Who is a child of God? And why is it important that followers of Christ are able to answer this question correctly?
Who Is and Who Is Not
The expression “we are all God’s children” is pervasive but is it accurate? Are we God’s children because we were created by Him and loved by Him? The Bible is clear God doesn’t want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9) and He loves us each as individuals more than we could fathom (see the entire book of John). But neither of these facts make us God’s children. No, being a child of God connotes status and relationship, just like it does in any family. For example, I love kids. I often like them better than adults because they are so genuine and funny and enthusiastic. But even though I adore children in general, my own children are fundamentally different. Will, Nate and Sam all have unique status with me based on relationship.
It’s far from a perfect analogy, yet being a child of God is also based on relationship. And how do you cultivate a relationship with a holy and all-knowing God, the very Creator of the universe? John 1: 12 says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” There’s really no ambiguity, no room to argue.
So are you a child of God? It depends on whether you believe in Jesus. Have you confessed with your mouth that “Jesus is Lord” and believed in your heart that God raised him from the dead? (Romans 10:9). I hope so.
Isn’t it a Technicality?
Some may think this is just semantics, that I’m being overly technical, but wrong thinking on this issue leads to a skewed, unbiblical worldview. If everyone is already a child of God, what was Golgotha all about? Why in the world would Jesus suffer and die? Another important question we should all know the answer to.
Did you watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade or visit a Macy’s lately? Their marketing campaign is one word: Believe. They scrawl that word over everything and have even trademarked it. But the real magic of the season isn’t at all nebulous or foggy or mystical, and has nothing to do with buying lots of gifts. The magic is the person of Jesus Christ who came to earth and died so that we could all be children of God. May the ubiquitous marketing of Macy’s remind us of Jesus and what he did for us. May we believe and know that we are His!