How To Be a Child of God
When we hear and read about God’s children, can we actually put ourselves in that category? Are we truly His children, and what does it mean? After all, God did create everything, including all of mankind, and He loves His creation. He did say however at the time of Noah that He was sorry that He had created man, but that’s because He had a different plan in mind. He gave man a choice to obey Him, and man rejected God’s ways and, as a consequence, the whole world was corrupted (Genesis 6:6-12).
Therefore, He wanted to destroy everything on earth, and if it had not been for righteous Noah, mankind would not have been saved. And through Noah, mankind was spared, and God blessed him and his sons, and they were fruitful and multiplied on the earth (Genesis 9:1).
Now, that didn’t mean mankind was righteous from that point on, since the world has become corrupt again. We read in John 3:16 that God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us, but another step was significant, because He goes on to say that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. So, does that mean that all we have to do is believe in Christ, and we are all saved and are considered God’s children?
Obviously, more is involved as the Bible points out in numerous Scriptures. What do we know, actually know? The law of the 10 commandments has not been done away as we are to keep it still, which Christ makes very clear, for He didn’t come to do away with the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17-20). We need to do more than just believe—we have to be doers and followers of the law as Christ says in 1John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”
Many Christians consider themselves children of God because they believe they have been saved just based on the mere fact that they believe in Christ. They claim that they are born again and that if you’re born again, you are considered a child of God. But the Bible clearly states that a born-again person IS spirit and invisible to the human eye, and anyone who is still human cannot be born again (John 3:6, 8).
How we are to be children of God is expressed in 1 John 3:1-2, 6-8: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is… Whoever abides in Him does not [practice] sin. Whoever sins [practices sin] has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins [practices sin] is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
Those who are not being saved cannot be children of God as we notice in 1 John 3:10: “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.”
We have the opportunity right now, as begotten children of God, who have been chosen to come out of this world, to be a part of His Family. And this step can only be done by receiving His Holy Spirit at the time of our baptism after we have truly repented from what we came out of, and after having believed in and obeyed the gospel of the Kingdom of God. And, we must continue to DO what God requires of us, as explained in Romans 8:13-17:
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of (sonship) by (which) we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The (Holy) Spirit (itself) bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”