sons inherit, therefore we do not have to work as a slave! Inheritance > wage. A father gives you clarity and tells you who you are even when you don’t feel it or see it. If you want fellowship with the Father, you must possess the teachings, leading to a deeper intimacy in friendship. Receive the teaching and multiply it.
    We must be all three of the Models of Identity, but at the same time must achieve them in a specific order. This message is opening my eyes to focus on my relationship and focus on developing them in the proper order that I may no longer waste any more time or miss out on any more blessings!

  8. Tine Heenop says:

    I clearly understand the word identity in a deeper way now.
    Sonship with this house (in any church) is not being friends with everyone first it’s all about being a son and then servant and then friends! My mentality and perception drastically shifted by this words of Pastor Benjamin, it was a hard word to chew on but so necessary to hear! Throughout the sermon Holy Spirit took me in a deeper revelation of how we need to receive the teachings, let it multiply, give it back in a bigger form as how we received it! So blessed by this Sermon!

  9. Masande.G says:

    Sonship is first! I love how Pastor Benjamin broke down both our Identity and the model of our relationship with God. Without truly understanding the kingdom principals of our relationship with God it is so easy to confuse which model of our identity comes first in our relationship with God.

    Jesus became a son in whom God was well pleased in before he did any kind of work. His work didn’t make him a son but he’s sonship made him a servant. It all starts with sonship and from there all else flows. when we are sons we serve and as we are obedient in our serving we become friends of God. those who serve are those who have been called sons and those who are friends are those who have been faithful servants. An inheritance is left behind for sons not friends…love it!!! To receive an inheritance from both God and our spiritual fathers we need to be Sons,Sons who are covered! I love the clarity and wisdom in this teaching because as much as this can be a hard concept to grasp the teaching makes it easier to understand.

  10. Kristine Wong says:

    This was a very good sermon to listen to since this concept of sonship is still very new to me. I really hope this is the Holy Spirit speaking to me because as I was listening to this, all of the concepts said in this message made sense and sounds completely correct to me. Like… this is how a church really should be run on. I don’t want to speak badly about my pastor back at home but I wish he knew these things and can teach these things to his disciples. My pastor never saw me first as a son and we interacted as friends first. It seemed right to me at the time. A pastor is just like any other person and getting to know each other on a friendly basis first made sense. But as I kept going to church and listening to my pastor’s sermons, I viewed him more as a friend and never as a person who should be my spiritual father. It never crossed my mind that he should be the one discipling me. My view of him was greatly distorted and we actually got into many disagreements and problems with each other because of this. Was this right to have my relationship with my pastor be like this? I never once saw him as an example of Jesus because he honestly wasn’t showing it. He was a great preacher and is prophetically gifted, but he never showed Jesus to me through his character. I hope I’m understanding the concept of sonship correctly but I just wanted to concur on the point of how being friends with a pastor as the first thing you should do is not right. I’m glad that in the Bible it shows that first we must go through sonship and see ourselves as a son first and then into servanthood and after servanthood once we have become so mature in the teachings we learned from the spiritual father and obeying his every command as a faithful servant, that we can then be seen as friends. All three are just a side of one reality. You really cannot have one without the other. This has all been really eye-opening, and I am so excited to shift into this new type view with the pastors and leaders of the house.

  11. Donnae Shone says:

    It’s funny, despite all the head knowledge I have of sonship it’s taken a few simple words from a couple of dedicated spiritual fathers to encourage and facilitate the shift to heart knowledge. This sermon blessed me simply by it being preached by a man with such authority in authentic sonship and fathering. I was never too sure where the servant part fit in but there’s so much clarity now. How wonderful it is to be a servant without needing to prove one’s worth simply because one is already a son and confident in one’s identity.
    Son, servant, and then only with time, friend. This is how we should relate to God. A church or spiritual father that models this relationship in any other way is doing a great disservice to its members and to those looking in from the outside, wondering how it all works. It’s pretty sad that we so often feel the need to reflect the world rather than the Kingdom of God simply to attract people to the church.

  12. Sean Norton says:

    God’s timing is… gah. Post-service on sunday I was wondering about my past church and voicing some ideas out loud. Of the things I said, my spirit stirred in me when I said this, ‘One of the things I learned how to do well during my time at this church was to not care what other people think about me.’ As soon as I said this, my spirit stirred and I couldn’t help but feel that this was ‘wrong.’ Wrong in the sense that, the moment I said that, I knew in my own heart that it’s not good to be in a place where that is one of the dominating paradigms of my life. The ‘opinions’ of a father are necessary. I DO care what people think about me. Especially someone who is over me…

    Listening to this sermon today, the day after saying this, I can’t help but think that I was thinking on a friendship-friendship level towards many of the leaders I had before. Of course this puts unrealistic expectations on them and an unrealistic burden for them to be obliged (in my mind) to carry me and lift me up and such; especially when I’m not necessarily in a place to submit myself to them in any way (servanthood OR sonship) All of that being said, I think this message challenged me a lot. It’s a lot to chew on and I hope I don’t spend too much time chewing on it, but more time digesting it, because I can’t help but feel that it’s completely correct. I feel like it’s eye opening to me and how I see my current leaders, as well as PC and PE, and gives me much more clarity, even a lot of relief as, being here at NPC for almost a year now, I’m understanding more and more what healthy relationships between my leaders/pastors are, and helping me to understand my past, and the relationships I’ve had with previous pastors and church leaders.

    There are so many points in the sermon that stood out to me, I think this would be an extremely long comment if I put all of them with my responses here… (We are all born identification-ally ignorant, identity is relational, all of the models, etc…) but I guess I just wanna say that this changed a lot in me. I’m gonna keep chewing on this/digesting it… but I know that this is what I want. I wanna do things right. I wanna do things the way God intended it to be. I want to submit to sonship, and if I’m not fully at THAT place. I want to want to submit to sonship. yea. coo…

  13. Audrey Tan Ngerong says:

    This sermon really introduced me to this whole idea of identity that is new to me. I’ve never put much thought in the different types of models of identity that we bear in our relationship with God before this, therefore I found myself struggling to balance between being a son, servant or a friend to God. It also never occurred to me that there was specific order of identities to follow accordingly instead of trying to skip ahead and go right straight into friendship without even knowing the basics of serving/submittance and inheriting as a son first. I like how Pastor Benjamin brought up the fact that being friends with God is a highly conditional reality that really questions us on the responsibility of doing what He commands if we are to call ourselves as so. My whole mindset was shifted and the way I perceive my identity with God and in the church has transformed drastically as I now begin to grasps that the order of sonship, followed by servanthood, then lastly friendship, is to established in this fixed and precise manner.

  14. Janice So Hyun Lim says:

    By observing Jesus’ relationship with God, we know that we are not only called to be sons, but also servants and friends of God, who is our Father, Master and Friend. Personally, I find it comfortable to be God’s servant, and as a result, it is awkward for me to call God my friend. I’ve been inspired to accept God as my father a few years ago when I saw the word “Papa” in a book called “The Shack.” My relationship with God grew more intimate after I started calling Him “Papa,” but it still feels somewhat unnatural to be His daughter. Even now, I find it easier to identify myself as a servant than as a child. This is true in my relationship with the church as well. My first action is to serve, and then to receive love.

    As I was listening to the sermon, I realized how my order of relationship is flawed. By becoming a servant before being a son, I have been trying to earn love instead of receiving it freely. Thus, my service became a burdensome work, expectant of a reward. Pastor Benjamin’s teaching challenges me to break this order of relationship and take on the right kind of relationship that the Bible teaches. I wonder how free, loved and secure I will be when I serve God and church from the place of sonship! And how sweet and intimate it will be when I mature into His friend in the future!

  15. Jennifer Mendez says:

    This sermon truly blessed me. While listening I was thinking of my mom and how she raised my sister and I and also about my future and how I would like to raise my children. It is SO important to speak life into your children and give them an identity. Any little thing said to a child can affect them. I have many friends who still don’t know who they truly are (especially in Christ). Ahh! Sometimes it tickles to think of the day when they will finally find who they truly are. People see it on the outside but they don’t!
    I also enjoyed listening to the order in which the identities should be put; first sons, then servant, then friends. It completely makes sense!
    Thank you PB!

  16. Yii Koah Kien says:

    The first thing that I’ve learned from the sermon is that a christian can have more than one identity in the church and these identities actually shift from one season to another. And they come in order of son, servant and friend. I guess that’s why New Philly really emphasizes on sonship because that’s our very first identity and it initiates the receiving of God’s love and grace and inheritance as sons in His kingdom. The identity shift in the relationship between PB and PD is indeed a mighty testimony. And eventually how PB said how we can actually receive and multiply and give back, just as Peter did ever since he made his first preaching, I guess that’s where I really need to put my faith in and to achieve. It’s like achieving good stewardship – not just being able to receive but also to multiply and give back to God.

  17. John Lee says:

    I feel like a five year old after listening to this message. There is just so much to learn because I never experienced anything the message was emphasizing. The sermon was truely a blessing but I was still confused with the three. I’m not really good at building relationships so it is something I want to challenge myself to improve here at new philly hopefully..

  18. “3 different models of one reality of our identity; as a son, a servant, and a friend.”
    I loved how pastor Benjamin described our relationship with the House should represent the relationship with God. Along with PC’s teaching about covenant lives under the same rooftop of local church a few week ago, I am so thankful God has been always faithful to me to teach me my true identities as His daughter, a servant for His glory on this earth, and a friend of which time hasn’t yet to come to me. :) I realized God is bringing me to an upper level through this NRTC by training me how to obey and serve Him rightly, not according to my own plan but His will. I cannot wait the friendship season to come. To receive His love, get it multiply, and then return all of them back to God in a sense of co-ownership and stewardship with Him. God is good.

  19. Sonship, serve, and then become friends. Very interesting. I think in American churches we have an attitude of “I must serve first, then I can be accepted.” But we have already been accepted as sons. This is a new revelation for me. Something I will think about when I visit churches in America.

  20. Anastasia Tin (Seaside Campus) says:

    This sermon opened my eyes on a totally new spiritual level and a fresh reformation of my mind. I never get the chance to know and realize, that there’s an existence of a friendship model type: The Dominant Western Model of Discipleship. Also that, It’s important to not embrace only one way of the relationship with God, but also, there’s a pyramid order to the form of relationship in God’s Kingdom.

  21. Mabel Chin says:

    Learned so much from this sermon, especially the biblical meaning of friendship versus the worldly view of friendship. I really appreciate how PB was able to clearly express how the western model of discipleship has changed our minds to think that our first priority is to be friends with God rather than son’s first. When we say “God is my homie, the Big G” this is a worldly view of friendship with God. The world tells us that friendship is about maintaining that emotional connection with someone and honoring that connection. On the flip side, when God is talking about friendship, He’s talking about a person who can fellowship with him, a person who has done all the Father’s commands, a mature son. Starting with the Friendship model actually hinders our chances pertaining sonship because we well feel that lack of trust that’s needed to commit to sonship. That was huge for me. I mean let’s face it people tend to be really hesitant when it comes to anything that requires a commitment. They want to know the in’s and out’s of the benefits that they are going to get before they sign anything. PB made an excellent point “friends don’t get the inheritance, it’s the son that gets it.” So now the question becomes, do I want my inheritance? Because if I do, I’d better become a son first, then learn to serve as a son and when I become a mature son and be proud when He calls me his friend. EPIC stuff PB!!

  22. A.J Cruz says:

    I’ve never really thought of the distinctions in my identity in Christ let alone the church. This was definitely a good word to chew on to set things straight. I’ve always had a servant attitude throughout my spiritual life. I always thought that being in Christ and in the church was primarily to serve and be friends. I never thought of being a son first.

    Being a son first sets a number of things straight in the church. First, your relationship in Christ and church becomes more intimate and becomes less like a master servant or employer employee relationship. Second, honouring leaders in the church doesnt become a duty because it isnt conditional on your “friendship”. Third, because you understand the dynamics of the identity you carry, there is a maturity that develops that allows us to become builders of the house.

    A lot of people need to hear this to bring a clarity about who they are in the church. P.Benjamin was right on when he says that a lot of people back home are very dependant on “friendships” to function within the church but we actually need to see ourselves as sons first.

  23. When it comes to being friends with the Lord, I could never really grasp that, because Jesus has always been more than just a friend for me. He has been my everything. Whenever I found myself in a moment of insecurity, Jesus would remind me that I am the daughter of a high king. I can honestly say that if He had not told me who I am, I would not be here right now. God made me his daughter. Wow listening to this message really confirms and puts into place things that the Lord has been working on in me. But church is a whole other story. I’ve actually always been afraid of the church because I always had a serve mentality and I felt guilty because I felt I could never do enough, that I would be judged and rejected. Because I always let other people tell me what to do, when to do it and how to do it, I got hurt. I had an orphan spirit, but because of rejection, I decided to serve to the point that I lost sight of my sonship in Christ. Serving is right and good, but serving to get people to like you, is not good, just like how friendship can get in the way. Sonship is so vulnerable. I’m so glad that the pastors really address these issues and “say what they mean, and mean what they say.” I am excited to learn how to have a spiritual mother, and how to be a true daughter.

  24. Daniel L. Kim says:

    I think that an issue I had in the past was that I always figured that my identity in Christ was equivalent to that of a timid son and a stern, easily angered father, most likely because that was how my dad was when I was younger. I always thought that when something bad would happen to me, that it was God’s way of payback for something bad I had done. However, after I became a Christian, that’s when I figured out I was all wrong, and God is exactly what YOU need him to be. I personally needed him to be loving, but strict on what He wanted from me because I would always ask Him for things that I knew was not in His plan for me. For example, I wanted to be on the basketball team at my school when I was a freshman, although He clearly was telling me my identity was in music, and worshiping Him through my musical abilities. However, He granted my prayer, and I practiced with the school basketball team for 3 weeks during training camp until I literally shut down due to physical exhaustion. Because running nonstop was something that the other players had been doing their whole lives, but I had never so much done anything other than shoot and play streetball, I was not ready nor was it God’s desire that I even step foot on that basketball court as a college basketball player. Thus, it took me a longer route, but God showed me that it was not in my identity to pursue basketball as a profession. The old me probably would have cursed God the stern, constantly angry father as making me fail on purpose, but the renewed me was able to discern God’s love throughout the process, and now, I am able to laugh off the whole thing as just “God’s immovable course” in a trip around the world.

  25. It’s completely natural for our relationship with God to be sort of manifested and understood by our relationship to the church, but I had never actually got around to really, REALLY thinking about it in that context… Just like how we pray over things and claim truths and testimonies over ourselves or other people, our identity is meant to be how we claim who we are, and embracing that proclamation is in itself a way for our identity to manifest. It’s meant to set the course to follow, giving us a template and guideline to the way we act and move forward, how we respond to different situations. It is so crucial for us to first UNDERSTAND and EMBRACE our identity in Christ in order for us to act accordingly. It’s easy for us to think that it should be the other way around–that our identity lies in how we act, and our actions and words shape who we are. But it’s actually the complete opposite: we first claim our identities, then go out and have that identity take its place!

    And our identity is meant to be first and foremost as SONS. The most common ‘friendship first’ model that PB mentions resonated so well with me. I’ve not only wanted that friendship with leaders in church or in ministry first in the past, but I realized that when I was identified as a leader, I put it on myself to be that friend before anything else. I now know that it’s because of this wrong mindset that I had tried so hard to please others in the past–because I was trying to win over their friendship first before actually establishing any sonship. Sonship coming first makes so much sense because the other two things are bound to come naturally–the friendship, the servanthood. Knowing who I am in Christ, as a SON, makes me not only confident in who I am, but allows freedom for me to receive and give love from God and then understand what that means in the house of God. And later that love naturally manifests in serving, then establishes friendships.

  26. James Song says:

    The greatest concern I have for the church of today, and not just the Korean church is that the church is losing its identity and its boldness. The views expressed by Pastors Benjamin and Christian about how the church is conforming to the ways of the world and being coerced into a culture of misguided acceptance is a really painful reality.

    I really embraced the three identities the church must embrace – The Son, The Servant and The Friend. Being a son and committing to the membership covenant was such an amazing transformation for me. This church was strong in its identity and really manifested the father’s heart for prodigals. If NPC were conformed to the ways of today’s churches, I would surely have fallen into another downward spiral and probably have left the church for good.

    Now that I’ve committed to NRTC, I am experiencing yet another transformation in my identity. The shift from a son to a servant. I am very excited for this as my expectations are that I will not only just receive and be fed, but I will step up and start sowing into the lives of others that were like me and show them the same teachings and leadership that I received here.

  27. This sermon made me so excited because I realized what NPC is doing is exactly like how it had done in the Kingdom of God. It is obviously bibical and gave me anwers for so many questions about church. I understand the identity of church and myself in Christ.

    I am a son in Christ not because I served Him or I became His friend but only because He is my father and He told me I am His beloved son. Then I serve Him and obey Him. God never commands me to test me or harm me but to bless me more and more. After all, finally I become His friend and we build the closer emotional connection.

    This understanding of my identity applies to church. I am a son of my spiritual father and mother of church first. There is no condition to become a son if I know that I am a son and I accept & act accordingly. Now, I am committed to NRTC and learning the deeper level about our house as a son. I see its inheritance! I will continually learn to serve and obey my leaders and campus pastors. I will be able to develop even deeper and closer connection with them as I faithfully walk through this journey. Through this, I live in the Kingdom of God on the earth and in the heaven!

  28. carol lee says:

    It was really new for me to think that the order of son, servant and friend could be put in my relationship with the leaders in church too. It is so easy to think in the things related with God totally separated from practical things. I thought that these steps was exclusive for my relationship with God but now that Im learning through the church a new way to see my leaders, not only as teachers but as fathers, I realized that my relationship with them need to be built in the same way.

  29. What a powerful message! I never thought there was a correlation between relationship in Church with the relationship in God. It’s so refreshing and renewing to know about the right order–sonship, servanthood, and then friendship. This message clarified a lot of my old beliefs I held onto about placing my identity in the church. I always wondered why I never experienced the fullness of God while going to church in the past. I’m so thankful and blessed to part of a powerful house that stands firm in its true identity.

  30. This is a fantastic message from Benjamin Robinson. It exposes one of the key inhibitors preventing our lives and churches to flourish. It also shapes the way I see the ministry of Jesus, and when I read through John 15 that was being referenced often through this message, I felt like a child reading it for the first time. I always thought it was straightforward, but my understanding could only see the surface. John 15 basically lays out the ministry of Jesus and this process of discipleship that Benjamin Robinson was unraveling for us.
    John 15
    Verse 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” Relationship of the Father
    Verse 10 “If you keep my commands you will remain in my love… My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.” Relationship of the Master
    Verse 14 “You are my friends, IF you do what I command. I no longer call you servants…” Relationship of the friend who has granted co-ownership of teachings which are to be multiplied and given back (which also puts the parables of the talents into new perspective.)

    I wish I could explain the blessing this message has on my worldview., but Pastor Christian summarizes it’s impact best.
    “Huge ramifications… We’re not just going to maintain Christianity. We’re not just going to avoid sin. We’re going to start living dynamic lives. Fruitful, faithful lives.” –PC

  31. Pingping Kan Rogers says:

    These three models of relationship with God: Father-Son, Lord-servant,& Friendship, give me such clarity& revelation in understanding, not only in my relationship with God, but also in my relationship with pastors, with spiritual leaders in different cultural settings. It’s a great blessing to have spiritual father& mother in our lives! May God our heavenly father provide for us!

