Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Who Is a Child of God?

Who are the children of God? Are “all” God’s children? Some people will say the children of God are all members of one church. And, if you are not a member of their church, you are not a child of God. There are quite a few church groups who believe this way. Other people will say that all people are children of God, because mankind is made in the image of God. This can be sort of confusing when you realize that this statement includes atheists – people who believe there is no God at all!
What does the Holy Scripture say about children of God?

John 1:12-13 12 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Children of God are individuals who have received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, have been enabled to believe in His name, and have been given the right to become the children of God through the gift of salvation from God (Ephesians 2:8).
According to the Scriptures, there are three ways a person cannot become a child of God:
1. “who were born, not of blood…”. This declares that a person cannot be a child of God by being born into a particular family. A person’s relationship with God is not contingent upon the ancestry of his family. A spiritual relationship with God is not determined by a man’s physical relationship with his parents. He may have ministers in his family tree; his entire family tree may be made up of devoted Christians. Nevertheless, though the blood that flows in his veins may come from dedicated believers, this does not secure a place in heaven for the relative.
2. “who were born…nor of the will of the flesh…”. A man’s right to heaven is not determined by how many good works a man performs. So many people are deceived at this point. They are taught by their church that their good works earn their way into heaven; if they don’t work hard enough at doing, what the church determines to be good works, the person will not get into heaven. The Holy Scripture is very clear on this point: works of the flesh – no matter how noble and grand they may be – will not gain a man’s right into heaven.
3. “who were born…nor of the will of man…”. It is not the will of man that determines when and if he gets saved. Jesus made it clear: it is not man’s will, but God’s will that determines if a man is to be saved. Jesus declared:

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” John 6:37
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44
“And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." John 6:65

The Scripture declares: “who were born…out of God.” To be born again is to be born from above – out of God. The heavenly birth of man is up to God’s will – not man’s will. If were left to man, no man would be saved. Why? The Holy Scripture is very clear on this point:

“as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.” Romans 3:10-11

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