I Am a Child of God
I Am a Child of God
Yah, really! How can that be? Am I being rather arrogant and maybe a bit snooty to assume such a title? While rolling their eyes, some might think so. Whatever could make me think such a thing?
It’s God’s word. The Bible assures me in so many places. One verse specifically in mind is John 1:11-13,
He (Jesus) came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Jesus, who is LORD of lords, was born a Jew according to the prophesied family tree, but so many of His own people, especially the leaders, did not receive Him or welcome Him. When their sins were exposed, they became filled with bitter hatred instead of the sorrow they should have experienced. Rather than believing what Jesus preached about a full and free salvation through faith, they called Him a blasphemer and had Him crucified.
But, there were many Jews and a growing number of Gentiles who did receive Jesus. How did they “receive” Him? They believed what Jesus preached. They believed Jesus had the power to forgive all their sins. They gladly and seriously started living the way Jesus taught because they could see how beautifully right it was. That’s repentance.
They welcomed Jesus’ gospel, His good news, into their hearts. Upon seeing how Jesus lived, the truths He preached, and the miracles He worked, they were absolutely totally assured in their hearts that this was the promised Redeemer prophesied throughout the Old Testament.
And so, they accepted all that Jesus is into their hearts and allowed Him to change their lives. That’s “receiving” Christ.
In John 1:11-13 it says that Jesus gives those who receive Him “the right to become children of God”. That word “right” can be rendered “power”. So, what’s that saying?
Before, we were not the children of God. We might have been described according to 1 John 3:10, “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: any one who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” So, there is such a thing as “children of the devil” and that might be what we once were.
But we don’t have to remain that way because 1 John 4:4 says, “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” That means that when we believe in Jesus, He lives in us and He will grant us the power to overcome temptation and to be strengthened to live in the truth.
Especially note in John 1:11-13 above, that it is only the “believers” who “become” children of God. We weren’t God’s children beforehand, but when we believe in Jesus, we “become” God’s children.
John really emphasized this “becoming” aspect by pointing out some details in verse 13. First, we were not born of any special blood line. So, you don’t have to be a Jew to be a child of God. All you have to do is believe.
Secondly, we don’t have to be born of any particular parents. It does not matter who our parents are or what happened in our childhood. All we have to do is believe.
Thirdly, nobody has to willfully force us into a Christian faith. Nobody can “make” another person really believe. It’s all God’s work. God presents His word to each of us in many different ways. We see and hear it. Then we either personally accept or reject it.
That’s so marvelous. People from all sorts of backgrounds can become a child of God. We don’t have to worry about our past or our family’s past. And, our salvation does not depend on any other person. Only faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross saves us.
Just look at what Jesus has done. Check out His credentials in the Bible. I don’t need more proof.
I’ve gladly received Jesus as my Lord, God, and Savior. I’m a child of God.
( P.S. I wrote this post in June 2006 for another website that does not keep an online archive. )
A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods.
Pray for our country.
The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.