  32. At first, I didn’t know quite how to take this message, for the western world view had been chiseled into my heart on the order of relationship. Originally, I thought you must be my friend first before I’ll do you “favors” I didn’t think of “favors” as serving my “friend”, but as something that I would do to get brownie points in order to earn their favor. Then after I do you quite a few favors, then you can call me “son” and I can call you “father.”

    The order explained in this sermon however clarified what Jesus said to his Apostles about knowing the Father, that if they spend time with Jesus, they will know the heart of the Father. It was through serving Jesus and His house for quite some time that trust developed and that Jesus was able to call his apostles friends.

    I agree with Pastor Benjamin that the church is filled with mature spiritual orphans. It seems many of my friends think they know best, and don’t want a spiritual father speaking into their lives and telling them what to do. Many of them proclaim that they can figure things out by themselves. Sadly, I see many of them still struggling with the same issues they’ve had years ago.

    I pray that I am not that spiritual orphan, that I would know my place as a son in the Body of Christ. That I would allow all the encouragement that I receive from the church leaders to change my heart to one of reverence and servitude, so it may manifest itself and abundantly multiply from within and outside the church walls.

  33. Heidi Anna Chae says:

    ‘”Do not be conformed to the patterns of the world…” don’t be pressured into its mould!” – PB. This message has been challenging me to dig deeper and seek out any wrong mindsets that I may be holding onto, that I may not be aware of, in regards to the Church, and how we view leadership – from a spiritual father to son-like role.

    To be honest, it hasn’t fully “hit me” yet, and at some points I was challenged to think, “uh, is this true? I mean it sounds good, it sounds right, it’s probably right..” And I do trust that these are true however, as PB was hammering on our view and approach to our identity in Christ and in the Church, to come as sons, and not being able to have the full access of “intimacy” like “friend-to-friends” have has been humbling me, causing me to realize that I can’t place unrealistic and unfair expectations on them, instead turning that into gratitude as they have a bigger vision in the way they father the house – through having regular prayer meetings, small groups, familias, emmaus, more prayer meetings, etc. This message has been teaching me to think outside of the box on the ways the spiritual father of the house can guide the sons in the Church powerfully, in order and truth: that we are not in slavery or just friendship first, but we are SONS!

  34. Daniel Jin says:

    I really like how P. Benjamin can break things down and then pull it all back together in the end. What a masterful architect of God’s teachings! For most of my life, I didn’t know who I was or refused to accept what the world said I was. But knowing my true identity as a son of God has changed that. Yet this message challenged me to go even further than just knowing. It’s more than that. I always assumed that once you are a son of God, you are automatically a servant and friend as well. I never thought that you had to earn this, and it makes sense. Just like in a company, we have to pay our dues and work our way up the ladder, not only because we have to prove ourselves, but we also have to build that trust in relationships. It’s extremely encouraging and inspiring to know that as I come into sonship, eventually I am setting myself up to becoming a friend of God. I am challenged and ready to receive His teachings.

  35. InAi Kang says:

    What a simple concept that makes so much sense. A concept that i feel like doesn’t get a lot of focus, especially for the new generations. “What a friend we have in Jesus” is the idea i feel like we grow up thinking with when it comes to our relationship with God, but obviously it’s going to get harder when God starts asking things of us. Son, Servant, Friend; it makes so much sense! The break down is almost too simple, the hard part is actually being able to fulfill those roles. Being a son and having the safety of identity and inheritance is such a cozy place to be. It would be the hope that just like in the human sense a child would want to please their parent, we would be the same way with wanting to please God in the Servant role. In that way can you kind of say Son and Servant? At first i thought it seemed to make better sense to be friends first but Pastor Benjamin did a great break down of how it would make it harder to become a servant to the person that you had been friends with. So true. Constantly a son, constantly a servant, and constantly a friend. I’ll take it.

  36. Natalie Cheung says:

    The kingdom of God has rank and order. Theocracy in which God is the head where he ordains spiritual authority to lead and guide His people is something I’ve always known about, but never quite lived out. Fully putting myself under the authority of a pastor, and trusting that what he says is representative of God is something I haven’t done before. Yes, I do respect and give him honor, but in the back of my mind, I always had this thought that the pastor was a human being as well, so he will have times where he falters and may not fully represent the voice of God. But I also think it’s because I haven’t met one that I would completely trust either, most of the pastors I meet and respect leave after 2 – 3 years of serving, and I haven’t had a father-son relationship with any of them. The church should be modeled after heaven (which involves predestined rank) rather than having than following the earthly trend of autonomy/democracy. Our world is so focused on having our own say and right, that we often forget how to accept the spiritual authority that God has ordained in our life. The concept of sonship is quite new to me, and I realized that I missed out on its blessing. I also really liked how PC emphasized that we as sons need to honor and appreciate our leaders while at the same time, leaders need to offer encouragement and even humble themselves to ask their disciples for prayer and blessings. A relationship like that, with humble leaders, and disciples that truly know how to honor and submit will surely produce fruit and manifest the adoption as sons in Christ Jesus.

    • Natalie Cheung says:

      ^ WHOOPS I posted the comment in the wrong section; this is for “Creating a culture of honor”, sorry! I’ll repost it there!

  37. Abby Brokaw says:

    I loved Pastor Benjamin’s insights on identity… Straight from the very beginning, when he defines identity as the knowledge of who you are, the acceptance of that knowledge AND being the person that you know you are. I think my concept of identity has always stopped at the second point, and have struggled to know that the way I act is a result of my identity concept. Also, when he continued to say that your acceptance of your identity is key, because the failure to do so leads to pretension, it reminded me of insecure times of my life when this was very much my reality. There is so much peace and joy that comes from just KNOWING who you are in Christ and what that means for your life and how you relate to God and other people! I love that he said identity is relational, and doesn’t exist in a vacuum. I have never heard that before, but it makes complete sense.

    It was good to hear that we, as the Church, are not supposed to pick one model of Church identity, but are to operate in all three. Our relationship with God is to be multidimensional, and the three ways that we should identify in relationship with Him are all essential, yet ordered. I love that Pastor Benjamin identified the Western tendency to lean on their friendship with God above all else. Once we realize this, we can make efforts to change the way we relate to God. The sermons and teachings that I have heard at New Philadelphia always seem to support the belief that Sonship is first in the ways that we relate to God. Being a son is not something that you have to strive to be, it is something that you ARE. You cannot be fired from that position. We learn to serve to be a blessing and to love the Father, and through the obedience and maturity we are able to be called the friends of God. BUT… Our identities as Sons must come first, or the identity will be skewed and lack security.

  38. Janis Pok says:

    It’s the first time I’ve ever heard of our relationship with God described in those three aspects of friendship, sonship, and servant hood. Sonship was definitely a new concept that I was introduced to after I came to New Philly, and I always thought it would be nice to think of God as my friend, but in reality, I think it was a servant-master relationship most of the time. I’m not only struggling with an identity crisis in a cultural context because of the way I grew up, but also in spiritual context because after coming to New Philly, I’ve been hearing a lot of different things that I ‘ve never heard about. I don’t reject any of the teachings, I just don’t know how to take it all in and how to process it.
    I also liked how PB focused on the importance of the order. I personally thought I would have to work like a servant in order to win God’s heart and accept me as a friend and then be a son. But this message really cleared up those uncertainties and gave me a clearer vision of things.

  39. God, my father has given me 3 identities:
    Son, Servant and Friend.
    In this sermon, the progression of relationship was made clearer. I can’t say that I fully understand it, but I will chew on it.
    I know that I can trust God and the leaders at NP he has appointed over me.
    There is time when in church when I will be fathered, where I can take what I hear and multiply it, and then later I can maybe crack a joke with PC.
    My heart resonate with the fact that I am being fathered. I need to understand that the way I respect the local leader – i.e. my small group leader, really shows how I relate to the set man of the house, to the church and to God.
    I was also reminded that for me to play a role as a leader, I don’t need an official title per se. My title is “beloved of God in who he is well pleased”.

    Thanks Pastor Benjamin Robinson

  40. Bernadette Keating says:

    Wow, there were so many things that stood out to me in this sermon and it makes me feel like I mustn’t have known much before. First all, my identity, if I’m not fully conscious or walking in the knowledge of it I will be who I think you want me to be – so true. It it’s not that I don’t have an identity but I’m ‘identificationally’ ignorant as PB put it. I also saw the power of our parents not just in naming us but also that we depend on those closest to us to tell us who we are – just as God did to his son Jesus ‘this is my beloved son..’ I had never thought of this as an identification marker before. That’s why both the hurtful and empowering things my parents said to me in my childhood still stick with me.

    As PB outlined why each model cannot work in isolation it seemed totally obvious, as is the case when you are extraneous to any situation. The thought of the power of merely having the master/servant model in the church scared me a little. Seeing how they are three sides of one reality was really helpful because it shows how each is an integral part of the one identity not three separate identities which you can choose to emulate.

    “We’re afraid that if we don’t start with friendship we won’t have it.” So true, possibly because we crave to be liked and accepted, and friendship is a clear indication of success in that area. No one enters a church hoping they won’t be accepted, so it’s easy to see how this mindset can take place. It’s also challenging to think that we may not need to enter the church starting with friendship. “I will serve your vision as long as I feel emotionally connected to you.” No matter what size church I have seen people long to be recognised by the head pastor, partly because sometimes he comes in their mind to represent the church as a whole, he is the church. So without being recognised or emotionally connected, the desire to serve wanes. I’m encouraged by this that PB had to say, “friends help, servants serve.” Again we must be all three not just one.

    I’m also thankful that this sermon did not just point out the three models and define them but also suggested that there is an order – one which many church congregations must rethink. I think previously I kind of saw these all on the same level as if they must all happen at the same time. So it was revelatory for me to rethink this, sons first, then servants, then friends. Such a powerful word!

  41. This message was packed with new revelation of who God is and who I am. Honestly, I was a bit confused from the beginning of this season because I viewed God as my father and nothing else. Because I grew up in a conservative church, I wanted to get as far as possible from the servanthood model after being introduced to sonship and empowerment. I knew we were called to serve, but I failed to submit completely because I only liked the whole “God is my father and I am victorious in Christ!!!” part. But I think God wants to set things straight in my heart. He is my father, master and friend all in one. I also think he’s telling me to grow up and mature. Now that I’ve received, I should give.

    I think this was a challenging message because PB said that these are 3 different sides of 1 reality. It was difficult to wrap my head around that fact. And Jesus’ view of friendship is so different from our paradigm! So different! First we are called to sonship, then servanthood, and if we do all that the Father commands us, we become his friends.

    On the other hand, I really liked PB’s example with P. Daniels and that when PB started to posses PD’s inheritance, multiply and give it back, he entered a new level of friendship with PD. If we are called to be co-heirs with Christ, we need to have a fellowship of his teachings and possess it.
    I think I’m still trying to digest that part.

  42. Christina Parchem says:

    As Pastor Benjamin said, I want to thank God for clarity. This sermon really challenged my idea of a concept I thought I already knew about. But the way Pastor Benjamin explained sonship, servanthood, and friendship brought a completely new and certainly more satisfying understanding of all three and how they work together. When we look for friendship without being confident in our identity, all those relationships will be a shadow of what they could be and you make yourself think, “Well, I’m spending so much time with this person, we must be such great friends, we know everything about each other.” But when you don’t know who you are, those relationships are just superficial. What’s the point of knowing their favorite food, movie, etc. if you don’t know their heart? And even if they do open up enough to get a glimpse of their heart, you can’t help them and build them up if you aren’t confident in acting out who you are and have experience serving others. And if we try to serve without knowing who we are, it’ll feel like oppressive slavery. If we have no sense of inheritance, what are we serving for? Recognition among the congregation? At most of the churches I’ve attended, people serve out of a sense of duty or necessity not because the church feels like their house that they will inherit and so better learn how to take care of it. Everything we do stems from who we think we are, or, how we identify ourselves. We are God’s sons who first have to accept our Father’s love and return that love. Until we know who we are as God’s children, like that about ourselves, and start acting as God’s children, we’ll carry that brokenness of an orphan spirit until we convince ourselves that we don’t need a father and clearly that’s not God’s heart for us. When we carry that authority and confidence of a son, then we can serve without feeling used, and we can fellowship on a level we couldn’t have even imagined before. And if a church is a visible manifestation of a group of believers in a local area, God’s heart for sonship needs to be reflected there!

  43. Jina Nam says:

    In my current times of struggle and storm, this sermon really gave me clarity on my identity and place. I fiinally feel like I am beginning to see more and more of my true identity as a daughter of God, after all this time of my leaders telling me that. But like PB said about identity, I have finally come to really see and know that I have been reborn as a daughter of God, and now as I accept it and have confidence in it I feel so much more peace and clarity over myself and life. Starting from this, as a daughter/son of God, I now have more determination and motivation to go through NRTC training so that I learn to be a servant of God (obey, serve, and reproduce and give back), through which I feel like I will learn to manifest all this through my behavior.

  44. This message was so powerful and mind-blowing to me. It gave me such an in-depth look at how my relationship with the body of Christ reflects my relationship with God. Pastor Benjamin’s words really confronted how I looked at my relationship with God and also made me reflect on how I thought the progression of my relationship with God went. I never contemplated that there was an order to it. But now that I know the order and what it entails, I feel so much more confident in my identity.

    I realized through this message that I kept jumping between these three models. I didn’t realize how I was trying so hard to become friends and connect with my brothers and sisters and as a result I was trying so hard to become a friend of God when He first calls me to be a son. To let Him love me as a child and also for me to love Him as a father. I love how PB describes how the context in which we serve and then become a friend of God is radically different when we do it starting with the heart of a son because sons don’t do it for a reward as slaves do but because they know as a son, the Father has an inheritance for them.

    I now know that we can’t just skip around and “major”, as Pastor Benjamin put it, in one model but we have to be faithful in all three. We begin as sons, obey what the Father commands as servants, and then enjoy friendship through the fellowship in the teaching that God gave to us through His Son and within His Word. This also applies to our relationships with our spiritual fathers. I was really blessed in the way Pastor Benjamin described his relationship with his spiritual father Pastor Robert Daniels. It gave me hope and encouraged me that if I remain faithful to the model God has shown me in His Word and explained to me through Pastor Benjamin, I can have intimate, friendship with God. Not coming from a place of purely emotional connection, but from a place of mature sonship.

    Before this message, I knew I was a child of God but I felt confused as to where or how much deeper I could grow in intimacy with God. I felt like I was wandering around looking for a way to become closer to God when all along there was an order to it. Being a person who enjoys structure, this was such a freeing message to listen to because it plucked me out of a place of not knowing what to do to a place of confidence, hope and promise in God. AMEN!

  45. To pastors, I’ve always seen myself to them as in a master-servant relationship. I always looked up to pastors and never dreamed of seeing them as friends. My dad, being the pastor, always made me do things around the church but I did it not out of love in a father-son dynamic, but as a member of the church. In that same way, I saw myself in master-servant relationship. I knew that he was my Father, like the Bible says, but I could only see that as a master-servant relationship. So when Pastor Benjamin asked us what we thought was first, I thought: master-servant.

    God gives us identity in three ways: son, servant, and friend. I’m not even a son correctly first and I’ve skipped directly to servant. I don’t even dream of being a friend. Man, this sermon really convicted me. I pray for more revelations of what it means to be a son of God and a son of the house, such as this sermon has done!

  46. Natalie Cheung says:

    Friendship according to the Word is so much deeper than what society tells us, I would have never thought friendship to be the last model of discipleship because what friendship connoted for me seems much more shallow then what sonship did. I thought we had to ease into sonship because it takes time for people to become so connected before they can become family. It totally makes sense that the physical manifestation of sonship between our earthly spiritual father and us as their son should reflect the relationship we have with God. It is through sonship, where we understand our identity and through sonship that we no longer see servanthood as an oppressive model of authoritarianism, but one of love and intimacy. And after going through all of that, we can finally call ourselves friends; comrades as matured sons. As a child, the phrase “Jesus is my friend” was used very often in Sunday school; one that walks with me and talks with me – this was something made clear to me at a young age. I always knew that God had many aspects but I thought that since everyone is different, they just identified easier with different aspects of God. I love how Pastor Benjamin clarified the importance of ORDER these three models take place. Sonship, servanthood, then friendship. I’ve never been taught to see the pastor of the church as someone with that much authority, as a man that has direct ordinance and power granted by God, but after hearing this sermon I realize that I have to rethink my perception of who my pastor is. I’ve always respected whoever my pastor was at the time because I saw him as a spiritual authority, but to have him actually give commands pertaining to the things in my life is something I have never experienced before (nor have I had such a close relationship with one that would give them a chance to). This sermon opened my eyes to see that I have never been a disciple before, nor have I given myself to be disciple. However, in this season, I hope to find a spiritual father (perhaps in PC/PE :D) and be blessed by the spirit of sonship!

  47. Sophie James says:

    I was listening to this on my way to school this morning and at the end when Pastor Benjamin was praying I started crying. Like, ugly cry face, noisy crying, but it was so freeing. This message challenged me in so many ways and showed me patterns of thinking that I didn’t even know that I was walking in, but I repent of! I don’t want to be conformed to the patterns of this world. When he talked about the friendship spirit being the orphan spirit masquerading as friend, that was so powerful. I think I’m going to have to listen to this a couple more times.

  48. Kim Anderson says:

    This message was excellent. It really confirmed in me the desire and need to be unshakable in my faith, and in turn, living in the Spirit. Emotions should not be what we follow in circumstances! (I am totally preaching to myself right now!) If we live in the Spirit, the truth should be our foundation not emotions!

    Another thing that stuck out to me was how Satan goes after our minds. If he gets that, everything else will follow. Looking back over my reactions and how I deal with things this has been very true in my life. BUT NO LONGER! :) I am learning who I am in Christ and how to stand in it. If we have confidence in who God has made us then we know our identity and; therefore, we stand strong in truth not in what Satan tries to get us to think.

    I feel like my whole understanding of things is shifting. I feel empowered to live as God has meant me to live – in freedom and truth that His ways are higher and better than anything else!

  49. Suzie Im says:

    I now understand why Pastor Christian brought up how we can’t just be best friends with him right away during the first seminar of NRTC. It directly relates to the order in which Jesus walked and communed with Jesus, which is how we should relate to God, and therefore, our local church.

    The part where Pastor Benjamin talks about his relationship with his spiritual father and his spiritual father speaking powerfully about his identity was very powerful. But, as obvious as the reasoning behind the order in which the three relationships we keep with God and our pastors is obvious, it was still so revelatory. We cannot follow the commands of friends nor can we serve with a joyful heart without true knowledge of our identity in Christ.

    Good stuff!

  50. Andres Park says:

    To be honest, I really struggled with this sermon. However, it did renew and challenge me. So many times have I neglected the power that the words of a father have on one’s life. If we do not first establish a strong relationship through Sonship, then serving the Church and being friends with others loses a big part of its meaning. To be honest, there are still parts of Pastor Benjamin’s relationship with Pastor Daniel’s relationship that seem a bit odd. However, it seems perfectly natural for that order of son-servant-friend to take place.

  51. Kirstin Pak says:

    This opened my eyes and completely challenged me to think in a different way. I never knew that there were different sides to one reality and how they come in a certain order. My mind is feeling a little jumbled and trying to connect all the different points, but it all comes down to identity in yourself and in the church. Knowing who you are through Christ is so important because that is how He made you to be. I view God as my father and my master, but I find it difficult for me to connect with Him as a friend. I didn’t know that there were two definitions of friendship between the world and biblical meaning. I learned so much within this message, but I definitely will need to listen to it again so I can soak it all in and really let my mind meditate more on what I just learned.

