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The Message of John (Lesson 4)
Children of God | John 1:12-13
"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God."
This passage presents a staggering truth about our identity as believers in Jesus.
We are children of God!
Being a child of God means that we have been adopted into God's family and have the right to call God our Father. This image emphasizes the intimate relationship we have with God. As his beloved children, we are treasured by and provided for by him.
Being a child of God is not something that is dependent upon human ancestry, ethnicity, gender, educational or economic status, intellect, or any other human distinction.
The passage states we are "children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." This new birth is a spiritual birth by the power of the Holy Spirit, where we are no longer spiritually dead but alive, with new eyes, ears, and a new heart that wants to know and follow Jesus.
Being a child of God is a gift. Like everything else in the Christian life, it's not earned or deserved.
It is a blessing granted to those given the grace to believe upon Jesus as Savior.
The implications are huge!
We get a new identity. No longer are we seen as condemnable sinners. We are fully forgiven sons and daughters!
We have an extended family. No longer should any of us think we're alone. As children of God, we are part of a massive extended family of other folks whose lives are defined by the grace they've received from God in Jesus.
We also become heirs of God, with riches of grace beyond imagination stored up for us. As we read in 1 Peter 1:3-5,
"3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power for the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."
No follower of Jesus is poor. Even if we have very few material possessions, if we are possessed by Jesus, we have more than the world can imagine.
Because we are fully forgiven, perfectly accepted, and dearly loved children of God!
What does it mean to be adopted?
How do people become children of God?
In what ways does this passage emphasize the sovereignty of God in salvation?
How does being a child of God emphasize the intimate relationship we have with God?
Why is it important to understand that becoming a child of God is not based on human effort or merit but is a gift?
How does being a child of God give us a sense of confidence and trust in approaching God?
We thank you for adopting us into your forever family. We confess that we often struggle to fully grasp the significance of this truth in our lives. So help to understand and embrace our identity as your forgiven, accepted, and treasured children, and to live in light of this truth.
We pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.