by Kevin Burton
In my moments of despair, my wife will remind me that I am a child of God. But what does that mean?
Let’s look at it in two ways today, first by peeling the phrase apart, second by taking it as a whole.
What does it mean to be a child? A child is immature, filled with potential but dependent on parents to survive and grow.
A newborn baby has nothing and completely lacks the wherewithal to get what he needs, or to even know what to get, apart from the direct and loving intervention of his parents.
This is the picture of a man, even a grown man, trying to function apart from God. Spiritual blindness robs him of a knowledge of his sin nature and need for God.
A young baby can’t even sit up, though he will reach out and flail in this direction or that, reacting to stimuli he doesn’t understand properly. This is man apart from God.
Though he believes himself to be learned and sophisticated he’s as needy as a child.
Now consider the prepositional phrase “of God,” or belonging to God.
If you’re going to be a child – and you are going to be a child in the sense mentioned above – better to be a child of God.
A child who is “of God” can not be separated from God and continues in allegiance to and imitation of God.
To be a needy child in the house of God is a happy state indeed. Your dependence is complete. But his love, care, protection, nurturing, teaching, guidance of you in that environment are all complete and perfect.
What a blessing to pause in this realization, then continue in the life God has given us; to continue in His name and in His purposes.
Another view of the phrase child of God, we get today from a passage on the website www.gotquestions.org. What does the Bible say about who is and who is not, a child of God?
“Many people wrongly believe that everyone is a child of God. Since human beings are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), aren’t we all His children? The Bible says no.”
“Every human being is designed by God and loved by Him, but we can only become His children when we are adopted by Him (Eph. 1:5; Romans 8:15). Because of our sin, we live under the tyranny of Satan, the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4),” the passage reads.
“We are enslaved by sin and live to follow its dictates (John 8:34; Romans 6:16). Sin-drenched humanity cannot enter the presence of a holy God. Our sin must be forgiven and our natures restored before we can have fellowship with the One we have offended (Psalm 51:7).”
“Second Corinthians 5:17 describes what happens when we are born again into the family of God through faith in Jesus: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new’ (KJV). Jesus taught that becoming children of God means we must experience the new birth (John 3:3).”
“To be a child of God means our old sin nature is replaced with a nature that wants to please the Lord. We still sin (1 John 1:8), but we have ‘an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the righteous’ (1 John 2:1). Being a child of God means our sins are paid for and our fellowship with God has been restored.”
“Being children of God means we have access to the throne of grace through prayer, any time and from any place; we have the promise that ‘we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need’ (Hebrews 4:16),” the passage reads.
“The child of God trusts his Father to supply all his needs ‘according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 4:19). He is confident that the ‘Father in heaven [will] give good gifts to those who ask him!’ (Matt. 7:11).”
“A child of God has an eternity in heaven guaranteed (Eph. 1:13–14; John 3:16–18). Jesus has already paid the entry fee for every person who trusts in His death and resurrection.” “Children of God live in the hope of seeing Jesus face to face, and so they ‘purify themselves, just as he is pure’ (1 John 3:3). A child of God is eager to do good works (Titus 2:14), because saving faith is a faith that changes us (James 2:14, 26),” the passage reads.
“A child of God is no longer a child of the devil and no longer plays in the devil’s backyard.”
“God sets about transforming His children through the power of the Holy Spirit, and they begin to take on a family resemblance (Phil. 2:12–15). If we do not begin to look like our Heavenly Father in word, desire, and action, we are most likely not really His (1 John 1:5–6; 2:3–4).”