  52. Bethany Pak says:

    This sermon was truly very challenging, but also extremely insightful and relevant to today’s time. Knowing who you are and your identity in Christ and who you are in the church has so many different, interconnecting relationships that I never really fully considered or thought about. The fact that there is a certain order that the church must follow to be in accordance with the order in the kingdom makes so much sense, but is a reality that sooo many churches fail to do. I’ve had pastors in the past who were so concerned about first becoming our friends, and just like how Pastor Benjamin put it, this is a common and unforgiving mistake. And as a result of this, there is never that “father/son” relationship, or in other words, sonship.

    I think the problem with so many churches these days is their concern with how they will be viewed by new people coming in. They want to build that buddy-buddy relationship, or what PB called it, a first name basis type relationship right off the bat. It’s very typical for a western mind set to think friendship comes first and then if I feel like there is a connection between me and the pastor, then maybe I’ll consider being a member or even serving…but it all boils down to if they see themselves becoming friends first, which is a big no, no! But as long as we stay faithful and proclaim this reality as the truth, that is all God asks for!

  53. Narai Bai says:

    Awesome sermon. Knowledge of identity, acceptance of and confidence in that identity, and the acting out of that identity. Our identity in the church can be as servants, sons, or friends. There’s been a misunderstanding in the Western church: people tend to choose one model and stick with that. Often they choose “friendship” as their model- and expect that they become friends with the pastor before they trust him/her enough to receive the teachings. But that’s not biblical!

    A believer transforms from a son, to a servant, to a friend. There is wisdom and revelation in this process. You earn friendship. PB’s account of going through this process with Pastor Daniels helped me to see how it works :) it really challenged me as I have not experienced this transformation yet with my natural father- but I am hopeful and expectant that I will one day. I am also excited to go through this transformation at new philly :)

  54. Susanna Kim says:

    WOW! This sermon brought so much clarity and understanding of how this house operates and how all other churches should operate. I believe this strong agreement and peace I received about the Son-Servant-Friend model as I was listening was only possible because it is truth- it’s so biblical! Pastor Benjamin did an awesome job in presenting this teaching in a clear and relatable manner. As PB explained the process of earning friendship with the father, I couldn’t help but think how it’s just like in my relationship with my natural parents. I was born as their child, receiving their love and also loving them in return. My parents didn’t tell me to serve them in ten different ways before deciding to call me their daughter. Because I am their daughter, my parents told me what to do and I obeyed them. Now that I’m all grown up and a mature adult, I am on a whole new level in my relationship with them as they treat me as a friend and allow the things that I say to add to their lives. I was also blessed by how honest PC and PE were as they spoke to the new recruits. I feel like I understand their heart for the house more and gives me more freedom, hope and expectations about my time with New Philly.

  55. Samuel Choi says:

    What a revelatory message! The concept of sonship is often referred to at NPC so it wasn’t very difficult to grasp upon hearing this message. But it’s good to have it fleshed out. The order makes sense. You start off as a son and this is mirrored from Jesus at the start of His ministry. Then you serve. Then you become a friend of God. I like this teaching as it seems to be a natural progression. Though it is easy to see why the world would see it as backwards. Sonship, from the world’s perspective, might seem to be the unattainable desire in the distance and it’s easy to be a friend. But God does it backwards. Indeed, it is natural. You are born as a son before you even have the concept of it. Then you grow as a son and learn to walk in the way of your father. Then as you sit and look back on all the ways you served together, you become natural friends.

    I particularly like how this paradigm mirrors that of the kingdom. It makes complete logical sense to model something off the methods of God, especially if we are to be His bride and people who love and follow Him. It’s really unfortunate that this isn’t a more widespread teaching in the whole church.

  56. Grace Lim says:

    Wow, what a game changer. This teaching has shifted my paradigm on how I view not only my relationship with God, but how I view my relationships with people in the church, especially my leaders. Without sonship, it is impossible to get to a level of true friendship. It makes sense that trying to put the friendship model into effect first cuts off the inheritance because, no one ever leaves an inheritance for a friend—inheritance is for sons. I really like what PB pointed out at the end—that it’s actually the orphan spirit masquerading as friendship. Our spirits long for sonship but we often times look to satisfy it elsewhere, regardless of whether we do it intentionally or not. Still slightly confused about how the spirit of adoption actually works though.

  57. Della Collins says:

    From the beginning of this sermon I wanted to write down everything Pastor Benjamin said. His message was revelation and definitely opened my eyes to what went on in my home church. Even in myself i wanted to be a friend before a son to my pastor because that was all I knew and i said things like “im helping out with the kids ministry”. I had no idea about sonship until new philly. It makes sense now that sonship comes before servanthood which comes before friendship. And now I can understand what friendship with God is. It comes out if a deeply rooted relationship as a son and commitment as a servant. I could see many connections from Pastor Bejamins message to some of PCs other sermons- to sonship,of course and to intimacy belongs in covenant. So much clarity has been brought as a result of this message and im eager to be a son and faithful servant on my way to becoming a friend of God.

  58. Oh man, Pastor Benjamin. Wow. So much insight into the scripture.
    Knowing who you are; accepting and liking who you are; acting according to who you are. The three models of Christian identity is so enlightening, and how they correspond with God’s identities. Realising these models and how they correspond will help us understand our relationship with God, truly understand it, and teach us how to work on the relationship from our side. And that there is specificity in relation, son to one Father, servant to ONE Master. And that we have roles in these relationships, and it involves action! These models should be applied in the church, but in specific order and as one representation of the Lord, otherwise it gives a skewed understanding of the Father. Overspecialisation of one model, or mixing the order up can have consequences on believers’ abilities to interact with the Father like they should/ receive their inheritance, be effective. First Sonship, then Servanthood, and last Friendship. This is Kingdom principals, what you see in Jesus’ relationship with the Father too.
    Thus if the Church is not a reflection of the Kingdom it is not in the right!
    I pray that every church and Christian receive this message and steward it to represent the Kingdom rightly!

  59. The identity is so crucial topic to me. for a long time I’ve struggled this issue. So Thank for Paster Benjamin’s powerful and awesome preach, I could get understanding about ‘Identity’ from this preach. “why I can’t accept myself” I asked this question to myself for hundreds times. Why myself make me sad? This sermon gave me a clue. The identity you believe who you are was made by relationship between critical person like a parents. But My parents was brokenhearted. so they interacted with me using a kind of broken way. Thus my identity could not help setting up well. I realized that my identity can be not real, made by experiences and can be changed. This is a meaningful finding.
    The other impressive thing is about ” 3 steps of dealing with identity (Knowing-accepting- acting)” A few months ago. my sister said me “now you don’t know who you are in God yet, You will know”. At that time, I couldn’t understand that. I thought, “I’m a me. why I don’t know myself. I know everything that I did, I think, and how I’ve lived” But now I understand the meaning. In the past I misunderstood ‘I know who I am’. and I kept struggling to embrace not real identity. Now I’m praying “please let me know who I am in God”. and through sermon, worship, people around me and circumstances I feel like giving this message “You’re my precious daughter” I’m excited that I will know my real identity in the future in the relation with God. That must be the original one He intended at first when he made me.

  60. Vicky Lee says:

    From listening to this sermon, I was able to track back and see how grounded my identity had become. Just until recently, I had been struggling with my identity in all realms and areas of my life – the most challenging it being with myself. It had probably been the root to all my past issues, problems, and what not – the mother of it all. But from hearing about the three layers of true identity, I was once again able to gain confidence in my identity breakthrough. I have come to, finally, confidently say that I know myself, appreciate and acknowledge myself, and truly act as I am. The noticeable fruit in having established my identity is the comfort level I now have with myself, a truly priceless gift. Better yet, this change has enabled others to become comfortable with me too. The dynamic of it is extremely powerful if you really think about it! Now with my personal identity set, I feel that it’s time for me to firmly establish my identity in the church, with the church family also. With that said, I anticipate moving up the ladder to becoming God’s “friend”. =P Nevertheless, since the “pastor is the master” and the representative to lead us, I will undergo this training and my future walk with NP with expectancy to be guided the right way. =)

  61. Ji In Kim says:

    I definately feel like I know my true identity in Christ but, often times it’s very hard for me to accept it. I always feel super inadequate even while going through NRTC :( But!! listening to this really blessed me to ACCEPT that confidence in that identity and acting out in that identity fall hand in hand. I must learn to acknowledge and appreciate myself as a daughter, friend, and sister to step out of my comfort zone; and act out in ORDER: Sonship, Servanthood, and Friendship as emphasized by Pastor Benjamin ^^ . I have full confidence that my struggles will end up in an amazing breakthrough as long as I keep in mind the revelation of who God is.

  62. I loved hearing Pastor Benjamin speak. I hear his personality and fire coming through Pastor Christian now. I have known my identity for a long time, but in practice I ran through being a son, and thought myself more friend or servant, that I either could listen to SOME of what God said, knowing He was right, but thought there was wiggle room (weird for a holiness movement guy), or was separating myself from him and trying to work to please and thank Him. This message drilled home a little deeper that I was and am His son, and I hear Him whispering this to me before I start a task and when He is taking me somewhere I don’t want to go yet. I’m so grateful to have heard this. It also clears up my relationship with my leaders, at NPC and other places.

  63. Stephanie Grady says:

    This is one of the most powerful sermons I’ve ever heard. To me it felt like a teaching from a general on where the enemy has been succeeding in the past and strategy on how to stop him.. As I was listening, my heart started grieving as I realized that this skewed paradigm of relating to leaders was hurting and had hurt so many people. I felt like God was giving us an important key in intercession for the church as a whole. I know I will be listening to this message a few times so that I can absorb all of it’s goodness and truth. There is so much wisdom here. I am so thankful for Pastor Robinson and how he blesses New Philly.

  64. Jihyun Roh says:

    One of things I greatly appreciate about New Philly is that I am getting a better understanding of what my relationships are supposed to look like at church with my brothers and sisters in Christ including my leaders. I have to confess that I have put fellowship with people at church before fellowship with God many times before. Sometimes I focused too much on having good relationships with people at church, including leaders so I forgot to do what I was supposed to do to serve God and people.

    Although I still believe that loving on my brothers and sisters through having fellowship with them should be one of my priorities in order to do what God commands me to do, I shouldn’t put aside getting discipled by my spiritual leaders to receive their teachings and multiply them so I can be a better son and a servant at church, which will make me a friend of God

  65. Paul Moon says:

    For me this message highlighted my walk with the Lord. I don’t think I ever truly served the Lord with right heart. I always viewed myself striving to serve to receive commendation and praises from my pastors and to be recognized by them and for others to think that I was a “healthy” Christian. I need to understand that there is an order. First and foremost God deserves my best and to go about starting is to start my walk in identifying myself as his
    Son-> servanthood-> then friendship.

  66. Kayla Black says:

    There were a lot of good points in this message. Although I can’t say I completely understand the sonship teaching, I feel like I’m definitely enjoying learning more about it.

    This really exposed to me the problem with the ‘friendship’ only relationship found so often in churches. Although I wouldn’t say I got to know the pastors at my previous church very well (it was a large church), I would say that I got the impression of a democratic ‘committee’ mentality. After listening to today’s sermon, however, I recognized the merit in having a real father figure who reproduces a line of leaders in his image. As well as how much ones identity is created by their parents. You really need that father figure to give you a positive identity that you are searching for and help you define who you are.

    Another point I keep noticing whenever the concept of ‘sonship’ comes up is how these fathers can really see the big picture, that we (the sons) often can’t. The authority fathers have over their sons’ lives is a really precious thing. It made me realize that when I went into my small group I went in with the wrong understanding, with a ‘friendship’ understanding, (having only ever really experienced that before) but really I need to view my small group leader as my ‘father’ and respect and honour her as someone with authority over my life (something that’s still a bit foreign to me, but that I’m trying to open up to and experience). :)

  67. David Ha says:

    “Your relationship to the house should model your relationship to God.”
    I think I knew the three models of relationship with God vaguely but never so articulate and clear as I do now. That ignorance to the identity of who I am in relation to God has kept me from seeing my true identity in Him. Sonship>Servanthood>Friendship. This is such a revelation that changes the way I view my relationship with God. Wow. Mind blown.

  68. Julie Byun says:

    Knowing that I had multitude identity regarding my relationship with God was comforting. To me, I think there was always a tension between God’s image of God of love and the God of wrath/punishment. By knowing that I have three different identity : servant, son,friend, within Christ, it helped me to better understand who God is. God could be God the father, a figure of authority and love, God our Lord, who can punish and rebuke you and God our friend,that console and comfort you, all at once.
    Out of the the three identities the sermon stresses the importance of our identity as a son. Although I have heard of this concept numerous times since coming to NP,the sermon gave me the opportunity to think through and chew on what identity as being a son/daughter of God really meant. Since I was in a ‘servant mode’ with my relationship with God for the longest time, I think the reinforcement of my identity as God’s child will influence in the way I communicate with God and in the way I think of God in general.
    The sermon does go a step further in applying these identies in the church . . . That was a little more challenging to understand . . .! I will save that part to chew on in another time . .

  69. WOW. I really need to listen to this message again so I can really chew on it, but I was so convicted even from the start of his message. He starts talking about how maturity comes not only from knowing your identity but also from accepting and liking who you are. I realized I had become an expert at forming different identities customized for different situations and different crowds to a point I became comfortable acting out different personas. And this is the very thing I am battling as I peel off the layers of false identities and embrace my true identity as a son of God.

    Our identities as a son, servant and a friend and how it mirrors God’s identity as a father, king and a friend and the fact that the ORDER MATTERS really spoke to my heart as well. As a child, I found it hard to pray because frankly speaking I wasn’t sure what kind of God I was talking to. One minute, I’ll see him as a father and speak dearly to him and the next minute, a voice inside my head would rebuke me and say I should assume a posture of a servant going before a king, with fear and trembling. And then I would remember the song “I am a friend of God” and tell myself it really doesn’t matter because God is a friend and will understand everything. PB spoke with such clarity that I now realize why I never had a true encounter with God in my childhood. My view of Him was so distorted. In my head, He could only assume one identity and it was my job to figure out which one He was. But now I see clearly how God wants us to come before him, first as a son just to be affirmed, and as a servant to serve and to obey his commands and finally as a friend who can enjoy his presence and fellowship with him. And in order to fellowship with him, we must have the heart of a servant first.

    The association he draws with our relationship with God and our relationship with the church is so fascinating too! I guess because I have been accepted and affirmed at New Philly, I want to be at the next level through NRTC which involves serving the church and staying committed and obedient. Can’t wait to one day engage in true fellowship with the mature sons of the house!

  70. Joyce Lee says:

    i like how pastor benjamin proclaims this with such boldness. even though it may make people feel uncomfortable (like me), he doesn’t shy away from it one bit. i’m so used to doing church in a way where i don’t have to be accountable to anyone or be committed in a real way. i feel like im beginning to really understand what church is all about with this concept of sonship. it’s not necessarily about being friends with the pastor. that will eventually come, but it’s first about being a son, and then a servant. when we do eventually become friends with the pastor in this mature way, the friendship is much more satisfying and rich than it would have been if there was no establishing of the sonship and servanthood. if we skip these steps, it’s only robbing us of being able to enjoy that friendship. we may not be ready for what comes with that friendship.

  71. Karey Park says:

    The better our understanding of our identity, the more clearly we are able to relate to others. Specifically, the interactions with the house of God show the relationship with God that is being lived out. Pastor Benjamin diagnoses the problem accurately enough: we are born ignorant of our identity, with no sense of it, and only in relation to others do we discover what it is. We can use the gospels to bring to light certain fundamental questions about the form and function of relationships within the church. Each model helps us relate to God, our heavenly father, well enough, but I’m still unsure what to think of the close bonds I have formed within my church family. How prescriptive is a text like John 15 supposed to be regarding our friendships with others within our contemporary church setting? Also, reading James 2 within its context of the relationship of faith and works, doesn’t seem to show friendship with God as a strictly conditional reality (“Abraham believed”). His offering on the altar did not in itself justify him, but was a great, tangible, acting out of his trust in God. But to be sure, there was (and still is) a giving and taking of words God has spoken that is involved. And within that giving and taking is deeper levels of friendship, bringing us closer to the “koinonia” that we are meant to experience as Christians.

  72. Shin Young Park says:

    Wow. I thought I heard lot of messages on Identity and Church but this was very new and powerful. ”‘Your relationship to your house should model your relationship to God!” I never realized that relationship between me and church can represent the relationship between me and God correspondingly. Also it hit me very hard that there can be an order in practicing these models; sonship, servanthood, and friendship.
    People do tend to overspecialized only one model in their life, ignoring others. However I know that God has given us lot of models and titles according to his various characters. What I was told was that we should learn as much as models we can and practice through various situations as if we are changing our clothes at different occasions. What PB was telling us was that you have to start with a sonship model! Being loved by him and loving him in return should be the first relationship we need to practice as well as knowing that we have the inheritance. Then, we can start serving as a son. Lastly, develop a friendship like between father & son or master & servant. Wow, how knew is this. The concept of the friendship was also different from what I had in mind. Receiving from the other and multiplying, sharing, giving it back is not an optional thing between friends!
    I need more time to chew on this message and self-diagnosis my identity again; seeing how I was practicing these models in my life. Also, not just checking between me and God, but checking with the church first, putting pastors and leaders in the master, father, friend models too.
    I am so thankful to get to know these secrets that are being revealed on to this generation. Hope to share this message with more people.

  73. Caitlyn Kavan says:

    Something that Pastor Benjamin said that really hit me was that many people know who they are but they do not like themselves or are not confident in their identity. When people are not confident in who they are then it leads to pretending to be someone else. We are born without an identity and we need people to tell and assign us an identity. Our identities are given to us in our names. I often let people shorten my name because it is easier for them but after this sermon, I realized that my name is more important than just a collection of letters. My name is who I am.
    Also, when it came to figuring out which came first: being a servant, Sonship, or being friends with God, I found myself kind of stumped. I thought that I was being all 3 models but in reality, I needed to strengthen my sonship relationship with God. I often approach God as a friend first instead of a son first. The order of these three models is extremely important.

  74. Saeko R says:

    This was really an eye-opening message. I have never thought about models of identity in three different stages: sons of God, servants of God, friends of God. So when ps. Benjamin asked which of three comes first, I wasn’t sure what was the right way although in my walk with God, it was probably the same order as what it’s supposed to. When I got saved, I knew nothing about what I was supposed to do as a Christian, and was just accepted by God as His son/daughter by His love and grace. As I learned more about what God says in the Bible, I learned to apply His words and follow Him. But to my sadness, I don’t think that I quite understand the friendship of God yet. How can I be friends with God, who is so high, so mighty, so perfect, so powerful, so wonderful etc? Anyway, I hope I would be called His friend one day.
    So coming from this background, it was really interesting to hear that in western churches, people try to become friends of God or pastors first. What a difference!

  75. Tony R says:

    “There’s a relationships of knowing who you are in Christ and who you are in the house of God.” It should be the same thing! Pastor Benjamin really brought a fresh message about what is wrong with so many Christians mindset in the church. This message was a great reminder that before we become servants at a church we really need to enter into a Spirit of Sonship. Once we understand our Spiritual fathers heart its so much easier to serve him to the best of our ability. I don’t think there could be encouragement to here from the father, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matt. 15:21 ESV I look forward to serving him even better in my next phase of life; as a Father to my baby Son due Dec 10!

