We are Children of God
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. – John 1:12-13 (ESV)
“Who am I?” This was the question we wrestled with in our sermon this past Sunday. The matter of our identity – who we are – is of immense importance. As human beings, our thoughts, feelings and behaviour flow from who we believe ourselves to be. Who are we as Christians? What is our identity as someone who places faith in Jesus Christ?
We find an answer from Chapter 1 of John’s Gospel. In the prologue, Jesus Christ is described as the eternal, pre-existent Word of God that takes on human flesh and becomes a man. Imagine that! God becomes a man. Jesus Christ comes to dwell among his people. He is life, light and truth. He comes to His own people the Jews, but many of them reject Jesus.
However, to those who trust Jesus, accept His claims and confess His name, Jesus gave them “the right to become children of God”. To be a child of God is to enjoy the privilege of becoming a part of God’s covenant people; it is to enjoy a relationship with God Himself as Father. This comes as a grace-gift only to those who believe in the Word – Jesus Christ. Becoming children of God comes from the new birth that is “not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man.” It does not come from the natural process of human procreation nor from any human decision, but from God through the life-giving Holy Spirit. This new birth comes “from above” (John 3:3) and you are entirely dependent on the Holy Spirit for it. We become radically changed and we get a new identity as children of God. So as Christians, we are children of God, a part of the new covenant people of God, with the privilege of God as our father. This is who we are.
What does this mean for us as Christians? Our identities are now rooted in the fact that we are children of God. Our identities do not come from what we have achieved, nor derived from what we own. As a child grows to reflect his or her father’s character and embraces the family’s priorities, we can increasingly grow to reflect our Father’s character and take on the Father’s priorities for our world. Our identity as God’s children should increasingly shape our thoughts, feelings and behaviour, so that we leave no questions about who we are.
Reflection Questions and Prayer:
1. What are you basing your identity on? Evaluate yourself – what occupies the majority of your thinking, feeling and behaving?
2. You can start to grow to understand your new identity in Christ that comes when you first trusted the gospel of Jesus Christ. You grow to understand it by taking in the Bible and by prayer. How are you growing in this area this week?