Being a "Child of God" by Steve Alley, Chair Church Ministry Department

Posted on September 11th, 2014

You may have heard people tell you that you are a "child of God."   Do you fully understand all that the title "child of God" means?  Nobody can really fully comprehend the power of that title.  To help understand who a "child of God" is, let's look at some common characteristics of children. 

  1. Children are born into a family (they didn't choose the family)
  2. Children carry their parents" genes/DNA (their parents" characteristics, "image") " "He is so much like his dad/mom."
  3. Children are protected by their parents (parents provide food, protection and insurance)
  4. Children grow up wanting to be like father/mother
  5. The children"s parents teach them about morals/ethics.
  6. Children develop their "identity" from the parents or family - "I"m a Christopherson," or "Oh, she"s their child...that answers everything."
  7. Children receive inheritance from parents 

The above characteristics match exactly the "conditions" you enjoy as a "child of God."  If you have ever personally committed yourself to the Lordship of Jesus, you are a "child of God." Here are some parallels of that identity, with the above list.

1. As a "child of God," you are "born into God"s family."  You chose to be "reborn," and "adopted" into the "family of God."   

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God..."  John 1:12 

2. As a "child of God," you carry your Father"s "image." His presence in you, through the Holy Spirit, should increasingly change you to reflect that "image."  

"Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator."  Colossians 3: 9, 10

3. As a "child of God," you are protected by your Heavenly Father, God.  He provides everything you need to survive and flourish.

"...Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one."  John 17: 11

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear...Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? ...But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Matthew 6: 25-33

4. As a "child of God," you grow up wanting to be "holy," like your Heavenly Father is holy.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3: 1, 2

5. As a "child of God," your Heavenly Father teaches you about morals/ethics.  His Word is filled with His promises regarding standards, consequences and rewards.

"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. 'Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. ...Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness." Hebrews 12: 5-10


6. As a "child of God," you develop your "identity" from God"s Word and other members of God"s family. 

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2: 20

7. As a "child of God," you receive an eternal "inheritance" from God.

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." Romans 8: 15-17

As with all children, you have the "right" to reject your position as a "child of God."  There are several court cases in which children have "divorced," or "emancipated" from their parents.  God will let you "leave" Him.  From the very beginning, God has permitted His people to "reject" Him.  Those who chose to do so, no longer have any "inheritance" in God"s Kingdom. The story of the "prodigal son" in Luke 15 depicts God"s willingness to "welcome back" any one of us who strays from Him, and then returns with a repentant heart.  It is a great "picture" of God"s forgiving, merciful "father"s heart."

As a "child of God," you are not expected to be perfect. Your loving Heavenly Father forgives His children repeatedly.  As with any parent, He only requires honesty and repentance.  In 1 John 1:9, your Heavenly Father clearly states His clear conditions for forgiveness:  

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

As a "child of God," your Heavenly Father enjoys your questions, and even your complaints.  His greatest desire is for "fellowship" with you.  He wants to develop a relationship with you.  A healthy relationship includes honest conversations. Here are some of His words about His desire for an honest relationship with Him:

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." Isaiah 1:18

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"  Matthew 7: 7-11

Hopefully, you"re enjoying the "fruit" of being a "child of God."  If you aren"t, is it because you have "strayed" away from "home," or do you have some unspoken issue about which you haven"t talked with your Heavenly Father?  Your Heavenly Father is the best father you could ever have.  He may be very different from your earthly father.  Get to know Him!  Spend time reading His "love letter" to you (the Bible).  Welcome Him into every busy corner of your life. He"s looking forward to building a lifelong relationship with you!


Reflection Questions

" How is your relationship with your Heavenly Father?  Do you regularly "chat" (prayer)? How can you improve it?

" Is your "identity" firmly established as a "child of God," or are you seeking significance elsewhere?  Do you really understand and "embrace" your heritage within God"s family?

" Is your daily life a reflection of your "Heavenly heritage"?  Do those around you clearly know that you are a "child of God"?