  76. Eunhye Cho says:

    I was truly blessed by this sermon. Especially, I liked how PB described the relationship and identity between God and us. Yes, i’m his son, servant and friend at the same time. I knew that I could call my father ‘a friend’ but looking back, I didn’t think actually I was able to accept him as a friend of mine. He has been always higher existence to me but through this message, I felt that he is closer to me than I thought and I’m really glad that I was able to know that. Also, it was very interesting that there is a order. Sonship, servanthood, and friend….I think I need to learn sonship first and I’m sure I can grow this part spiritually in this house. I will strongly set my identity in Christ from now on!!

  77. David Hong says:

    It took quite some time to chew on the meat after listening to this sermon. I’ve never quite heard anything like it before. It was quite revolutionary for me. The sequence servanthood, then sonship, and then friendship. Servanthood precedes friendship. This applies not only with our relationship with God, that we serve him and obey him and grow incrementally in intimacy through meditating upon his Word, before we can truly call him “friend.” However, the thing that was hard for me to swallow in the beginning was when this concept was applied to the spiritual leaders, especially as the pastor. I admit I also had the mindset that I wanted to befriend the pastor before anything else. I wanted to feel that connection before committing to a house. Listening to this sermon turned this paradigm completely upside down, and made me realize that having a friendship spirit is just like having an orphan spirit. There is a reason why the sequence that we ought to have with the Lord should be reflected in the relationship in the church, especially with our spiritual leaders. Too much friendship can actually rob us of our sonship, and could hinder us from seeing our leaders as a spiritual father. Before we can enter into friendship, we must go through the process of serving and being a son, therefore leading to greater intimacy, and ultimately, friendship. This is a sermon that I will certainly revisit periodically.

  78. Seungwon Lee says:

    Pastor Benjamin talks about 3 identities we have in God the father and the church: a Son, a Servent and a Friend. He emphasizes that among these 3 identities, sonship comes first! It is important to realized that first, you are a child of God, so you should be free to receive from Him out of His grace and love. It is then to respect and honor your father and serve him as a servent. Finally, you should be able to approach Him and open up to him as a best friend, pouring out all you have in your mind and seeking comfort and advice. Recently, I have started meditating on the Identities in Christ and I do feel more confidence and valuable in myself. I realized I should start serving God and serving the church. I am thinking of joining a church team soon and start to serve. For as we sow, we will reap!

  79. Kim MacDonald says:

    Identity is something that has been a struggle for me throughout the years. How does who I am relate to the church and visa versa. This message helped me get a new perspective on these things. Often I have come into a church thinking that I need to be the “friend”. But this is the wrong mindset. The “son” must come first. Like in a real family, you are a son until you grow up and mature and then the parents treat you like a friend. It’s the same in the church. We must mature and grow and then become friends. This method, although very different, feels so much safer for me. I can learn and grow before things are put on me and expected of me as a high level leader. It’s safe for everyone. I feel more confident now in my role at New Philly and how I am growing into things. Yay for sons!

  80. Kanyanta says:

    This is not a message that I had heard before. I have heard about the three identities – servants, sons, friends (though not in one sermon). And by extension I also understood God as our Master and Lord, Father, and Friend. What was new to me was the fact that identity is relationship. The idea identity is always relational can’t be in a vacuum is so true. It seems so obvious in retrospect but I had not thought of this or heard it taught. I just wonder just how much the concept of salvation has to do with the relationship with our natural fathers. Is it easier for those who had good, healthy relationships with their earthly fathers?

  81. Jamie Yoo says:

    P. Benjamin’s remark that “friendship is the dominant western model” within the churches today really struck me. It is true that we (the westerners) do often expect friendship first, then servanthood. He observes that to the degree that a pastor continues a friendship with his church is the degree to which the church is likely to serve the pastor.

    It’s hard to chew on this observation — western values have also deeply influenced me. Generally, the modern western society does encourage a relational dynamic that is based on friendship. In some evangelical circles (that are less conservative), we often have the mindset of befriending or at least becoming better acquainted with the pastors as a way of determining our respect for and friendship with them. If we can be friends with them, then we can stay at the church. P. B says that this type of approach and structure in the church is the result of the world’s influence. The church has been significantly molded by secular values over time.

    What seems significant and notable from P. B’s teaching is the principle and practical application that we ought not to regard friendship above sonship or servanthood. This is a challenge that addresses the heart matter: fear. We fear that without the assurance of friendship, trust can be broken. And we demand friendship for an exchange of trust. But P. B emphasizes that being a son establishes mutual trust and obedience.

    This is a challenging, hard, serious teaching to reflect on and digest.

  82. Jamie Yoo says:

    P. Benjamin’s remark that “friendship is the dominant western model” within the churches today really struck me. It is true that we (the westerners) do often expect friendship first, then servanthood. He observes that to the degree that a pastor continues a friendship with his church is the degree to which the church is likely to serve the pastor.

    It’s hard to chew on this observation — western values have also deeply influenced me. Generally, the modern western society does encourage a relational dynamic that is based on friendship. In some evangelical circles (that are less conservative), we often have the mindset of befriending or at least becoming better acquainted with the pastors as a way of determining our respect for and friendship with them. If we can be friends with them, then we can stay at the church. P. B says that this type of approach and structure in the church is the result of the world’s influence. The church has been significantly molded by secular values over time.

    What seems significant and notable from P. B’s teaching is the principle and practical application that we ought not to regard friendship above sonship or servanthood. This is a challenge that addresses the heart matter: fear. We fear that without the assurance of friendship, trust can be broken. And we demand friendship for an exchange of trust. But P. B emphasizes that being a son establishes mutual trust and obedience.

    This is a challenging, hard, and serious teaching to reflect on and live out.

  83. Paul Yoo says:

    PB certainly pulls no punches in this message! He is a bold speaker, and has given us a lot to chew on. I think it’s a great thing when the spiritual leaders of a church model what God is like. I had only previously thought about this in the role of God as Father. I thought that if the pastor manifests the Father’s heart to his people, especially to a generation that is growing up fatherless, then those people will be better able to understand God’s love toward them as Father. However, I had never thought about how this applies to the friendship paradigm. I wonder: if Westerners mainly desire their pastor to be their friend, then do they see God mostly as a friend? And if Koreans, steeped in Confucian values, see their pastor mainly as a master to serve, then is that the main role in which they see God? How does our culture’s values inform and guide the way we see and relate to God? And how do we shepherd people to think critically about their own culture and move toward a more balanced and biblical perspective of God? Something very important to think about.

  84. Shoot, that word hit hard. I never thought of it as a Western mindset to focus mainly on friendship with God/with church relationships before sonship and servanthood, but it makes sense. It really hit me when Pastor Benjamin said the words, “you want fellowship with me, you possess the teaching first!” In regards to servanthood and friendship, I feel like I had the opposite mindset of what the Bible teaches. Whereas scripture reveals that we are no longer servants, but friends (meaning that we were first servants but now friends), I had the mentality that if you want to earn my servanthood, you have to prove yourself as a good friend first. I’m not going to serve you unless you fill x and y requirements as a friend with me. That’s what I truly believed, but I’m wrestling now with this new idea (or rather, old idea that is new to me) that friendship is a gift that is given and earned through an obedience that comes from resting in your identity as a son.

  85. The message in this was a bit more difficult for me to understand at first, especially when Pastor Benjamin asked which one we thought should be first? a son? a servant? I was puzzled and really didn’t know that there were steps, or an order. Coming from a background that isn’t deep into church or religion I had, or still kind of have no clue as to how a relationship is developed, or that there is a structure, listening to this message gave me a few ideas as to how a relationship is formed. To be honest the word is still a little blurry to me, I think because of the way I think personally, but it’s something I will push myself to try and understand and get to know God through the process in which pastor Benjamin explains, I will definitely need to listen to this sermon over again.

  86. Jessie Lee says:

    This message was a revelation to me. Although I knew that we are servants, sons, and friends of God, it did not cross my mind that there was an order to go through with those three models of identity. I realized that instead of knowing God as my Father first, I knew Him as a Lord, and when PC said that a “mature orphan” thinks he doesn’t need a father, that he can do it all on his own, I identified myself in it.

  87. Learned important aspects of my true identity: 1. First, I am a son of God; this sonship means that I receive His love and I will replicate the love to neighbors 2. Second, I am a servant of God; this servanthood means that I obey God by acting upon His commandments. 3. I’m a friend of God; this friendship means that I trust Him and share fellowship with Him.

    After listening to this “Identity and Church,” I repented that I got my identity wrong so I approached my community group (CG) leader with friendship mindset when he asked me to change songs for a CG meeting. May God shape me to build my identity with these three sequential progress. Amen.

    • Learned three significantly important sequential aspects of my true identity: 1. First, I am a son of God; this sonship means that I receive His love and I replicate the love to neighbors 2. Second, I am a servant of God; this servanthood means that I obey God by acting upon His commandments. 3. Third, I am a friend of God; this friendship means that I trust Him and share fellowship with Him.

      After listening to this “Identity and Church” sermon, I repented that I got my identity picture wrong so I approached my community group (CG) leader with friendship mindset when he asked me to change songs for a CG meeting. May God internalize my true identity in these three sequential aspects. Amen.

  88. Sharon Shin says:

    This message was really powerful for me. I have heard messages on identity before, but I have never really thought about or questioned how I operate in the church. The idea of spiritual sonship was new to me coming to this church, and this message helped me to more completely understand what and why this idea is in place. I loved the models that Pastor Benjamin spoke about- I had known them separately, but had never thought of them as part of the church model as well. Hearing why Sonship – Servant – Friend was in that order helped me to further understand our relationship with God. What also stuck out to me was that part about how the relationship to the house should represent the relationship with God. I had always thought of these two relationships as two different things, but hearing this message helped me to more fully and consciously understand why this relationship model also needs to exist in the church as well.

  89. Jane Cho says:

    One thing that I am guilty of is not putting myself first in a position of sonship under Pastor Marcus. I associated the idea of sonship solely with Pastors Christian and Erin, and by not expecting the spirit of sonship at Itaewon, I have wrongfully rearranged the order of discipleship which has kept me from receiving my rightful inheritance from Pastor Marcus, and from God. I’m ready to change that.

  90. Sophia Sitorus says:

    This sermon has helped me to learn my identity related to God and church. Before I was familiar with the terms son, servant and friend of God, but did not really understand what distinguishes each role and who I was supposed to be. Now I understand that those three are not options that we should pick one of then disregard the rest, but all three are identities I should live with. Order matters! First is son, then serve and after we faithfully serve we are called friend of God.

  91. JoAngela Jimenez says:

    What a great message! I love that Pastor Benjamin distingushes the difference between servanthood and friendship. He is right friendship could never come before servanthood or sonship. Friendship should be earned because we have proven ourselves to be faithful servants amd sons of God. I have never heard a message taught this way when describing our identity in Christ. I have always heard about having an identity in Christ but not specifically what our identities are. Once again great message!

  92. Rebekah Kim says:

    I used to be confused as to what my primary identity was in relation to God… I knew there were different ways to relate to God, but as an immature believer, I didn’t know what all that meant for my personal relationship with Him. I understand now that before I try to do anything for God, I need to see myself as His son, which I feel like is starting to happen. Another thing this message showed me is that I need my relationship with God should manifest itself in my relationship with the church. I think this aspect is the most difficult part to apply because I’ve never considered myself to belong to a spiritual earthly father before. Practicing sonship in a church new to me, but I know that it is what I need and want.

  93. Knowing your true identity is so empowering to one’s self and the relationships you have with God and others. What I struck me the most is that my relationships in the church should reflect my relationship with God, not the other way around. I never knew that being a son is so much better than being a friend; and that this means the inheritance belongs to me. In addition, what stood out to me was when Pastor Benjamin said that we tend to specialize in one model and neglect the others when all three should be what the church and every believer is exercising. That when Jesus did all three, so should we; like what Paul did, Timothy did. Jesus’ example of being a son and then a servant to God illustrates so much truth that we should follow not these models, but his example. I never saw this relationship before; that it starts with sonship – if not, then servanthood and friendship would never come. “Which friend of yours would want to become your servant?” That instantly broke walls of misconceptions.

  94. Gon Kim says:

    Initially, I wondered to myself whether there’s an order to the three models. My identity as a Christian, a Korean, a man, a young adult in 20s, a college graduate, an English teacher, and whatever other nouns and adjectives with which I identify myself are equally important in defining who I am. All of those things give a holistic picture of who I am and I don’t think any one of them is more important than the others when I look at my identity. In relationships, however, I’ve realized it’s different. My relationships with people look different because we prioritize different aspects of our identities. The way I treat Christians and non-Christians is different. The way I treat men and women is different. I point out a certain aspect of my identity and the other person’s identity to set clear boundaries in each relationship and that’s no different with God. Seeing God as God the Father and myself as His son should take precedence. Otherwise, the order doesn’t make sense as PB mentioned. This opened my eyes to how I approach God, how I’ve been specializing in the master and servant model, and how I need to go back to the place of being His son first, and then go on from there.

  95. Bethany Joy Tweeten says:

    After listening to this sermon, I have a much deeper understanding of the concept of sonship, and why it is essential for us to recover as the body of Christ. “We must get back to the place where the relationships in the church reflect our relationship with God.” We need to be intentional about the way we relate with each other, and the way we relate with God, starting with sonship first. As Pastor Benjamin articulated, this concept is very counter-cultural to that of the Western style “Jesus is my homie” mentality. Now I understand how that way of operating robs us of our understanding of who we are as God’s sons. “Sonship is first. Then we learn to serve as sons. Then if we do all that he commands, we become his friends.” We must be found faithful to recover this truth!

  96. Hanna Hong says:

    There was so much to learn from Pastor Benjamin’s sermon about identity and church. Personally, one of the greatest revelations was the concept that amongst the 3 models of relationship with God, order matters. It became more evident and obvious what Jesus’s views are as Pastor Benjamin gave non-examples (a friend never wishing to become your servant). Growing up in a church, I’ve always been taught that God is our master, father, and friend. However, it’s new to me that this is our identity, who we truly are meant to be. Furthermore, I never think of these ideas and critically think/observe how churches implement these relationship among its body. I’m grateful that NPC understands and informs its new leaders and members so that we can stand firm in our identity so that we can reproduce the teachings of Jesus.

  97. Without knowing or accepting the sonship with God and with my spiritual fathers/mother’s, it seems like I’ll be just playing Christian, playing church. I truly want to learn and process sonship with my Father, understand his teaching, make his teaching become my daily walk with him so that I’ll happily obey what he asks me to do or serve. This sermon is so important, so essential and I feel so blessed to be able to reestablish my identity with God and start a relationship with New Philly church by starting from sonship. Thank you father for releasing your secrets and thank you pastor for speaking the truth and the very core part on how to live a faithful life as a son, as a servant until we become his friend.

  98. Eunbi Lee says:

    This message to me was a lot of learning and I had read my notes again to clearly understand it. I was really thankful that when Pastor Benjamin explained what identity was and how it divides, he always provided what it says about it in The Bible. Since I haven’t listened to any sermons like this before (in other churches) I had a lot of questions about it. It wasn’t because I was disagreeing with it but mostly because it was new to me. When he provided where and what it says in The Bible, it helped me to understand it more clearly and knowing that it’s all in The Bible helped me understand in another level of what God desires in His heart when it comes to our identity and the church.

    The part where Pastor Benjamin emphasized the importance of the order of the models was where all the wrong teachings I learned in the past were replaced with the right. The past church I was in only practiced one of the models which was the ‘Master and Servant Model’. I struggled a lot with my relationship with God at that time because I thought being a servant to God was all I have in my relationship with Him. Sonship and becoming His friend once we do all that He commands, was not something I could ever imagine in my relationship with God. Just by listening to this message and also watching the documentary ‘Journey of a Son’ I began to understand that we need to be in Sonship first. And I was so thankful that I understood this because when I apply this in my relationship with God, it will reflect in my relationship in the church community.

  99. Joseph Lee says:

    Truth! I am a son, a servant and a friend of God. This sermon taught me to get right and work on my relationship with God. I hope I can connect with a CG soon, going through this NRTC is dope! Really helping me to see my identity. Big ups.

  100. Oscar Sun says:

    To be 100% honest, when I saw that this sermon was 1 hour and 30 min, I freaked out a bit. However, after listening to it all the way through I was really blessed by this sermon out of the 3 that I have listened to thus far. I am still very new Christian, so I have much to learn about the gospel and about Christianity itself. I never knew that there was an order in which we must approach god, but after hearing it and grasping the concept that our relationship evolves as we continue on this road with him is something very logical to me. That we start out all as sons, but then we must serve, and finally become friends and equals with Jesus. That we are capable of doing more than what Jesus did. It was all very new and different, but it made sense.

    When PC went up and started talking, I realized how it got so long, but I was truly blessed by what he said about coming to him as a son instead of a friend. That as a son I will receive more blessings than when I am a friend. For me, I have no problem with that especially since i’m not older than PC and I am a very new Christian. But what I wonder, is will I have the same troubles if I am put in a similar situation, how do I guide people to Christ when people are older than me, and have little respect for someone younger. How will I be able to really bring out my siblings out to Church when they are older than me, and are Buddhists. I feel as If I have no control over that matter, because I feel like i’m constantly overlooked. I feel like this is the sermon I will really listen to more down the line.

  101. Halima Dodo says:

    Pastor Benjamin makes it clear the state of the modern church as it is, and what it should be in alignment with God. The church has been deformed by the world’s theology and cult labeling. However, the church should not reflect the world but instead reflect God. Pastor Benjamin discusses several components of identity: knowledge of who we are, confidence in that knowledge, and acting on that knowledge. If we know we are a son of God then we should accept that fact and act accordingly as a child of the Father. There are also three parts to the Christian identity, first being God’s son, second being God’s servant, and third being God’s friend. I was blessed when Pastor Benjamin spoke on how relational identity is, because who we are as Christians is in relation to God’s role as Father, master, and friend in association with his people. The church and many Christians over specialize in one of these three models. But we cannot serve until we become a son and we cannot be a friend until we learn how to serve and reciprocate what we have been taught and told. In my previous college ministry it was difficult for me to mature in my faith because I could only focus on one or the other. I tried to act as a good servant but could not do so well because I was not covered by or under spiritual mentoring and I had no confidence in my inheritance as a son. I did not even make close friends at church because my perception of who I was at that time was not in relation to God or the body of Christ but to who I was on my own or in relation to the world around me. It is essential for our faithful relationship with God to be equal to our relationship with the Church.

  102. Annie Weiss says:

    Wow, PB really brought this truth. There is so much wisdom in this that it is hard to know exactly what to write. What really impacted me the most was the idea that identity must be affirmed and acknowledged and encouraged. I received a book when I was younger that had a list of identities at the end of the first chapter. I would meditate on them and memorize them and recite them, but never really live them out. There was always a disconnect between who I know I am and who I live as. Many leaders here have been affirming my identity as a son of God and encouraging me to walk as a son. It is an identity that I have known for a long time, but I have not really been living out because it is not possible to live it out fully without relationship. God is my father. That is something I have been told my whole life. But now I am being treated like a son of a house and that identity is becoming more and more solidified. Being a son in this house reveals the Father to me in a more real and practical way. One other thing that really struck me as interesting is the idea that a friendship spirit is really a masquerading orphan spirit. That orphan spirit is sneaky and trying to get us any way it can, but it is broken off! Hallelujah.

  103. Susan Min says:

    As I am listening to these sermons, I am comparing them with my past beliefs. I had been raised at one church for the last 25 years and it’s hard that I am learning new concepts that I’ve never been exposed to. But I like that these sermons do not sugarcoat and that they challenge my stance as a Christian. This is not related to this sermon directly, but something that I have been feeling while listening to it. As far as this specific sermon goes, I had exactly the mindset from a western model: friend->servant->sonship. After hearing this message, I realized that I need to trust in God and trust this new community that He has placed me in. My next challenge is to break the mold of society and to follow this structure that comes directly from the Bible. I wondered if I was coming into this leadership program too soon after my arrival, but now, I don’t have a doubt that it was in God’s timing.

