Are we all God’s children?

January 15, 2012
God and man, God's family, image of God, Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco

Are we all God’s children?

It is not uncommon when spiritual or community leaders get together for an event or to promote a cause that someone might evoke our common humanity by saying, “We are all God’s children.” While this is a comforting sentiment and many nod in agreement when heard, what does the Bible tell us is the answer? Are we all God’s children?

The first thing that has to be asked is what makes someone a child of God? In our own human experience, when we have children, we realize that they are our offspring. As offspring, they tend to look like us and as they grow, they tend to act like us. Likewise, as our children, they learn from us how to live their life and what we expect from them.

Our own children usually carry our name. We usually give them a first name that is significant to our liking, values, or in honor of someone in our family. In that name, the child is identified by others and based on the reputation of our name, they may be rightfully or wrongfully thought of.

It is no different when it comes to being a child of God. A child of God should look like God and as they grow, act like God. More specifically, the Bible teaches that we should look to Christ as our example:

(1 Peter 2:21-23 KJV)  “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: {22} Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: {23} Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:” (Emphasis added)

When we look to Christ as our example and we allow Him to change our hearts and minds, we become conformed to His image and become more like Him. (Romans 12:1-2). It was God’s intention since the foundation of the world that this would happen to his children; to become conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29).

Likewise, as human children learn how they should live their life and what we expect from them, it is the same with the children of God. As God’s children, we should learn how to live our life and what God expects of us. We do this by studying the Word of God to learn how to live our lives so that we meet with his approval (2 Timothy 2:15).

Finally, when we are children of God, we too are given a new name. Spiritually speaking, as children of God, we have overcome the world by our faith in Christ (1 John 5:4-5). When we have overcome, the Bible tells us that we are given a new name by God:

(Revelation 3:12 KJV)  “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” (Emphasis added)

Although we can look like a child of God and act like a child of God, what is it that really makes someone a child of God? The answer is found in Galatians 3:26: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Simply stated, it is faith in Jesus Christ that makes us children of God. Likewise, when we have faith in Jesus Christ, we are also declared to be children of Abraham and are heirs of the promises that God made to Abraham and his children (Galatians 3:6-9; Galatians 3:29-4:6).

The Apostle John wrote more about the children of God. He wrote that whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God (1 John 5:1). If we are born of God, then that means that God is our Father (1 Thessalonians 1:1-3) and we are his sons (1 John 3:1).

If there are children of God, how do we know who are not children of God? God tells us He will show us how in 1 John 3:10.

(1 John 3:10 KJV)  “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”

If those who “doeth not righteousness” are not of God, then we can understand that those who do righteousness are of God. God defines “doing righteousness” as belief, not works:

(Romans 4:3-6 KJV)  “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. {4} Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. {5} But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. {6} Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,” (Emphasis added)

(Titus 3:5 KJV)  “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” (Emphasis added)

So then, if righteousness is by our believing God, then believing is “doing righteousness.” This is important to understand because it is saying that those who are not children of God are identified by their lack of belief what God said about Jesus being the Christ (1 John 5:9-12, John 3:36). This is further verified in the following verses:

(1 John 2:22-23 KJV)  “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. {23} Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” (Emphasis added)

(1 John 4:2-3 KJV)  “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: {3} And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (Emphasis added)

(2 John 1:7 KJV)  “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (Emphasis added)

Therefore, those that believe that Jesus is the Christ are born again as children of God. Those who do not are not children of God. If not children of God, then who are they children of? The Devil according to 1 John 3:10:

(1 John 3:10 KJV)  “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”

As children of the Devil, the Scriptures make it clear that they do not believe what God said about His Son Jesus, that He is the Christ. They do not believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay for their sins (John 3:16). They have not trusted in His gift of salvation from death in Hell because of their sins (Romans 6:23). They are without hope (1 Corinthians 15:12-20) and they are deceived (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).

After considering what God has to say, if someone were to ask, “Are we all God’s children,” the answer is no.

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