What is Sonship?

This page is a list of summary articles of key concepts from The Spirit of Sonship, a book by John Alley. This book is available on this website to buy or from amazon, or createspace or available in kindle format, ebook format, or as a free download.

Sonship! It is, quite simply, the way God prefers to do business. If you mean business with God, you really need to learn what it means to be a son to a father in the Body of Christ.

We have already discussed in the last two sections that God presents Himself to us as both a father and a son. This means that not only is God a Father, but also that God is a Son. As God's people made in His image and made to be like Him, sonship is really having that attitude that was in Christ in having the heart of a son towards leadership.

What we are talking about is how to be a “son” to someone else in the ministry. How to love and serve another with a whole heart, how to give the heart to someone in the Lord and to walk with them.

Previously a lot of people thought that the “spirit of sonship” was something that helped us relate to our Father in Heaven. And of course that is true, however it is not only that. Now we are realising that the spirit of sonship is an attitude, and values shown towards the fathers we have been given in the Body of Christ too. And of course it is the same attitude we should have toward all people. It is the love of Christ made genuine inside of us by the work of the Holy Spirit.

If then you want to walk in the greatest possible measure of God's blessing, you will need to learn how to be a son in the ministry of Jesus. It is not difficult; it is a case of being willing. Do you really have the heart that a son should have? Do you have Christ's heart – willing to be nothing, willing to be a servant, willing to be humbly natural in relationship to other people?

We see this example of sonship in the heart towards people in the lives of Joshua towards Moses, Joseph towards Potiphar, David towards Saul, Elisha towards Elijah, the disciples towards Christ, Timothy towards Paul, and Ruth towards Naomi. There are many examples in the Scriptures of people giving their heart to another, which was in reality the “spirit of sonship.”

The Bible says to “have the same attitude that Jesus Christ had” (Phil 2:5 NLT) and in these examples we see people that served and loved other humans and in doing so exemplified Christ. We must learn that loving God IS loving people. We cannot say we love God and yet not have this evidence in the way we treat our leaders and fathers in the Church and in the Body of Christ. We are coming to see that in fact we do have a very practical way of showing love towards God, by loving the leaders He has given us and loving the people He has placed around us. This love must come from the heart, and be genuine.

This is the Spirit of Sonship.