  104. Teng Jo Ee says:

    ‘Who you are in Christ is who you are in the house of God’. This message totally answered my questions and gave me clarity about my identity! I’ve learnt that there are 3 different types of models of identity in Christ: as a son, as a servant and as a friend of God, which come in a specific order. I see myself as a servant of God instead of a son of God all this while because I thought that I have to earn God’s love before receiving blessings from Him. This message shifted my mindset that I should first see myself as a son of God. I love how NP emphasizes the importance of walking in sonship and submitting to a local church because a son receives inheritance from his father. I should have the faith and grace to walk in sonship with NP and I can’t wait to be a friend of God in the future!

  105. Alina Cho says:

    I never realized that the 3 different types of identities come in a certain order and that my mindset of thinking has usually focused more on being a servant of God first. But that what needs to come first is that I am a son of God. I don’t need to fulfill any orders first or complete a set of tasks like a servant, but that I am already accepted. I’m thankful that God has blessed me with this message and has really clarified my identity as a Christian.

  106. I was really struck by Pastor Benjamin’s words that “we’re afraid that if we don’t start with friendship we’ll never get it. But if we don’t start with sonship, we’ll never have true friendship.” There is definitely a pull or gravitation towards wanting to be the pastor’s friend because we are so used to relating to people on that level. It’s how most of our relationships are wired and it’s how we feel accepted. After this message I was able to see that I do carry a small fear that I won’t be accepted as a friend, but realize that acceptance as a son is so much deeper and much more fundamental. No one receives an inheritance from friends! The friendship model cheats ourselves of being in a position to receive, apply teaching and multiply it.

    I was also impacted by Pastor Benjamin’s statement that “Friendship is a highly conditional reality. You are not a friend if you don’t do what he commands you.” There is a lot of tension in that statement because our Western idea of friendship says that you should just accept me as a friend because you like me. God does like us, but friendship to him is so much more. Only after we have proved faithful in receiving and obeying his commands are we called friends. It reminded me of John 14:23 which says “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” We obey out of love that comes from sonship first, and then God is loved by our obedience and enters into friendship with us last. It all works together so well when we do it in the right order!

  107. Jeremiah Silvey says:

    Pastor Benjamin drew a new picture of what identity means. He covered how identity is found in three models with God. We are servants to God, Sons of God, and friends of God. I have seen role confusion in many church’s because this definition has not been specified and balanced correctly. I love how PB aligned and balanced the models of identity. He revealed how I have a western model mindset on identity. Friendship is the dominate western model which has influenced how I interact with people at church. Son-ship needs to be developed in my mindset first which is so difficult to practice. Lord, may I start to feed my thoughts this son-ship mindset so I may have a healthier balance in my identity with God and others. Thank you for revealing this to me Pastor Benjamin.

  108. Jessica Kim says:

    What PC said about how this message is a lot tougher to chew on then we think is true. It seems like there is a lot of information about this topic but some is difficult to process. One thing I didnt know was that our names that were given to us are so much more important than a nickname. I always thought a nickname was something cool to have but it is so true what PB said about how our names that were given to us by our parents are our identity. Another thing that stuck with me is the importance of our relationships. When PB asked which one would come first between the servant, sonship, and friend, I was debating between sonship and servant, thinking one of them is first and one of them is last. But it turns out that sonship was first, servant, and then friend. I didnt realize how important the order was but I look forward to making the most as a servant until the day I am called a friend.

  109. Felix Baumer says:

    Before listening to this message I thought I was aware of the difference between friendship and sonship, but I have never truly thought about the difference in deepness, growing, edifying another and in how we life as a Cristian as well as interact in our church before. I grew up not even 30min away from the place where Luther put his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg and his teachings were always present growing up. Therefore, my relationships in church and to appointed leaders may never went beyond a friendship basis before when I was younger. This might also be a reason why I never felt at home and really maturing in any of these churches. It really struck me when Pastor Benjamin talked about that the westernized model of friendship actually is just covering an orphan spirit. It is true and I might have had the fear not being accepted as a friend will hinder me in growing as a Christian not realizing that really this friendship model is keeping me from a far deeper level of connection and growing. Coming to New Philly opened this new concept of sonship to me and so many blessing have been revealed to me due to this new way of relating to PC as the spiritual father of the house. This message revealed the concept of sonship in an even deeper level to me. It pointed out that it is not only important to have sonship in a church, it is actually crucial for maturing as a Christian.

  110. HyeJoo Lee says:

    I love the idea that our identity corresponds to God’s identity. In a way this diminishes my identity in that it’s not all about me, but simultaneously encompasses who God is and expands my identity to something bigger and greater in relation to our Lord. And it all makes sense, too. As Pastor Benjamin said, identity is purely relational. It’s always in the context of others. I was also deeply challenged by the fact that I shouldn’t call Jesus friend when I don’t do what he commands me to. It made me look at my relationship with God both ways. How can I expect God to call me friend and ask him for blessing and guidance when I on my own part don’t do anything to follow him? Even small day-to-day actions that accumulate into disobeying God all comes back to the question of ‘am I justified to call Jesus, friend?’ Hence is the meaning of real friendship–co-ownership of the teaching. My relationship with God and my identity in God is nothing passive. I have to act upon my identity.

  111. Rose Balais says:

    Oh wow. This message gave me so much clarity! I’ve always known that I am God’s son, servant and friend, but I’ve always viewed them as separate identities and not as identities which are related and connected to one another. After listening to this message however, I learned that not only are they related to one another but they are also supposed flow in order. Before I can be called God’s friend, I am first and foremost His son, and then His servant. It all makes perfect sense now.

  112. Ikhimiukor Henry says:

    I am so glad I signed up for NRTC. Listening to this hidden wisdom has shifted my attitude in how I relate with my leaders. As a son i should submit to leadership & serve faithfully as a servant of God so that I can mature and grow as good friends. A servant heart should be always refelected in my obedience, my words, my responses and ultimately my actions. My heart attitude is the key indicator. Now I know my identity as a son expecting an inheritance.

  113. This was such a powerful message! It brings so much clarity within the church and even with my relationship with God. I never thought about the three different relationships: son, servant, and friend. It all starts with being a son, then as a son you serve what is commanded of you, then you become a friend. Servanthood precedes friendship. Thank you PB for an amazing message filled with clarity and wisdom!

  114. Ahreum Kim says:

    This message really surprises me! I haven’t heard of this kind of message on different relationships with God and the church. Such a clarity on the subject. Being a son comes first and obeying to a father brings intimacy and friendship. How I relate to God also affects me in how I relate to the church. To be honest, letting someone as a spiritual father into my life is something I haven’t thought of. I think I was that much spiritual orphan and arrogant without a proper spiritual father to cover me. Also I reflect that I don’t have that much trust in people.. so far. It has been that way. Seeing selfishness in pastors and leaders actually hurt me in some way to put trust in me, I think. I want God to restore all that and make me fresh and new!

  115. Chris Han says:

    This reminded me of the importance of submission to church leadership. Even in our relationship with God, we are His children who are also called to serve Him. It makes sense that only after obeying Him, are we able to understand Him better. Similarly, we must give due authority to our church leaders according to their responsibilities over us.

  116. Soojin Sou says:

    Wow, I felt rebuked in the way I saw my relationship with God. For example, I definitely neglect my identity as a servant. I’ve always ignored this part of my relationship with God and solely saw myself as His daughter. And I’m also guilty of wearing a “Jesus is my homie” shirt back in the day haha. But it’s reassuring to know that there is an order to these identities and that my sonship with God comes first. It’s also really refreshing to hear a message preached in accordance to the Word rather than to the culture! Pastor Benjamin’s real-life example of his relationship with his spiritual father brought a lot of clarity to the concept of three models of one reality of our one identity in God.

  117. Emily Tregelles says:

    This was a good reminder for me about the importance of sonship as the basis for how we relate to God and others. What Pastor Benjamin said about friendship is particularly powerful. “If we don’t have sonship, we’ll never have true friendship.”
    We all seek acceptance, and we’re used to achieving that through being chums with someone, hanging out with like-minded people. Yet, when we try to be “just friends” with God, we deny Him honor and his rightful place as Lord. Because of that, we can’t submit. Then, when we lack submission and accountability, we lack intimacy. It’s not the kind of relationship where you can be deep, because the proper relationship and commitment are not established.
    It’s impossible to serve someone if you see yourselves as equals (friends). That has to flow out of servanthood. Yet, it’s not valuable to serve God if you’re trying to earn his affection. Servanthood should flow out of love. There’s a proper order, and it’s such a good order! I want to go deep as a friend with God, but I want to see him rightly first: as a father, then as Lord, and then as a friend who has been invited to be close.

  118. Paul Paik says:

    While listening to this sermon, I initially thought that it would be a great message but would only be a reminder of how God reaches out to us not only as a Lord but as our father and our friend, which I already know well. And it did do a good job of reminding me of that and helping me remember how God loves us so much and in so many different ways. But what really hit me was the final segment when Pastor Benjamin Robinson emphasized how essential it is for individuals and the church to discover those relationships with God in a specific order. It was something completely new to me and something I have never thought of. But I agree with his words, for how can we genuinely serve God without first accepting ourselves as His sons, and how could we ever expect to have true fellowship with him before first submitting to His word and His power.

  119. Kirby Beneventi says:

    I thought the importance of balance of the 3 core models was a good reminder, but that we begin with sonship I can see as essential. The order makes sense, if friendship came first one would have to back track in case rebuke needed to be instilled. If master/servant was the most importance it may lack personal intimacy. Yes, the Lord is to be revered but because of Jesus work on the cross we have access to a close relationship with the Father. As Jesus said, no longer do I call you servants because a servant does not know what his master is doing. Now, I call you friends.” I am thankful the Lord has allowed us to know the mysteries of His divine nature through the power of the Holy Spirit.

  120. I used to have many questions with regards to how to relate to God. This confusion is born out of my Christian background. I was born in a catholic home but later became a Protestant. However today’s sermon has giving me an in depth to how I can relate to God and to other brethren especially those in authority as a son, a servant and a friend. I understand that I have to mature through these stages until I come to that level of intimacy.

  121. Jinny Kim says:

    This message brought me such clarity in my identity and relationship with God . Though I did hear from time to time that my relationship can be one of Lord&servant, Father &son and a friend, I never had a grid that we develop through each model of relationship as we grow in relationship with God. Now that it is explained it makes so much sense that you are first accpeted as a son and you learn to be the servant and finally a friend of God.

  122. Eddie Mun says:

    Wow this sermon realy blew everything I thought I knew about the churh out of the water! i couldn’t help but see the wisdom in the progression o intimacy. Son, Servant, Friend. I realize how critical it is to view the pastor first and foremost a spiritual father, because spiritual fathers truly manifest the Father’s heart. We should then serve the spiritual father and know our economic relationship before embracing the immanent relationship as brothers in Christ.

  123. Hye Ryoung Rhee says:

    Like most of Pastor Benjamin’s messages, this message struck me as quite new in that I’d never really thought about identity in church. Having been a church hopper before coming to New Philly, I never viewed my pastors as anything more or less than just a pastor So when Pastor Benjamin talked about how our identity in the church is related to our identity with God, I realized that I never really had a clear sense of my identity in my relation to God either. Of course, I called him Father and Lord, and sang songs on how He is my friend, but I never took time to think about what it actually means for me to call Him by all these different names. This message really made me think about that and it was eye opening to see how there was order of how He should first be viewed (which relational model comes first). By connecting our relationship with God to our relationship with spiritual leaders, the message also shaped my view of pastors at church as foremost my father, then as my ‘master’ to whose spiritual authority I should obey and finally, as a friend.

  124. Taylor Herman says:

    Pastor Benjamin dropping the revy heavy again! Like most of the other sermons for NRTC this one also opened my eyes to concepts I never thought of before. The part about specializing too much in one model never really occured to me (the models themselves brought me revelation). But it really convicted me to not just stay under one model (I’ve been living under specialization in the son model), but to consciously pursure greater intimacy in all 3 models.

  125. Its always a blessing to hear the undiluted word of God because it brings so much understanding. I now understand that I have an identity in Christ and my understanding of this reflects in how I relate with the church or community of God. God expects me to first of all satisfy our identity as servants and sons in order to qualify as His friends. I now understand that the way I handle this reflects greatly in how I relate with my leaders and spiritual fathers as well. I pray for the grace to be very obedient to this word of the Lord to yield its desired fruits according to the will of God. God bless you Pastor Robinson.

  126. Keketso Makape says:

    My goodness, this is such a great message! It just answered questions I didn’t even know how to articulate or make sense of. It just highlighted to me how my ‘westernized’ perspective on discipleship and submission really warped how I see church and how to relate to the leadership of the house (the Pastors). I don’t think that will change over night, but this sermon was SO good for me just to form that foundation that I think I needed to continue in this sonship journey with peace. It’s so biblical, so good and I’m really grateful for this message and wish every Christian could hear and embrace this.

  127. Lisa Young says:

    This is another of those things that, once you hear it, you know should be obvious, should be taught much more clearly than it is. It’s all over the Bible but often overlooked. We are sons, then servants, then friends. The parallel with our relationships to our parents is so clear. We start off as their children by definition, then we grow into the ability to obey them, then through obeying them we become their friends. I never thought much about how people relate to their pastors, so I thought it was interesting to hear the description of how being friends with your spiritual leaders first will keep you from sonship. The parallel to parenting children remains strong there as well. Some parents try to be their kids’ friends instead of actually being a mother or father to them, and the children don’t benefit from that kind of relationship. They haven’t gained better friendship; they’ve lost the authority that should guide them into growing up well. They might grow up spoiled because of their parents’ choice, and their relationship will be less rich in the end than it is for someone whose parents were full of love but also full of authority.
    The part about how wanting friendship instead of authority comes from the orphan spirit also stood out to me. We just want someone on our level because we don’t think anyone can care for us. No one in our life could handle authority before, so we’d better keep our leaders in a position where we don’t actually have to listen to them if we don’t want to; otherwise they might take advantage of us. You can walk away from a friendship, but you can’t stop being your father’s child. We have trouble believing that the benefits of having a family outweigh the things we fear commitment will bring.

  128. Hyeji Lee says:

    First of all, This sermon helps me understand my identities in Christ Jesus. I’m a son of God, I’m a servant of God, and I’m a friend of God. I thought those three identities couldn’t go together at once, but Pastor Benjamin made me understood by explaining how one can relate to the others. Since God calls me a son of God, I can serve him as a servant. When I serve him faithfully, God no more calls me a servant but a friend. What an amazing revelation! I really appreciate Pastor Benjamin for making it so easy to understand. Secondly, I got to know what my relationship with church(or Pastors) should be like. Our relationship with the House should represent our relationship with God. I praise the Lord who opens up the door for me to listen to his word through this sermon.

  129. Christy Lin says:

    It is so good for the body to ground new believers as sons of God first, and rightly so. PB has mentioned the areas in the bible where Jesus relates to God as the Father and models that for His disciples. Even the first words we hear from God after Jesus’ baptism is : “This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” He says that again during Jesus’ transfiguration. I feel more spurred on to live out sonship and share this with others who may have been operating in either slave/friendship identity all their lives without first knowing God as Father.

    PB speaks about the particularly valuable ORDER of identities that we learn. It is true that in many stages of our life we learn specifics character traits of God and subsequently ourselves in relation to who He is; however, it is from the place of being fully loved that you grow and become confidence in other identities. This is because it is only in a BLOOD bought love-covenant (perfect OHANA) where people can truly find themselves in a safe place to be the way they were originally designed. In God’s form of government, which is family, you can be totally accepted in the Beloved, healed, trained, called up higher, and sent out.

  130. Something that really resonated with me while listening to this sermon was when PB said that identity is purely based on relational factors. Our knowledge of who we are is created upon who people say we are, and without the right people in our lives telling us who we are, we are going to think we are someone we are not. Without a father in our lives, we don’t have someone to give us a name, to speak truth into our identity, to guide us in the right direction, or to give us an inheritance. While many friends may have our best interest at heart, they are not in a position to guide us and give us coverage throughout our lives the way a father can. The first necessary relationship to be acquired with God – and thus also with our church Pastors – is father/sonship. I now know that without starting in that relationship, I won’t ever even be able to achieve friendship. So this sermon was really helpful in changing my perspective and approach in how I relate with the church pastors.

  131. Seoyoung Yoon says:

    I didn’t know that there is are three models of identity, but after listening to this sermon, I look back at how I was in the past. I think I’ve been only one type of son in my past spiritual life. I never thought I can be a friend with God. “But sonship is first, then we learn to serve as sons. And if we do all that the father commands, we become his friend” It is the truth. I am a son of God, servant of God and friend of God!

  132. Kevin Choi says:

    These powerful sermons on submission and sonship has opened my eyes to a broader road in my journey with The Lord. How sonship leads into servanthood and finally manifests into a unique friendship. A friendship where we are in awe and submission. I hope and pray to come under the covering of the leaders of New Philly. To humble my proud heart.

  133. Katt Gao says:

    PB lays out the three models of how we can relate to God and the church. Father and Son. Master and servant. Friend and friend. I liked how he said, “it is not three different realities but three different sides to the SAME reality” because we should not just specialise in one of these models but all three.

    “Sonship becomes a distant possibility when you start with friendship”. What challenged me were the flaws in the Western mentality of how we relate to leaders in the church. PB mentioned the “friendship first” condition that we sometimes have towards our leaders. Being emotionally connected and knowing about them as a person is almost a prerequisite for you to acknowledge them as a leader or a pastor. However, if you start with friendship the pastor never becomes the master but only the facilitator. While friends can help a pastor, a servant actually serves from a heart of obedience and submission.

    The same idea translates into our relationship with God. As PB says, “friendship with God is also a highly conditional reality” and this is something many Christians still have not yet understood. Many of us leave out the fact that when Jesus says “I have called you friends” that he had said previously “no longer do I call you servants”. You are first a son, then you serve and then follows friendship.

  134. This sermon helped me to gain a fuller understanding of identity meant. Before listening, my idea of identity was so one-dimensional, but through Pastor Benjamin I realize that there is so much more to it than just a way to define yourself. It’s who you are in relationship to people, who you are in relationship to God. It’s accepting yourself the way God has made you and acting out of that knowledge.

    I also was very convicted when Pastor Benjamin talked about the three models of identity, and how Western society has often emphasized the friendship model before anything else. But it’s important to understand that God is first our Father, our Master, and then our Friend. To reverse this process of getting to know Him would be to reverse kingdom order, and that has such a powerful effect, not only with our relationship with God, but with the church and people around us.

    The spirit of sonship within the church is still a newer concept to me, but through Pastor Benjamin’s sermon, I realized how critical it is to one’s growth and spiritual maturity. This was an awesome and convicting message.

  135. Helen Kim says:

    “These models are not three different realities but in fact, three different sides of one reality” – Pastor Benjamin.

    I now, not only know but understand that there is an organic order to our relationship with God. First of all, that we are first his son; who then serves as a son (knowing their identity in Him) and finally, build a true friendship and have sweet fellowship with God.

    Sonship is first and it sounds right but it seemed foreign, because the idea of friendship was more natural to me. When PB mentioned that there is a western idea of discipleship and friendship… I didn’t know that I had that “friendship mentality” and how it had already been embedded into me. The examples he gave were funny but very true. He made a good point that this can also be an “orphan spirit in disguise in friendship” and the danger of it.

