Power to Become the Children of
by Carlos Mantica
Saint Paul says in Romans 8:19 that the creation
waits with eager longing for the revealing of
the sons of God. And in the next verse he
explains why: for the creation was subjected to
futility… in hope, because the creation itself
will be set free from its bondage to decay and
obtain the glorious liberty of the children of
There surely exists in God’s plan some point in
history when this manifestation will be evident
to the whole world, but I think this should also
take place to some extent here and now.
Unfortunately, I also believe this cannot happen
as long as his children remain unaware of their
own identity and of the dignity with which they
have been endowed.
It is about that dignity that I would like to
talk today, but without referring to all the
children of God, but rather to those whom he has
called to be manifested here and now as his
The things I am going to mention fall in the
category of what I call my favorite heresies.
These truths are so absurd and sublime that they
sound like falsehood, but once we internalize
them they ought to become the quintessence of
our personal faith, that is, of the
faith that impels us and sustains us—of our
Perhaps the simplest way to sum up our dignity
is by saying that everything the heavenly Father
wanted to do with his Son, the Son and the
Father have wanted to do with us. They have
wanted us to be as he is, to have what he has,
to do what he did and to be what he is.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined
to be conformed to the image of his Son, in
order that he might be the first-born among many
brethren. And those whom he predestined he also
called; and those whom he called he also
justified; and those whom he justified he also
glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)
Jesus has decided to give us his own
to all who received him, who believed in his
name, he gave power to become children of God
what love the Father has given us, that we
should be called children of God; and so we
are. The reason why the world does not know us
is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are
God’s children now; it does not yet appear
what we shall be, but we know that when he
appears we shall be like him, for we shall see
him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in
him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John
It was Jesus
who taught us to call “Dad” and to address in a
familiar way the One whose name could not even
be pronounced (Romans 8:15).
And if children, then heirs. That is why we
are called to have what he has:
Father said to the Son in his self-portrait
parable: Son, …all that is mine is yours (Luke
Son said to the Father: All mine are thine,
and thine are mine (John 17:10). I am praying
for them… for they are thine (John 17:9).
Thine they were, and thou gavest them to me
Paul then says:
[things] are yours; and you are Christ’s, and
Christ is God’s (1 Corinthians 3:22).
God gave his
Son a mother, and he in turn has decided
to give her to us: Behold, your mother! (John
19:27). He made her Immaculate; us he leaves
without the slightest trace of sin when he
effaces all sin with his blood and his
He was born by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We are born again from on high, by the work of
the same Spirit.
And it is through his own Spirit that he has
decided to give us his own character:
we all, with unveiled face, beholding the
glory of the Lord, are being changed into his
likeness from one degree of glory to another;
for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit
(2 Corinthians 3:18).
And he has
wanted us to do the same things he does;
for the one who had said: Truly, truly, I
say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own
accord (John 5:19), is the same who will later
say to the Apostles and to us: Apart from me you
can do nothing (John 15:5), and yet, [you] will
also do the works that I do; and greater works
than these will [you] do (John 14:12).
And Paul adds, I can do all things in him
who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
The First Letter of John says that the Lord came
to revert the work of Satan: The reason the Son
of God appeared was to destroy the works of the
devil (1 John 3:8). And the last chapter of Mark
(16:17-20) tells us:
these signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will cast out demons; they
will speak in new tongues; they will pick up
serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing,
it will not hurt them; they will lay their
hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
…And they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them and confirmed
the message by the signs that attended it.
Jesus said: The
Father judges no one, but has given all judgment
to the Son (John 5:22).
St. Paul reminds us: Do you not know that we are
to judge angels? (1 Corinthians 6:3)
said: The words that I say to you I do not
speak on my own authority; but the Father who
dwells in me does his works (John 14:10).
to those he has called he says: But the
Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father
will send in my name, he will teach you all
things, and bring to your remembrance all that
I have said to you (John 14:26).
We have been
called to be as he is:
Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light
of the world; he who follows me will not walk
in darkness, but will have the light of life”
Philippians, Paul says: …that you may be
blameless and innocent, children of God without
blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse
generation, among whom you shine as lights
in the world (Philippians 2:15).
And to those
he has called he says: You are the salt of the
earth… You are the light of the world (Matthew
Jesus’ desire is for us to be like him in all,
being lifted up to the Father:
are not of the world, even as I am not of the
world. Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is
truth. As thou didst send me into the world,
so I have sent them into the world. And for
their sake I consecrate myself, that they also
may be consecrated in truth (John 17:16-19).
