Are you a child of God? Do you know for sure that God is your Father? I have heard it said before that we are all God’s children. I understand this statement to some extent because God has created all of us, and we are all loved by God. Does this make all of us to be the children of God? According to the scripture, we are not all God’s children. The problem of sin in our lives has separated us from God. It has caused a breach in our relationship with the Heavenly Father.
How does someone who is alienated and separated from God come back into a relationship with Him that allows us to call God our Father? Scripture speaks very clearly on this issue: “You are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 3:26). The phrase sons would have meant to include men and women — sons and daughters. The apostle Paul used this word “sons” in the Greek language, which meant full grown sons who have complete legal rights. It was a word to describe a person who was old enough to become a legal heir. Paul was saying that we can become full heirs to God as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul also said, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Sonship (adoption)” (Romans 8:15). He also said, “In love (God) predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5). Do you see the word adoption? You may find this hard to believe but God adopts us as his own children when we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He could have chosen to judge us for our sin and wash his hands of us completely. Instead, he gave the life of his Son Jesus to die for us, and then offers us a chance to become his very own children through the process of spiritual adoption.
I will never forget the joy of receiving each of my children into the world. It is hard to think you could love another child more than your first. Then you have another child and you realize that you love him/her just as much. The birth of a child (although not easy) is usually a joyful and sweet time. When we receive Jesus Christ, God joyfully welcomes and receives us as his children.
Through Jesus Christ, we belong to God as his child. The sense is that God has filed the legal paperwork so we can be his adopted children. Several years back, my wife took a young man into our home. The judge signed an order that named us as the young man’s legal guardians to make all decisions for him — medically, educationally, etc. We treated this young man like our own child as much as possible. And we were just legal guardians — not fully adoptive parents. Eventually the young man was reunited with his mother. When we receive Jesus, God doesn’t just become a legal guardian to temporarily take care of us. He becomes a legally and fully adoptive parent who is 100 % committed to us for the rest of our life. In the biblical Jewish culture, a parent could renounce their rights to a child if they were truly dishonorable and rebellious; however, they could not renounce the rights of an adopted child. They were committed to this bond before God.
As his adopted children, God has poured out his love upon us — “How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called the children of God” (Ephesians 3:1). God’s love is extravagant for his children. He has poured it out upon us.
So, do you know that you are a child of God? Is God your Father? Jesus Christ has given his life for you. He invites you to come to the Father. Through his blood, he offers the forgiveness of your sins and the full right to a legal adoption by God the Father. What do you say? How would you like for the God of the universe to be your Heavenly Father? And that’s the Word.
The Rev. David Yarborough is pastor of St. Simons Community Church. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-634-2960.