    I really appreciate how PB sheds light onto ideas and questions that are quite complex. And how he does it with such ease and great simplicity.

  136. Simon Cha says:

    The blunt truth that the modern church has compromised so much to the standards of the world to appease its members is utterly convicting. Selfishly selecting only some aspects of the doctrine to meet one’s taste has become such a global norm that we do not even wonder what God’s true intentions are. Pastor Benjamin revealed that such an attitude arises from prioritising friendship with the church leaders before achieving sonship and submission. Pastor Benjamin made me visualise the very distinct friendship in God and I cannot wait to discover other “norms” of the modern church that do not adhere to God’s principles.

  137. Yery Reyna Yoon says:

    I really learned alot from this sermon! Without even knowing, I think I easily regimented my relationship with god as father and daughter because that’s how I wanted to perceive God but that is actually limiting my relationship with the Lord because I am not seeing the full picture of his grace, mercy and how he includes us in his kingdom. I also loved how P benjamin talked about his relationship evolving with P Robert daniels! The friendship was more valuable !!

  138. Alex Quach says:

    The sermon really blessed me and gave me so much clarity on the three different models of our identity in christ: sonship, servanthood and friendship. Ive come to realised i tend fall back on what I’m comfortable with which is either trying to become friends with everyone or serving them through acts of service but i should have been pursuing sonship first
    Sonship is FIRST then we learn to serve as sons and if we do all that the father commands us to be come his friends.In the church we should become sons before servants, and servants before friends i found my self loosing the heart in serving when i was putting servanthood first

  139. David Kim says:

    I was really challenged with the 3 models of our identity (sons, servants and friends). This model made so much sense as well as the importance of the order. We first need to be sons before we become servants, and we first need to be servants before we become friends. This really challenged and convicted me. Also what PB mentioned regarding the definition of ‘friendship with God’ challenged me. I always understood this in the way we see friendship with friends (on a similar level), but friendship with God is more like a master with a faithful servant who hears the masters teaching, lives and breathes it and walks in it.

  140. By being sons before being servants and friends, we can know the purposes and joys of being servants and friends. Without sonship, it’s easy to overlook the other two.
    Also, it’s easy as humans to focus on the part that we either know well and are comfortable with or that we prefer. We do that with the three realities that Pastor Benjamin talked about, but also with a lot more. We need to back up and use the Bible as a lens to illuminate the whole picture.

  141. Michelle Euperio says:

    The models of identity within the church really challenged and encouraged me. Every church I have been a part of has always started with friendship. Pastor Benjamin was spot on that friends don’t serve, they help. Looking back at my past experiences, there was never a desire for sonship or even really true servanthood because it always started with friendship, jokes and laughs. We could never really get past anything else. I didn’t realize how much I was robbing myself of blessing. Even in the four months that I have been attending New Philly, I know without a doubt that I am a son. I love how New Philly stresses and believes that but it’s also helped me learn even more of my identity as a son with the Father. I look back at the relationship with my parents and can clearly see each identity. It has been full of some crazy ups and downs but overall its a beautiful story of love and redemption. I’m thankful that they identified me first as a son, servant and now we are friends. It gets me super excited to really come under the covering of New Philly and the anointed fathers and mothers of this house. Also, I was super convicted with “mature orphans feel like they don’t need a father.” I have had great mentors in my life, but I want a father!!! :)

  142. Pricilla Jin Chung says:

    This sermon really brought me back to the simple truth that we are called to be sons of Christ. Sometimes we try to be more and get comfort from the fact that we can give something. But I just got reminded that we are called to just look to our Father and everything else springs out from there. really is all about Jesus:) Such a inspiring and bold sermon. Thank you!!!

  143. Ann Lee says:

    When I became a real Christian after attending New Philly, I was constantly being invited into my new identity as a Christian. I knew I was a newly born son of God, and I knew I was a living sacrifice (servant) and a friend of God, but this sermon brought revelation in the order that it is to be proclaimed. Sonship comes first, and serventhood second, friendship comes last. Another revelation this sermon brought was that your relationship with God reflects your relationship with the church. I have been putting priority in my personal relationship with God until now, and I didn’t give much into being more involved with the church. However, when I reflect the reason why I was able to develop this intimately with God is because of the teachings/ discipleship of New Philly. Yes, this sermon indeed brought me clarity into what is true!

  144. Michelle Kwak says:

    This sermon is so full of wisdom!
    Regarding the definition of identity– knowledge, acceptance, and action in who we are— I know that a huge obstacle has been accepting who I am and thereby walking in freedom. But as more and more parts of my true self have come out, I have tasted what that confidence is like. I crave more of it! I desire to fully align myself with who God calls me, that I may not live a contradictory life!
    Also, I love how the three models were unpacked. It answered underlying questions for me regarding my relationship with God and my place in the church. While I’ve been focusing on getting grounded in the sonship paradigm first, I had not pinpointed this structure and order of sonship, servanthood, and friendship before. I think much of the teaching I’ve received in my latest seasons have been ‘majoring’ in sonship. I knew that sonship (receiving/being) preceded servanthood (doing), but I had not even thought about how friendship fit in the picture. Nor had I thought of how differently Jesus defines friendship. I love the pattern of receiving/possessing, multiplying, and returning!! Such a powerful and simple way to remember the model of friendship.

  145. Suzy Shin says:

    At first the sermon was complicated for me to understand but as I focused I felt all the words sinking into me. I looked back at my actions on how I was living as a christian. I think I chose when i wanted to be a son,servant, and a friend. I would praise God saying I will obey and blah blah blah but when God actually wanted me to be a son I was trying to be a friend! I was trying to do everything opposite of what he was asking me. Because of my strong personality I think it was really hard for me to obey on who God wanted me to be. It doesn’t matter what job,personality, or culture you come from because your identity is in christ so if God wants me to be a servant I need to listen. If I listen there is greater joy than going my own way. I want to live out this sermon so I can grow closer to God.

  146. This message helped me get a better understanding of knowing my identity in God. I loved when Pastor Benjamin spoke on “3 models of one reality of our identity; as a son, a servant, and a friend.” I’ve always thought I need to serve in a church first then I can be accepted but I come to realize that’s not true. We are already accepted as Sons of God. We need to remain teachable, stay humble, and have confidence and faith in the promises of God.

  147. Mind Blowing. Oh SNAP this is a revolutionary message! Every sermon gives me so much to chew on and after each one I’m like “really, how can I fit more into my brain this week?” AND THEN the next one. Boom. BRING IT ON! Haha man I’m so excited about this training!

    Seriously, though. The proper order builds intimacy. “Friendship first comes from an orphan spirit,” whoa! Mature orphans, refusing to long for a father, operating from a place of stubborn independence. I’m done with that. God’s friends are first his sons, sons who are servants, friends because they do what he says. Conditional friendship that brings liberty, brings many sons to glory. It IS so foreign, from a western Protestant perspective, but it is healing, needed, and life-giving. “Don’t let the church be based on the mold of the world.” Fathers (pastors) affirm, live, and give your identity. As a member (son) of the house, you serve, and through loyal service you come to a deeper friendship. Mmmmm this is amazing.

  148. Kymberly Riggins says:

    We are servants of God, sons of God and friends of God. That is good news to receive. Our identity in Christ consists of different levels of all three. When Pastor Benjamin warned about us specializing in one of the models at the detriment of the other models, that really hit home for me. For me personally, I have been living as a servant of God, but since moving to Korea and not being as active in church, I have been experiencing a new identity with God, a friend of God.

  149. I like how Pastor Benjamin pointed out the fallacies in the Western approach to church and leadership. With the condition of the church in America and in the West, I think this is a healthy, well thought criticism. Father/son, master/servant, friend these are all exceptionally important ways in which we as believers relate to God. My questions coming away, what scriptures call for the relationship between members of a church and the pastor/leader to be the same as the relationship between the Christian and God?

  150. Emilie Boivin says:

    This sermon teaches us that there is identity that the believer takes on in the Church: that of son, servant and friend.
    First, when the believer comes into covenant with a local church, he is affirmed as son by a spiritual father who speaks life and a new identity in thw the believer.
    then the relationship transitions to servanthood where the believer begins to serve God and his people. Because he was affirmed as a son first, the believer serves with joy and submits with an expectant heart, for he knows he will receive the inheritance of his spiritual father. Then once he has proven himself faithful in in service, he then moves on to emjoy a rich and deep friendship with God and his spiritual father and leaders. We see this modwled in the Gospel in John when Jesus says, ‘I no longer call you servant but I call you friend, dor I have revealed all that my father has taught me.’

  151. Sooky Park says:

    Sons Servants Friends.
    Father Master Friend.
    This was such a powerful message I couldn’t press the pause button once I started listening to it! Being a TCK the idea of identity has always intrigued me even before I was old enough to know what the word meant. The Bible calls us servants sons and friends of God. We are also disciples of Jesus. We are to pass on the teachings of Jesus. We are representatives of Jesus.
    It was new to learn that in the master-servant model in Church, the pastor is the master and the congregation are the servants. Then I applied the same principle through the sermon to the father-son model and friend-friend model. There are so many types of love possible!  Also I had no idea that sonship was first! The verses were so powerful “unless a man is born again”, and “this is my beloved Son”…It is true that not only in Western cultures but more and more proliferating in Korean Christian culture (i.e. the world) also is the idea that one needs to be friends before becoming anything else. It is wrong and like Pastor said unbiblical. There is a hierarchy(?) and a system. It was so strong how Pastor said “Friends help. Servants Serve.” And that is what Jesus told us to do. Not to ‘help’ but to ‘serve’ each other and become servants. Hebrew rabbonic culture is more biblical in that it sets up the master-servant culture. Jesus said “No longer” are you servants but now I call you friends. He also referred to the fellowship of mature sons. Sons serve their fathers.

  152. Such a revelation to hear how deeper friendship can be built if we start from a being a son and then servant. I love how PB used his relationship with his father to illustrate the biblical progression of son->servant->friend. Even in the world of martial art, we see cases where a student goes into the training camp and is given an identity as so and so teacher’s trainee. Then the student calls the teacher “master’ and strives hard to follow every move that the master makes until he/she can master the same moves. Then when the trainee gets to the same level enough to have a fight with the master, they can form a friendship out of such respect and honor., Although in my rebellious days, I preferred the western model of discipleship, now I can see clearly why that would not get me further in my spiritual growth. I want to serve NP and live life the way the pastors of the church live their lives, and ultimately bring them back multiplied spiritual possession.

  153. Identity is comprised of three facets: knowing who you are, accepting and being confident in who we are, and acting in or being who you are. The acceptance part is crucial in living out our identity because even if we know an aspect of our identity and we do not identify with it or accept ourselves and live differently, or contrary to our nature or identity we are not fully embracing our identity. One key point was that although we might have a sense for our identity there are certain aspects of our identity that we are dependent upon others, those close to us, to tell us who we are. These aspects need to be developed by people speaking it over us and we need to receive.

    In addition to our identity as an individual, there is a relational aspect of our identity especially within the church thats broken into three forms: Son, Servant, Friend. In this the order is important because it bears parallel to how we relate to not only the authority within the house but also how we relate to God. You are affirmed as a son, serve with joy and submission and then give back to the relationship as a friend. When one moves from servant to friend, that transition comes from stewarding the teachings and really possessing it to the extent that you receive and then multiply it and then you can give it back so that the teacher can get some new revelation as well.

  154. Order do matters!! Son servant and then friend.. We cant do anything except to accept His love for us. This message is also a reminder to me that im not the one who can say im a faithful son or an unfaithful son. He is the one who can give me my identity not myself. We have to fully accept that we are His sons before we serve Him and this is true~ i always had an unknown burden everytime when i was serving Him back in my old church. Now i know why i had it because i was not fully accepting His love and my identity as His daughter.
    PB also reminds us not to stuck in one model and neglect the others. We have to be careful not too “comfortable” in His love and ignore His calling for us. He wants us to go to another level of relationship with Him and we as His sons we have to be ready when He calls us to serve Him.

  155. Amanda Hawkins says:

    So powerful!! As I was listening to this message I couldn’t help think about how a lot of parents these days try and be friends with their children. How they want to be the cool parent who lets their child do and say whatever, or even an employer and employee. ITs hard to switch back and forth between roles. I love how you gave the circle model of taking the son or daughter role of receiving the teachings, blessing others and eventually feeding it back to the father or mother. That shows God that you are truly a friend and have come full circle in the teachings. As I grow and learn and understand more and more about sonship and how important it is to take your place as a son and submit to your leaders, the more I have been blessed. Its hard to let go sometimes of “control” of your own life and your identity. But once you do I’m realizing how much more you gain.

  156. Mariyah Gonzales says:

    Identity is the knowledge, the acceptance and confidence in that knowledge, and the act of being who you are. Most important, there should only be one of you. Yes, we take on different roles or rest in certain places of our identity depending on the relationship we are interacting with, but there needs to be one thread that underlines all of that. What will remain, what is consistent, what will resemble you through all things? You cannot serve two masters. P. Benjamin highlights three models of our identity in his discussion of our son to father, servant to master, and friend to friend relationships with God. Powerfully so in that order! I’ve never failed to accept my identity as my parents’ daughter first, their servant second, and only recently, a peer who co-labours and co-contends for our family. But in the family of God it was just as he warned. I went to churches with a consumer mentality and a grocery list. I wanted the leaders of the church to first pay special attention, for me to feel pursued in friendship or first identify our common interests because how could they love me if they don’t know what kinds of snacks I like or music I listen to? They don’t know me. How warped, right?! All of that foolishness is being purged and there is freedom in being able to articulate the heaviness we’ve so willingly taken on for no good reason.

    Most important, we will never graduate or outgrow sonship or servanthood. Taking the first layer of foundation from any structure and expecting all of what was build upon it to remain, is dumb. The levels of brotherly love will not overtake the son and servant aspects of our relationships. Cheerful obedience and mindful service cannot come unless there is acceptance and trust. Likewise, without the foundation of sonship, there is an inflation of striving in servanthood. Both must be properly set before there can be a mutual and edifying co-labouring friendship.

    I always love hearing Pastor Benjamin speak. His messages are always so lush and rich. You released great freedom here, thank you.

  157. So many times we throw the term identity in the church. Pastor Benjamin demonstrated a good revelation on what identity is: (1) knowledge of who you are, (2) acceptance and confidence of who you are, and (3) act of being who you are. Pastor Benjamin illustrates that there are three models of identities: (1) son, (2) servant, and (3) friend. These identities only help us to better understand God’s identity. However, which identity comes first? If we start our identity as servants before the Lord, we get caught up in the work-based mentality. If we start our identity as friend, we get robbed of our inheritance if we started as a son. In addition, it can be disguised as an orphan spirit. What was so powerful that Pastor Benjamin said was when he mentioned the passage from the bible how Jesus said, “unless the person is born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Our identity starts in sonship and through that, the other two models are operated. Because we are His sons, we serve God and we are in fellowship in Him.

    -Lyann Trang

  158. It is such a timely sermon. I often confuse with my identity with God. I have no idea on how to deal with the relationship with God either through Sonship, servant-hood or friendship. I was taught that I am the son of the Father, at the same time I am His friend and also His servant. I didnt have clear idea that what relationship should I put on first priority in Christianity. As Pastor Benjamin mentioned, we tend to over-specialize in one model. I used to see God as my father without considering that I am His servant and also His friend. PB does remind me that the order of this three model do matters. We can’t mess up with one another or over-specialize in one model. I also used to ignorant of my identity. i thought that if i have enough faith and be obedient of the God’s words, then I will be given the authority to call Him my Father and my friend. PB has successfully made the clarity of our identity which correspond to God’s identity.
    First, we are son and God is our Father. We are to be loved by him and also to love him in return.
    Second, we are servant and God is our Master and Lord. We are called to do what He said and fully obey Him as what He said is for the best of us.
    Third, we are friend of God and God is our friend too. We are completely for Him and to fellowship with Him.
    I was so blessed by the sermon as I learned how to proceed in the relationship with God through Sonship, Servant-hood and friendship which same apply to church.
    As lastly PE said, we need to show the same honor, same respect, same attitude to our leaders, as if to the pastors. These sentences really speak deeply into my heart for me to go into deeper intimacy with God and model Sonship and leadership.

  159. What really struck a chord with me in this sermon was the fact that an inheritance is very specific as to who can receive it. You can’t buy an inheritance, you can’t make one for yourself, you can’t steal it either without detracting from it the blessing that comes when it is freely given. The only way a person is eligible to receive an inheritance is if they are a son, part of the family. That’s it. Even if there is an inheritance that has little or no monetary value and I’m not the son in the that family, I have no claim to it. This made me meditate and list out a few of things that God promises to us as His inheritance. A promise of everlasting peace, refuge, strength, He is our inheritance, life to the full…the list goes on.
    Then I had to think about how I act when my earthly dad asks me to do something. I just do it without expectation of receiving anything. Simply because I am his son. It one way I can honor him for he has done more for me out of a deep love I start to see more and more as I get older. Do I see my heavenly father in this same way? Do I obey to receive something or do I respond as a son in knowledge of His love for me? That’s going to take me a while to let permeate in my life.

    • Do we treat God the same way we treat our earthly father? Normally it is the other way around. Interesting reflection Aaron 😉

  160. It took 2 days to process this sermon, there’s so much clarity and it’s so packed with insights.
    To walk with God, you need to get the first button right. And the button goes “son” and then “servant” and then “friend” this is the irreducible relationship with God
    The more I let this message soak into me, the more I realize that it’s true even in normal relationship like with family and even in workplace. It’s everywhere without me even realizing it!!
    Identity is knowing who you are, accepting and having confidence in who you are, and act of being who you are. However we are born with no sense of identity. We was born not knowing who we are. And so that’s why we need someone to speak and give us our identity. As our Father, God will reveal to us our identity.
    So first as sons and daughters of God we receive God’s love. And then as we are serving with God as a son (or daughter) we multiply the fruits and blessings that we receive and give it back. Then finally when we have proven our self faithful as a servant of God, He will be our friend and we’ll have deeper fellowship~

  161. What is an identity? Basically, it is the fact of being who or what a person or thing is. An identity in church means 3 things: sons, servants and friends. I’m His son, who is precious; I’m his servant, who has to serve Him faithfully; I’m his friend, who can share anything that kind of disturbing our minds in our daily life. God’s so good that He created such a wonderful 3-in-1 relationship as a blessing for every of us. I’m so happy that God consistently listens to my prayer regardless of the type of situation: sometimes He answers straight forward, but sometimes He answers indirectly to us, not to test our faith, but to enhance our faith in Him, because we already have the seed of faith anchored deep in our hearts. It just needs more nutrients and ingredients to grow and to shine. I’m pretty sure that God will bring me to another level of faith through my this very first NRTC. And like what we’ve learnt from this message: Learn to receive and to give at the same time, to multiply the blessings we receive from Him, and return all the glory to Him by sharing the blessings with the people all around us, which will then be perpetually spreading to every corner of the world, slowly in pace, and greatly in content.

  162. This hits on something so key that can be awkward to talk about sometimes. We need to pay attention to our relationships not only with the church but with God.

  163. This message really brought about a new level of revelation of my identity in Christ. I liked how P.Benjamin broke the definition of identity into three parts: knowing, liking and being who you are. I realized that many times, we may know our identity but may not like the identity that we walk in. But to not embrace the identity that God has given us is almost the same thing as denying God’s perfect design for us. It shed light on some insecurity I may have had on myself and led me to fully accept who I was in Christ.

