Who are the children of God?
We are called to be children of God and joint heirs with Christ. But how do we come to be called children of God?
“Behold what great love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” 1 John 3:1.
They didn’t have this grace [to be called the children of God] over their lives in the old covenant. At that time they were called His special people. (Deuteronomy 26:18; Deuteronomy 29:13.) They did not experience being born again. When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about being born again, it was something that was totally foreign to him even though he was a teacher in Israel.
Who are the children of God?
[The children of God] are born by incorruptible seed, by the Word of God. (1 Peter 1:23). “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” James 1:18.
Listen here to what a life we have come to through the new birth: “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” 1 John 3:9.
The Word of God is the seed, and by it I am born again. This occurs when I give up my will and my opinions and believe the Word. By faith the Word becomes one with me. (Hebrews 4:2.) This is the new birth. Then the Word must not yield to my opinions or my will, but I must melt together with the Word by faith. I cannot sin because God’s seed remains in me.
Sin is a transgression of the law—what I know to be wrong. (1 John 3:4.) The person who is born of God cannot do that. A person who lives in sin—doing what he knows is wrong—is of the devil. (1 John 3:8.)
“Behold what great love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1. Think of the great love that has been bestowed on us. Our future was death and perdition. Living was the same as sinning over and over again and being anxious. Through the new birth we have become heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. It is Jesus’ desire that where He is we shall be also in eternal glory, and for us living in the world has become an opportunity to be conformed into the image of God’s Son. Now all things work together for our good. (2 Timothy 2:10; Romans 8:28-29.) [The children of God] live, fighting the good fight of faith, rejoicing in the hope of eternal glory, without being anxious, without living in sin and without fearing death. Should we not join with John and call out, “Behold, what great love the Father has bestowed on us!”? This is the message that God has given us to preach to people.
“… and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Romans 8:17.
This article has been translated from Norwegian and was first published with the title “God’s children” in the periodical Skjulte Skatter (Hidden Treasures) in June 1953.
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.