He who has
emptied himself and taken the condition of a
servant to wash his disciples’ feet, says to us:
you know what I have done to you? You call me
Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I
am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have
washed your feet, you also ought to wash one
another’s feet (John 13:12-14).
These are all
tremendous truths, but it is not us who have
invented these things. They come from him who
once said: I and the Father are one (John
10:30). If you knew me, you would know my Father
also (John 8:19). And to Philip he says: He who
has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:9).
And, He who sees me sees him who sent me (John
This is the same one who prays to the Father
asking that we would be one with him and with
glory which thou hast given me I have given to
them, that they may be one even as we are one,
I in them and thou in me, that they may become
perfectly one, so that the world may know that
thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as
thou hast loved me (John 17:22-23).
He who asserts
that the Father loves us as much as he has loved
his Son Jesus, is the same one who says to us:
That is why he
continues to say a little later:
the Father has loved me, so have I loved
you; abide in my love (John 15:9).
I desire that they also, whom thou hast given
me, may be with me where I am, to behold my
glory which thou hast given me in they love
for me before the foundation of the
world (John 17:24).
And since the
Father’s desire is to do the will of the Son,
just as the Son’s desire was always to do the
Father’s will (John 5:30), this desire of Jesus’
has been fulfilled. The Father gave over his Son
to death for our sake, but he raised him from
the dead for our sake too.
the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the
dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus
from the dead will give life to your mortal
bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in
you (Romans 8:11).
…When he raised
[Christ] from the dead and made him sit at his
right hand in the heavenly places, far above all
rule and authority and power and dominion, and
above every name that is named, not only in this
age but also in that which is to come; and he
has put all things under his feet and has made
him the head over all things for the church,
which is his body, the fulness of him who fills
all in all (Ephesians 1:20-23).
That is why even the smallest among us, being
part of his body, even if he is unworthy to
untie his shoes and is now as high as his feet,
is yet above all throne, dominion and power.
We are already sitting with him at the right
hand of the Father. It is not that some day we
will be there, but we are already with him at
the right hand of the Father.
that day you will know that I am in my Father,
and you in me, and I in you (John 14:20).
things look from the perspective of the throne!
God’s secret plan is to recapitulate all things
a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all
things in him, things in heaven and things on
earth (Ephesians 1:10).
purpose, this is what he did with Jesus:
God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him
the name which is above every name, that at
the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in
heaven and on earth and under the earth, and
every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord, to the glory of God the Father
And because God
gave him a name above every name, and because he
has made him Lord of all that exists, he can now
say to his Apostles:
authority in heaven and on earth has been
given to me. Go therefore and make disciples
of all nations (Matthew 28: 18-19).
It has been
granted to us to complete Christ’s mission in
the world, and that is the raison d’être of our
call. We have been called to the most important
mission in human history: to complete the
mission that only a God could begin, and which
required a God to become man, so that one day we
might be like him and be with him forever. And
the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full
of grace and truth (John 1:14).
this I looked, and behold, a great multitude
which no man could number, from every nation,
from all tribes and peoples and tongues,
standing before the throne and before the Lamb
I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now
the salvation and the power and the kingdom of
our God and the authority of his Christ have
come, for the accuser of our brethren has been
thrown down, who accuses them day and night
before our God. And they have conquered him by
the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their
testimony (Revelation 12:10-11).
Some may wonder
how we came to know that Christ is God. And I’m
not referring to the faith in his divinity, but
to the evidence of his divinity. Some have
wanted to see the proof in his miracles, or in
his power to forgive sins, or even in his
resurrection from the dead. I think that the
proof of his deity lies in the way he has loved
us. God is love (1 John 4:8), and only God could
have loved as he loved. And if it is in this
that it has been known that he is God, in the
way he loved us and in the fact that he loved us
first, then by this all men will know that you
are my disciples, if you have love for one
another (John 13:35).
[I pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a
spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the
knowledge of him, having the eyes of your
hearts enlightened, that you may know what is
the hope to which he has called you, what are
the riches of his glorious inheritance in the
saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness
of his power in us who believe (Ephesians
have spoken, and
…we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God,
which God decreed before the ages for our
glorification. None of the rulers of this age
understood this; for if they had, they would
not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as
it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear
heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what
God has prepared for those who love him,’ God
has revealed to us through the Spirit (1
article is adapted from the book, From
Egghead to Birdhood (hatch or rot as a
Christian), (c) copyright 2001 Carlos
Mantica. Used with permission.
Carlos Mantica is a
founder of The
City of God community (La
Cuidad de Dios) in Managua,
Nicaragua, and a founding leader
of the Sword
of the Spirit. He served as
president of the Sword of the
Spirit between 1991 and 1995.