    PB also mentioned that we are not born with no identity at all but that we have no sense of it when we are born. Hence, we become dependent those who are closest to us to verbally tell us who we are through our names. Names reflect such a crucial part of our identity and we should not take it lightly – we will never be able to fully accept our identity unless the identity (through the name) is affirmed and encouraged by those closest to us. That is why only our parents are given the sole authority to name their children. I can personally attest to this as Yena (meaning 예수님 나라 or in literal English, Jesus’ Land or Jesus’ Kingdom) was a name given to me by my father. It was only until recent that I was truly able to relate to the name and fully identify the calling God put on my life through my name – that wherever I was to go, I was going to not only bring but continue to expand God’s Kingdom in places absent of the Gospel. I don’t think it was coincidental that this revelation of my name came at a time when I started to go deeper into the understanding of my identity.

    Thank you PB for this incredibly eye-opening and refreshing message. Just as PC mentioned in the end, it is still something I have to chew on and reflect on and am doing exactly that. I pray this will bring a deeper understanding of who I am as a son of God.

  164. It is not only important to understand our identity within ourselves, but also to understand our identity within the church.

    1. servants- God is my master
    2. sons- God is my father
    3. friends- God is my friend
    These relationships are all important, but which is first? Sonship. This ties back into the relationship of spiritual father and son. It was interesting to hear biblical sources on how God saw Jesus as His son first before Jesus started to serve. Also interesting to hear how friendship and servanthood fails for most of us because of how it ties into our flesh desires. Friendship and servanthood dips into our selfish needs and desires to want something back. These other relationships also block off the way to have a father/son relationship. But by having a father/son relationship first, we learn how to serve and by obeying we grow into friends. I really liked how Pastor Benjamin said we start becoming a friend when we manifest back the teachings taught to us- it shows we are no longer only receiving and receiving, but we are also able to give. Co-ownership of teachings to have TRUE fellowship. It may take a lot of time, but that is where we want to head towards. I’ve always loved having leaders and mentors in my life- I love being poured into and gaining wisdom through another person. But Pastor Benjamin’s words taught me I cannot be comfortable in that place for the rest of my life. Yes receiving and having mentorship is important but I can’t dwell in just being poured into. I need to manifest it on my own, understand it fully on my own, and be able to pour it out on others as well. I want to aim towards having a friendship, co-ownership, and fellowship..
    The world has molded us into thinking having a friend is the most important with our relationships, but we need to get out of that westernized thinking. I think by seeking out friendship first, it may be us trying to satisfy our flesh. And just like PE has preached..we need to shift into the spirit!! :)

    It’s not the friend who gets the inheritance, but the son. AMEN.

  165. Andrew Cho says:

    I was really not expecting this kind of message from a sermon about identity. How we can’t really base our identities in a vacuum like I am a son of my parents, or brother, etc but that we are servants, sons, and eventually friends of God. Especially since I can definitely relate to just being one of those things and not all three, this sermon really spoke to me this morning.

    Really made me question whether or not I have accepted my identity in Christ through these ways because theres no doubt that I have heard these things before. I just did not know if I accepted them and truly lived them out and do what God is wants me to do. I believe that actions are also rooted deeply with our identity and that we must be that faithful servant found in faith to go out and act like who we truly are. I need to understand that since I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior that he is also my master and I am his servant and I will glorify him through all things he tells me

  166. Hannah Chong says:

    Our core identity as Christians is reflected in our model identity, firstly as sons, then servants and then friends. It is in these identities that we understand God as our master, Father, and friend. The way we operate in our relationship with God, should also reflect the way we operate in our relationship to the church. The Western church has fallen into the dangers of over-specialising in usually the friend model or servant model, in the neglect of the sonship model. As a church we are called to exercise all three! One should not be emphasised over the other.

    However, it is also crucial to recognise that there is a specific order in which these identities are to be taken on. Firstly, in our relationship with God, we are saved by the blood of Christ, and declared as sons (Galatians 4:4-5), and thus this is also to be the way we primarily relate with the church; we are to take a hold of our sonship, and receive our inheritance. Secondly, when we understand our identity as sons, we begin to serve God not out of striving, but rather from an overflow of the inheritance we have received (Ephesians 2:8-10). Similarly, in the church, we serve as SONS of the house, because we take full ownership of the inheritance we have received from PC and PE, and we desire to steward it from a place of being confident in knowing who we are called to be. Lastly, when we obey God’s teachings, we are called His friends (John 15:14-15). Similarly, when we faithfully obey and submit to the leadership of this house, we are able to form deeper intimacy with the people who have been placed above us. Fellowship and emotional connectedness will only be entrusted to those who have shown their faithfulness.

    It has been easy for me to take a hold of the friendship model throughout my experience in church, as I never truly experienced spiritual covering, and learnt to discover doctrine on my own, before coming to NP. However, I refuse to continously carry the mindset of an orphan, as I have now been declared a son of this house. I can honour the leadership of this church because I trust in the love that is being shown to me, and that authority will not be abused like it has been in the past. I want to learn how to be a son, a servant, and then a friend.

  167. Raymond Seo says:

    The message talks about the three models of identity and how churches should reflect all three instead of choosing one and neglecting the other. It also emphasizes on which model of relational identity should precede another. Many churches have westernized their view and approach in discipleship and therefore they often engage in friendship first before any other. But just as we are all sons of God first and then servants of God, the church should approach its members in the same manner. Friendship then can be much more of a meaningful experience, something that goes beyond an emotional connection. A true fellowship in the church.

  168. One thing that stood out to me was that our relationship with the house shows our relationship with God. How we treat and feel about the house of God shows how we trully feel about God. Another important paet of pastor Benjamin’s message is that stood out to me is that we are sons of christ therefore our identity is christ not in what others think of us or say about us.

  169. Sharon Ahn says:

    This was so great! I feel like this was the exact sermon I needed for some of the breakthroughs needed in my relationship with Christ and the Church. I had been confused about the whole son, servant, friend relationship we were supposed to have all at the same time. Now I understand that we must first be a son before servant, and a servant before a friend. Starting as a son, and then serving, and earning that friendship. This is also applied to the way we interact and relate to our pastors. Seeing them as our spiritual fathers first, serving them, and eventually earning that friendship within respect and honor. This was so powerful for me and cleared out a lot of the confusion I had about this kind of relationship. Thank you!

  170. Jorie Bonham says:

    There was so much in that message! I think the main things that stood out to me is that I need to be a son first, then proceed to servant and then friend. I think I always liked the friend and father model and switched between the two. This really helped me to understand how to be all three, son, servant and friend, in a healthy and progressive way. I cannot start with friend.
    I also really liked how Pastor Benjamin connected how we relate with God to how we relate with the church. We need to come into submission as sons to our pastors. I always had pastors that wanted to be friends. It was hard to know how to relate to them as a friend, pastor, or mentor. This really helped to clear up some uncertainties I had on how to relate with church leaders and also how to relate to the many characteristics of God.

  171. Youngha Park says:

    This message hit me hard in so many aspects of my life in Christianity. Hearing about 3 models of our identity: servants of God, sons of God, and friends of God really got me thinking about how my relationship was like with churches and pastors prior to New Philadelphia Church. Pastor Benjamin talks about how Jesus said do everything that He has taught us and how the three models of identity should all be used and related to the model of the church.
    The Korean church that I attended in the United States before I came to Korea was majorly master/servant model of church like how Korean churches usually are and when the new pastor for the young adults service came in with a friend model of the church and relate emotionally with the members of the church, it created a spark in our church as the members were starting to become loyal to the pastor and trying to serve or “help out” with everything we can. However, this spark didn’t last too long as this connection was just an emotional connection without the background of respect or servanthood. As I listened to this message, it made sense that sonship precedes servanthood and after servanthood comes the friendship, which only comes from complete submission as a son because if you become a son, you naturally want to become a servant for the inheritance and the respect for the father. Then after all this, the friendship that comes becomes so much more valuable and intimate.

  172. David Haram Kim says:

    This message really opened my eyes on the importance of the relationship between our identity and the church’s identity. The relationship with the church must be like our relationship to God. And the 3 models are so crucial to understand. The Master-Servant, Father-Son, and Friend-Friend. It was so interesting and so true how the order of these models are important as well. How sonship is first, then servanthood, then friendship. As Pastor Benjamin said, the Western church emphasizes the friendship model first, yet this shouldn’t be the case. Friends do not serve friends and servanthood is dependent on that friendship. The friendship will come if we first honor our sonship and then be servants to our spiritual fathers. Growing up in a Korean church, it seems that the model tended to be servanthood first, then sonship, then friendship. And this really skewed my perspective towards the church in how I serve. I raised my hand that servanthood should be first and I was dead wrong. As PB said, servants serve to get a reward, and sons serve to get an inheritance, and that convicted me. Thus, now that we are taught this identity, as PB said, identity is knowing who we are and being confident in that identity. We also must esteem our authorities/SG leaders if we are to esteem our spiritual fathers.

  173. Atembe Fonge says:

    I love sermons about identity; it’s one aspect of my spirit and soul that is constantly going up and down and being discovered and lost and rediscovered, so I always find so much meaning and so many answers in sermons and Bible verses about identity.
    This is the first time I’ve heard of our identities being defined the way Pastor Benjamin described and explained. When he asked what the congregation thought was the correct order of the models of identity, for some reason I thought servant would be first; I’m always hearing about how people should serve the Lord and the church. Even though I personally came to know God as His son first, for some reason I thought that maybe I had done it out of order since my first real, deliberate connections with God were before I was fully saved. But, I was happy to know that I was actually off to a good start knowing God as my father first. The role of a son of God has always felt the most comfortable and natural to me. There was a time when I used to view God as my only father, because my earthly father and I just could not come to a stable, healthy place and I leaned on God heavily at that time for comfort and direction. I definitely think I am at the stage of being a servant of the Lord, or else right on the cusp of it. I’m learning to listen to God more, and there really is a sense of joy when you hear the Lord command you to do something and you know you’ve got to do it, so you do it. Perhaps that joy is felt because you’ve already accepted your place as His son, first.
    I am enjoying everything about being a son though and I know that I will never stop relating to God in that way; but I also look forward to when I can fully identify as His servant. New Philly is the first church I’ve been a part of where I actually felt like I was genuinely a part of it and not just a spectator who contributes when it’s convenient; God’s timing is pretty awesome because at this time last year I couldn’t see myself becoming this involved in a church, nor could I see my spiritual journey progressing so far so quickly.
    I think it’s really great to know that God has given us all unique, specific identities; that we can find out who we are through Him and that we don’t have to look to anyone or anything else and become misguided or jaded about who we are. Almost like he has a special jewel reserved just for us, and he’s waiting for us to unwrap all the paper and bows in the right order so that we can inherit what’s always been our’s and wear it with confidence, knowing who we are and that we are His…

  174. Isaiah Kim says:

    This sermon is so well clarified about our journey in having relationship with God.

    Some of the points that really got to me:
    1. We tend to overspecialize in one model and neglect the other.

    I think I majored in being too much of a son at one point and being too much like a servant at one point, forgetting my sonship.

    2. There are 3 stages in relationship with God and/or with a spiritual Father

    I see the journey of a son.
    Born as a son,
    mature enough to serve the father,
    grown through much discipline to become like friends with the father.

    I think I am in the stages of discipline as a servant. I desire and strive to be called as a friend after all discipline. To come forth as gold, proving as faithful servant.

  175. Ra Hyun Ha says:

    This sermon helped me to understand various aspects of relationship and the correlation of relationship with God and me with church and me. When I was listening this sermon, I thought my identity is closer to a son not a servant, but when PB explained the difference of motivation between son and slave, I was aware of that sometimes I serve God to get rewards or not to be punished. Also In church, I find myself who strive to get recognition and not to be condemned. One day during the worship, I felt like feel some heart, ‘Don’t strive so hard to gain recognition from others. There is no need to prove who you are. You has been named as my precious one already”. As PB said, only God can give true identity us.
    I love God, because He first love me. Similarly I serve this house and my spiritual father, because people of this house poured out and shared so much love and life to me first.

  176. Michelle Chaewon Kim says:

    What really touched my heart as I was listening to this sermon was that God loves us so much that he wants us to be His son first before we do anything for him.

    When we think about our earthly relationships, out of the three relationships—parent-child relationship, friend to friend relationship, and master-servant relationship—the only relationship that cannot be earned by performance and cannot be revoked by performance is a parent-child relationship. Friendship has to be mutual: you have to put in mutual love and affection for your friend and be intentional with your friend in order to maintain your friendship. Servanthood requires that you obey your master’s commands. But you are a son to your parents simply because you were born to them. You receive love and inheritance from them not because of the things that you or don’t do, but because of who you are. It is when we understand our identity as an unconditionally loved child that we can be closest friends with our parents and be most willing to obey their commands even when we don’t understand why they are telling us to do so. Yes, God wants us to have all three identities, but the fact that the order in which he wants it reflects his love is mind-blowing.

    As PB said, your relationship with the house represents your relationship with God, and because he explained what relationship God prioritizes so well, I see why sonship is so important and always stressed in this house.

  177. Hannah Chong says:

    It has been easy for me to take a hold of the friendship model throughout my experience in church, as I never truly experienced spiritual covering, and learnt to discover doctrine on my own, before coming to NP. However, I refuse to continously carry the mindset of an orphan, as I have now been declared a son of this house. I can honour the leadership of this church because I trust in the love that is being shown to me, and that authority will not be abused like it has been in the past. I want to learn how to be a son, a servant, and then a friend.

  178. Hannah Chong says:

    Oops, the rest of my comment did not get posted.

    Our core identity as Christians is reflected in our model identity, firstly as sons, then servants and then friends. It is in these identities that we understand God as our master, Father, and friend. The way we operate in our relationship with God, should also reflect the way we operate in our relationship to the church. The Western church has fallen into the dangers of over-specialising in usually the friend model or servant model, in the neglect of the sonship model. As a church we are called to exercise all three! One should not be emphasised over the other.

    However, it is also crucial to recognise that there is a specific order in which these identities are to be taken on. Firstly, in our relationship with God, we are saved by the blood of Christ, and declared as sons (Galatians 4:4-5), and thus this is also to be the way we primarily relate with the church; we are to take a hold of our sonship, and receive our inheritance. Secondly, when we understand our identity as sons, we begin to serve God not out of striving, but rather from an overflow of the inheritance we have received (Ephesians 2:8-10). Similarly, in the church, we serve as SONS of the house, because we take full ownership of the inheritance we have received from PC and PE, and we desire to steward it from a place of being confident in knowing who we are called to be. Lastly, when we obey God’s teachings, we are called His friends (John 15:14-15). Similarly, when we faithfully obey and submit to the leadership of this house, we are able to form deeper intimacy with the people who have been placed above us. Fellowship and emotional connectedness will only be entrusted to those who have shown their faithfulness.

  179. Charles Ting says:

    I was really shocked when I found that the sonship comes first instead of servanthood. Although I was born in a Christian family, my parents and I were Sunday Christian before my grandmother’s death when I was fifteen. Although I know that I am the son of God, I used to believe serving God was the first step to enter His Kingdom. As watching people were serving faithfully at the church back in my hometown since young, I thought every Christian need to serve in the ministry before adopted by God and became His children. This sermon just broke my original thought about how to become a Christian in the term of sonship, servanthood, and friendship. My original thought was wrong as how we can be loved by Him is not because of who we are, but because of who He is, not because of what we done, but because of what He done.

    A thing that impressed me is when Pastor Benjamin told about the sonship. You cannot call yourself unfaithful as same as you cannot call yourself faithful. But the Father who give your identity. Yes, Heavenly Father, I can’t give my identity to myself but You, who are my Father, gave my identity in Christ. You who adopted me as your faithful son, You who paid me to be your loyal servant, You who love me as your friend. Lord Jesus, how great is Your grace on me! You gave me the authorities to declare my identity in Your Kingdom Lord. Thank you my Heavenly Father, thank you my lovely friend, Lord Jesus, thank you my wise spirit, Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

  180. “You are my friends if you do what I command” John 15:14 (NIV)

    This was a very powerful and revolutionary teaching by Pastor Benjamin.

    “Friends HELP, Servants SERVE.” – Pastor Benjamin

    Through this teaching, I realized how much emphasis I place on seeing people at church as friends, whether it be those in positions of authority above me, or those I am teaching below me (in the past).

    According to Pastor Benjamin’s teaching, leaders are a manifestation of Christ’s authority over our lives. I realize through PB’s teaching that in order to be a friend of God, I need to first obey Him.

    In the past, as a Sunday school teacher, I mainly tried to relate to my students from a friend perspective. Now I see that seeing them as friends only hindered me from speaking into their lives and providing them with the right type of covering.

    I see now that understanding God’s will and obeying it takes precedence over friendship. Of course, friendship is not a bad thing… But we can experience what God truly intended friendship to be if we are first obeying God’s voice in unity.

    I also liked how Pastor Benjamin related it all to a natural relationship with a father. In our relationships with our biological fathers, our relationship takes the same form. We are sons, then servants, then friends. Sonship is something that is given to us by grace, but friendship is something that can only be attained after learning to obey.

    I hope that these words sink deeply into my heart as I become more firmly established at New Philly. I pray that I would get my priorities straight, that even as a son, I need to get obedience down first before expecting the next level of intimate friendship with God.

  181. I loved how PB hates nicknames because he believes that a parent has let the world know in power “this is so and so, they shall be forever known by this name” “don’t let some boy at school change your name that I’ve given you”. I’ve never really thought of it this way, its kinda cool.
    Honestly, I don’t know where I stand on many things in this message, but I’m glad that I’m being challenged to understand fully what I know and what I believe. One example: It doesn’t sit well with me hearing about his experience with his spiritual father. That man may be just what PB needed for his own journey, but to apply the need of that same kind of relationship to everyone? A relationship of feeling like you are nothing and you don’t even have the right to know the names of the dude’s family, and to be so “wow, he told me his son’s name”… I’m not so sure about this. PB may very well have needed that kind of treatment if he was so far from being the man of God that he needed to be. I don’t know. So, needless to say, I still have some research and prayer that needs to be done. “Father guide me as I seek the truth in these matters, for you say those who seek will find, let it be done in me.”

  182. Michelle Kim says:

    Key things I learned:
    1. Order: sons, servants, friends
    2. We also tend to overspecialize in one model over the other (master/servant, father/son, friend/friend), and we tend to do it to the neglect of the others. However, Jesus chose all 3 models and we must do the same.

    This sermon shifted my old mindset. I’m now able to discern these relationships the way Jesus did instead of having a “westernized” view of friendship and such. Before coming to New Philly, I always thought my relationship with my pastors were strictly “master/servant”. I also never viewed my pastor at my old church as a spiritual father, and being “friends” with him seemed foreign. I think this is why I always admired my pastor from afar. However, now that I’m in a community where sonship is emphasized and I know my spiritual father is not a distant figure, I feel confident, safe, and excited to serve in this house as a son, servant, and a friend.

  183. start as a son and then serve. and earn the friendship! I had never thought that the order was so important before. all three are important but it is so easy to overspecialize in one model and neglect the other models. “they are not 3 different realities but different sides of the one reality.” looking back, when I started with servanthood first, the servanthood was so emphasized that the other sonship and friendship were neglected. as a result, i easily became burnt out and responsibilities and duties were burdens. I looked for what i “should” (or “must”) do; it was hard for me to find joy in it. sons attitude and mindset is different from servants when serving. because my identity as a son is established, i want to serve God out of love, not out of duty. and serving my Father becomes my joy. there is security and love when the sonship is established first. i look forward to developing friendship with God.

