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Taking as the determinative concept Jesus’ favorite name for God, Father, John interprets the ideal relationship of men to God as that of spiritual children, having the Life – eternal – from the Father. According to John this life of sonship to God, having a definite beginning other than the physical birth, and being manifested in very definite moral and spiritual qualities, defines the very being of a Christian. It is in the measure that one understands clearly, experiences personally and expounds persuasively this truth of Christian Sonship, that one lays hold upon the very heart of Christian faith and life. Hence this investigation of ours to find the formulas, the content and the meaning of the Johannine doctrine of the divine sonship of Christians.

When we start investigating the Johannine doctrine of the divine sonship of Christians, we are confronted with certain questions regarding its nature and origin: Is the Johannine concept of sonship something purely juridical or moral, or does it suppose an ontological reality? If it supposes such a reality, in what does it consist? How do men obtain this reality so as to become children of God? What are the practical consequences of this divine sonship in the life of men? What is the origin of the vocabulary employed by John to express his concept of sonship? Only an attractive study of all the relevant texts in the Johannine Writings can provide satisfactory answers to all these questions.