There are some that think we are all God’s children simply by the fact we are human beings. This is an interesting idea and sounds so good to think of all of us being in one big family but is that really what the Bible teaches?
It is obvious that we are all someone’s children but the question is whose? In the first chapter of the Gospel of John we read where 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…” So we see it is only those that receive Jesus Christ that are children of God.
Jesus had more than one heated discussion with the religious leaders of his day. On one particular day it came about because Jesus offered them freedom and they became incensed saying, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that you say, ‘You will become free?” Jesus agreed that they were in fact Abraham’s descendants, in the natural, but that wasn’t what heritage he was really talking about. They claimed to have come from God, but he disagreed with them because if God was their father they would love him. He said, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God…” Jesus then said, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father…” Whoa! So while all did in fact come from God, because he created humans, not all are his children.
Just as there were many in Jesus’ day that thought they were God’s children and weren’t it is the same today. Paul expounded on this in Romans 8 saying, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God…The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God…” It is therefore only those that have the Spirit of God within that are God’s children and we only receive the Spirit when we receive Christ and his work on the cross on our behalf. We cannot call people “Children of God” that have not received Christ.
You might be saying to yourself “How can we know who is and isn’t God’s children?” On the one hand we may not know, but there are a couple things that are clear. 1 John 3:9-10 tells us, “No one who is born of God practices sin, because his seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” The old saying is “I am my father’s son.” This doesn’t mean a child of God will never commit sin but it does mean our lives will be consistently less sinful and more and more loving toward others. Of course this will only take place if we receive Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son, and let him live his life through us. Remember it is to them that receive Him that he gives the right to become children of God.
Written by Louie