  184. Jason Yang says:

    At first when PB was defining “identity,” I definitely wasn’t expecting it to transition to the reflection of the kingdom relationship. It’s all connected to the order of sonship, servanthood, and friendship.

    Not only is identity “the knowledge of who you are,” but it’s also the acceptance and confidence in that knowledge that partakes into “identity.” Finally, taking all this and acting accordingly of who you are is another aspect of “identity.” This lengthy and comprehensive idea of identity all ties into the relationship we have with God. We must understand that we are all sons of God and we must serve him with much respect as our Father. Eventually, by dutifully fulfilling God and his orders can be earn friendship.

    Honestly, I was somewhat shocked to find that PB had a harsh or critical stance on those that claimed God as their friend. I had never thought that such an approach to view God would be so misleading and wrong. However, through the meaningful order of sonship, servanthood, and friendship, I could see what PB was so passionately trying to say. This simple but deep order is something I will keep at heart, and I will strive for that day when I reach a position of friendship with the Lord.

  185. Minah Kim says:

    I was very surprised when Pastor Benjamin asked “which is the first among the three models of identity?”. I knew my identity as a son, a servant and a friend of God. But I have never thought of it in order.
    Looking back, I think I learned the sonship first. Then I experienced the friendship and finally servanthood. The friendship is based on the servanthood can shake. Because the commands between friends can hurt the feelings of a friend. With a broken heart, it is hard to feel the intimacy.
    The servanthood based on the friendship can make a relationship stroger. If a master treat a servant as a friend, the servant will feel the special and intimate. Now, I clearly understand the biblical progression of relationship with God.
    Through this, I felt God is waiting for me to give his inheritance.

  186. Ericka L. Mack-Andrew says:

    This word by Pastor Benjamin was so timely. It was also so strong that I understand now why we were told to listen to these sermons in this specific order. I really felt the need to pull on my new foundation of honor culture and shifting into the spirit in order to accept this teaching.

    The largest blessing I got out of this sermon was clarity in understanding what I was missing in my relationship with my former home church. As is typical with western churches; my church back in the states really focused on the friendship model and (what we thought was) servant-hood. So, when I transitioned to college, I noticed that the geographical distance also led to an emotional distance with the leaders. As this perceived distance grew I started to mature in the orphan spirit and just tried to make due with bits and pieces of various campus ministries.

    The culture shock of the son-ship model I found in New Philly really threw me. As Pastor Benjamin said about mature orphans, I didn’t know that I needed a spiritual father, I only knew that something was missing.

    So now, I am like a blind man who’s eyes have been opened. I see clearly and I am eager to put my new understanding into practice.

  187. Anne Hong says:

    In the beginning, PB clearly defined what identity is and explained how it is a relational reality. He talked about the 3 relational models of the church and how order matters. Although I guessed sonship being the one that comes first, I never heard a message that talked about our role in the church in the way he did. It is something I didn’t really give much thought to…regarding WHEN we become friends with God. But I do see what he is saying and furthermore, how it translates for us at new philly. I got a better and clearer understanding of how these three models need to function in a certain way, in order for us to receive the inheritance. I think it was also helpful to hear what PC and PE specifically had to say at the end regarding us.

    I can see now how the church would be different if the order was changed.
    Also this message was really good to hear because people could be following the right order unintentionally just because things were set up that way for them, which is good, but I think because this was put into words and explained, we can moreover walk in this process with more clarity, understanding, as well as with purpose.

  188. Shine Jang says:

    I really liked the 3 definitions of “identity” (1. Knowledge of who you are; 2. Acceptance of, and confidence in that knowledge; 3. Act of being who you are).

    Just like the parents having the full authority to name their child, the whole world having to just submit and call that child with that name, and that child being called by that name for the rest of his/ her life, no one has the authority to call me by any other names than what God calls me. He is the one who created me, called me by name, set my identities. I am who I am because God called me so. I will not let anyone or anything change it. In fact, it cannot be changed because God is the one and only one with the full authority over my identity, and He is the only one to tell me who I am.
    It says that when we are born, we are born ignorant of our identity, and it is really our close ones from whom we are influenced the most in learning who we are (they are the ones to tell us who we are). Then this translates into the fact that it is crucial to be close to God in order to firmly know who you truly are.

    Although the three different models of the identity (servants of God, sons of God, friends of God) were not completely new to me, the fact that we should live out all three models of identity without overspecializing in one, and that these are not three separate realities, but three different sides of one reality were very powerful and inspiring revelations.

    Moreover, all this time, I’ve been thinking that every identity in Christ was given unconditionally, but learning that the “friendship” identity is very conditional was really mind-blowing. The importance of the order of these models of identity was a very deep revelation too. I also got to think that when God commands us to do something, it is not because he is in need of / lacks something, but it is really for our good, and that when we do what God commands us to do, it is always beneficial for us more than it is for anyone else.

  189. Amy Loi says:

    I am so blessed by all the wisdom and teachings in this sermon, which Pastor Benjamin clarified about true and deep friendship in a church. I like that we have to figure out our identity first in order to develop a proper relationship with God, and then the same happen with church. I am thankful for the biblical clarification of order whereby we need to develop first sonship, followed by servanthood and then friendship with God, and we apply the same order when we are in the church. A lot of teachings come because as a new Christian, I am so confused of who I am, where I am, and what I am doing. However all the wisdom in this teaching clarifies me what I have to do and to follow, and I know I am on the right track. I feel so grateful for all the covering from New Philly, because I am receiving the right teaching and I started everything correctly, by developing a sonship, servanthood and friendship. I cannot wait to see how my spiritual life changes from this stage to another when I submit myself to New Philly, receive and multiply all the wisdom and give it back to the church again. Many loves!

  190. Young Rae Kim says:

    This was a powerful message that really cleared up what my relationship with the church should look like. I have never heard something like this preached before so it really was a revelation for me. I think Pastor Benjamin Robinson was right on the money when he was talking about how most churches in the west have embraced the “Friend” identity. I experienced this multiple times and I am guilty of expecting pastors to befriend me before ever submitting to them or entering into sonship with them. Also, I think in the past I was very quick to serve the church without ever getting my identity as the son. I think my identity as a son has been neglected, so I am thankful for this teaching of Sonship, which is the first crucial step. I loved how PB was preaching that these three identities need to be balanced in the church and that there is an order to them. Also, this message really revealed PC and PE heart for the church and how they are operating.

  191. Yong Shu Hua says:

    This message emphasized on the fact that our relationship in the house should model our relationship with God, that is, I can look at the way I operate in church as an indicator of my relationship with God. (That being said, as a mental note, I think we should not be too quick to judge a person by the way he or she is like in the house of God.)

    There are three models of identity that we adhere to: sonship, servanthood and friendship. We often overemphasize on one model, but the key is that there is a priority and sequence within then three models. When we follow in sequence of the identities, we can best represent Jesus in relation to God, who in fact exercised all three. None should be missing.

    To me this message was something new; I never knew there was an order between the identities, let alone knowing that servanthood came before friendship. I did not realize that friendship with God was conditional, that we are to serve before we are friends with God. I’m not too sure about this idea and would like to explore this further. However I agree with the idea that Sonship comes first before anything else – that’s why we call God our father, and we are able to claim our inheritance as His sons and daughters in Christ (through Jesus’ finished work on the Cross which reconciled us with God). The spirit of sonship is something that I hope to meditate on further, to experience and enjoy to the fullest the kind of intimacy and abundant life I have as a daughter of Christ.

  192. Grace Song says:

    This sermon was such a blessing and I never heard a teaching like this. I was aware that there were different models of relationship, but seeing that there is an order to the models brought a whole new understanding. I think it’s so true that often times western churches operate under the friendship model, but I never knew how much that hindered members from operating as Sons and servants.

  193. Albert Lee says:

    Take up your guards!! Restle with it. You need time haha P.Benjamin’s sermon was amazing! First as a son, then servant, then a friend. Jesus only taught what God the father had taught and as a church we must follow the example of Jesus!

    • Albert Lee says:

      I thank PB for clearly categorizing and defining our role and identity in our relationship with both God and the church. It encourages me to fully submit to the authorities God has placed in my church. I believe that this logical defining on identity was needed for the sake of the church for it is not a one on one thing but a group.
      Since it is a relationship for both with God and the church, to me personally I can’t really divide them by category every time I connect. I am weak and so sometimes even though I might know all these things logically I would go to God nagging and complaining like a 5 year old and God loves me the way I am. He embraces me in that moment and reveals himself to me. I feel like he is comforting as a daddy but at the same time I am in awe of his glory. I mean he himself is love right? It’s really hard to explain it all in words but thank God that there is a man like PB whom God has gifted to logically organize all this!

  194. My goodness, what a message!! :) This was a new topic for me but it showed me the light in which I have viewed my own personal relationship with The Lord, and the way in which I have viewed some pastors. Friendship with The Lord is something completely different! Sonship, obedience and friendship!I am so thankful for the wrong mind sets that God is breaking down in my life. Thank you Pastor Benjamin! This was an eye opener :)

  195. Toko Kim says:

    I really liked how P.B really goes into details to explain the different definitions of identity and the importance of us knowing what our own identity in Christ is.

    “If we don’t know who we are, we act like someone else that we aren’t”. These simple but truthful words really stood out for me because I feel like if we don’t have a sense of our own identity/role or we have never taken the time to figure it out, we are just another body out there imitating what others do or what the status quo tells us to do. And when living like that i believe is so easy to get confused and shift into the flesh in life the every day life decisions which ultimately leads to thinking and becoming like someone else we are not.

    Another interesting teaching and new thing I learned from P.B’s message was his explanation on the models of relationship with God. Wow, I had so many wow and that’s so truee moments that I don’t know which one to start with. It made so much sense when he explained the order and why is so important to follow the order on the types of relationship we have with God and our leaders at church. Like they say respect is not given, is earned, i think the same goes for a true friendship with God. If we are not a son and a servant before, we have not earned the respect to be a friend with God.

  196. Lydia Ju says:

    This sermon gave me so much revelation and new understanding of a relationship with God and more clarity in my identity which comes from my Father. It was a bit confusing to follow in the beginning but just so much more clarity through Pastor Benjamin’s words. When Pastor Benjamin asked us which one is first, I honestly wasn’t sure but now i see with more clarity in the importance of sonship, our relationship with God. SONSHIP COMES comes first, then serving him and obeying his commands, then friendship. The understanding of friendship with my friends is kind of what I thought was a friendship we had with God but its different. I understood that we have fellowship with God through His teachings after we become His sons and obey Him. I was very affirmed as well when PC said at the end that spiritual authoritative parents help to build your identity. Just constant repeat of how importance the established leaders put in our life is a reflection of Gods identity.

  197. Winnie Chan Wei Ling says:

    Identity is knowing and accept who I am.
    All of us born without knowing our own identity. Knowing our own identity and accept who I am is our starting point. The fact that our parents have authority to determine our name when we’re born gives me a clear picture that how our identity in Christ is more even important.
    I realised that often time I’m more emphasize on one aspect of the relationship model. But neither one of these should be neglect. A deep foundation of sonship through Father & Son relationships followed by master & servant and lastly friend-friend model is the perfect model for our relationship with God. Friend-friend model doesn’t give you inheritance. God has no friend that are not his sons and servant.

  198. Tiffany Maxwell says:

    Wow–I needed to listen twice–and will probably need to listen again. This message is packed full of goodness. I’d never thought about the son, servant, friend order before. Through listening I realized that I have usually tried to focus on the servant or friend aspect and forgo the son both in my relationships with people and with God. This message makes so much sense and has brought so much clarity. Thank you!

  199. Izelle says:

    Everything makes sense after listening to this powerful sermon. If you don’t know who the Father says you are and your place in His house, you can easily be swayed. We are first accepted and affirmed as sons, who then learn to serve in the Father’s house and then experience intimate friendship after our proven faithfulness. I have been living according to the wrong order for years. Also, your relationship with those in the house reflects your relationship with God. Definitely going to chew and chew and wait on the Holy Spirit to make this truth my reality.

  200. Wow, what a powerful message! I agree with Tiffany that I will have to listen to this again. I feel like I have a lot to “chew” on this week. It is definitely an important message for the church, especially churches in the west as most of the ones I’ve been in before had the concept of friendship first. God is so much bigger than what we think in our small minds. Thanx for sharing, it really blessed and challanged me.

  201. Gina Park says:

    Such a blessing to hear this sermon. I was aware of that three different relationships but understanding as an order of the models gave me a whole new aspects. I am so amazed about God’s perfect order in relationship. This whole teachings gave me so much clarity in my identity with God and my identity in church. How perfect our God is! And I am a daughter of His. I feel like I am slowly understanding what it really means to become a daughter of God. I am so thankful.

  202. I finally realize why I was facing spiritual apathy and restlessness. I only saw my identity as a servant of God and believed I needed to serve God first and primarily to even consider a relationship with Him and His people. Or the opposite, I felt emotionally cut-off because i didn’t feel the satisfactions of that like friendship. The eye-opening thing is that the three “Son, Servant, Friend” are all pieces of one reality. It’s not just being Son, Servant, or Friend separately. All three are part of one identity in a specific process. As of now, with this truth, I am opening myself to see myself as a Son, even though it the complete opposite of what i’ve been doing up to now.

  203. Yeana Kim says:

    I like how Pastor Benjamin said that he “earned his friendship” from his father. He was a servant of his father before he became his friend. I think this touched me most because I was always confused of how a relationship would look like between me and God. I always thought he was a fearful God, but the way Pastor Benjamin explained it did not just end there. While it is still hard to digest this information, I would always like to keep in mind that I cannot choose from the three identities or models because the Bible teaches all three.

  204. 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.”
    It’s been not that long ago since I accepted my identity and have actually confidence in it. It took so long, and I just even started acting out of it! It’s been such an amazing and exciting journey! 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. 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!

  205. Kate-Lynn Mc Naught says:

    I feel priviledged to have listened to that sermon. My fingers couldn’t keep up whilst writing notes, so I have to re-listen in part.
    I am going to star some BOOM statements (quoted) I gained, that I feel need to be written in the sky for all to see:
    *”we are all born with no sense of identity, therefore depend on those around us to tell us who we are” – seriously? I have wanted this confirmed my whole life, I thought there was something wrong with me. I have so often looked to others to ‘tell me who I am’, especially family members, who I so often think know me better than myself.

    *The second truth, is about nicknames. My dad always used to say that he didn’t want my friends giving me a nickname because he and my mom named me what they felt was right. No Kate, just Kate-Lynn. When my brother was born, they gave him a short name that couldn’t be shortened to reinforce that ‘name authority is given to parents not friends’. Wow.

    *Thirdly, I was challenged. When presented with the three identity models (sons, servants, and friends), I thought, oh this will be easy to order. I admit, my order was completely incorrect, just as expected from what I believe to be the world having ‘pressed me into its mould.’

    SONSHIP- “everything I have made known to my father I make known to you”… I am almost brought to tears at how much I have heard this reinforced in the last month.
    *”Sons serve with their fathers because they know they are receiving an inheritance” – this makes me think about how I serve my earthly father, selflessly with no limit because I am his daughter, loved by him and with no lack. How much more would my heavenly father love me!!! How ready am I to serve him and is there an end? How much more should I obey?

    ***”You don’t have the right to tell me who you are, I am your father I tell you who you are” – I think I sat frozen in my chair (not the sudden chilly weather but the revelation) when I heard this and played it back just to make sure I heard right. I feel like I so often, too often, come to worship crying out how unworthy I am and how I have failed. Jesus is saying, ‘KATE YOU WORTHY AND ARE ONLY BEGINNING TO SUCCEED’ – I pray this would echo though my and all the ears around me. WE DO NOT TELL GOD WHO WE ARE, he made us right..?? I feel like I need to proclaim this more and more, and I shall.

    *I was so deeply moved by the role of pastor Benjamin’s spiritual father in his life. First, commanding him on an occasion not to preach but attend to his wife, with the response “if your wife needs you, I don’t even want you here” – YES.. yes. And secondly, at how his relationship progressed from that of a son, hearing the truths and stories shared by the father, to a servant, being rebuked and obeying [I often say I dont know how to do things and I think I need to remember ‘get on your knees before the Lord and find out how’] to a friend, no longer called a servant but learning about his friend and sharing in the laughter.

    *I have never heard a statement quite like this and find it so challenging but necessary for the body to hear and practice: ‘Will we receive these truths, multiply them and GIVE THEM BACK BIGGER?’ I stopped to think, do I even do that? I feel like it’s a ‘no’ and want to earnestly change it to a ‘YES, LORD I DO’. I want to share in the coownership of teaching when I fellowship.. I want to give back, in a greater portion, rather than just receive.

    *”Intimate relationshps in the house start with being sons and daughters” – I am honoured to have understood and applied this truth for the first time in my life at New Philly.. thank you. I believe that it is no longer a distant reality for me and I cannot turn from this truth!

  206. Hye R. Song says:

    Restoring the Sonship is the starting point of the relational foundation with the Lord. Sometimes I forget it easily and found myself tied up with the servant-ship only. Son, Servant and Friend (and Bride) are the integral parts of our born-again identity. What is amazing is that we are the heir to the Inheritance from our heavenly Father and He lacks nothing! Indeed, we, sons and daughters of God, are blessed with the deep wisdom and revelation from our God.

  207. Kimberly Ahn says:

    Wow. There was so much to reflect and meditate on after listening to this sermon. PB talked about the different models of our identity and the models of our relationship with God. As I reflected back to the church that I grew up in and as PB said, I can see how it majored in one model instead of having a healthy order of the models. Within the KC and pastor’s relationship, I see that it is heavily master/servant based and that the EC pastor and I were more focused on the friend/friend model. It wasn’t until I visited my cousin in Redding, where I was introduced to the importance to father/son model in the church setting and then I was able to learn more about it here at NP.

    Through this message, I was able to learn that there is an ORDER to my identity in the relationship I have within the church and with God. I am a son, then a servant, and then a friend. He has called me a son FIRST, therefore I am called into sonship. Because I am a son, it leads me to obey his commands out of love, and then through fellowship and relationship, I am called His friend. This message helped to break off the old mindsets that I had growing up in how I acted in my relationships within the church and with God.

  208. Arielle Arn says:

    I think almost every sermon I hear tells me more about my identity in Christ but this one goes into depth in a new way. The order of how we build our relationship with God is so key and I don’t think it comes to our minds often, atleast jo it was not forefront in my mind. It makes so much sense though. First I must accept sonship. I am a daughter of the most high King and through that I have an inheritance of inumerable value. Then once in this mind set I am to take that inheritance and offer it right back with open hands a be a servant in sonship. Last ly I have the privilege of being a friend of God.the order is so important to see the value of each step. I dont want to miss any of it!

  209. David Chong 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.

  210. Linda L 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.

  211. Jessica Jin says:

    1. Identity is the knowledge of who you are
    – understanding who I am in Christ has always been challenging to me as I have always allowed external voices, ungodly voices to speak into my life. I am growing in the knowledge of who I am in Christ and when Pastor Benjamin explained the story of how his daughter received her name and said “that is who she is, because I have told her who she is”, that really convicted me because I am made in the image of God and he made me perfectly and fearfully and I need to know that and take ownership of this truth.

    2. Identity is the acceptance of and confidence in that knowledge
    – I am loving the process of taking ownership and having confidence in the truth that my identity is in Christ and allowing me to grow in this truth and what this means.

    3. Act of being who you are
    – To love God and love people. When growing in acceptance and confidence of who I am in Christ, I pray and hope that I can be open and loving towards people just as Jesus was towards me.

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