John writes in John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” What a beautiful thought! The possibility of being God’s child!
John writes in 1 John 3:1, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” Indeed, what love! He continues in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. As God’s sons we will one day be able to see Him face to face! Now we only see Him through an eye of faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). One day our faith will be sight! The New Testament has much to say about our relationship with God as children.
As John points out in John 1:12, Jesus gave to those whobelieve on His name the power to become sons of God. So one must believe on the name of Jesus Christ before he can become a child of God. But that faith must be followed by baptism. Paul writes in Gal 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” But he continues in Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” “For” is a conjunction that ties verses 26 and 27 together. It means, “seeing that; since,” according to Webster. So, Paul writes, “Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus,since ye were baptized into Christ…” This agrees with what Paul writes in Romans 8:14: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” So being a child of God hinges upon one’s being led by the Spirit, not merely believing in Jesus.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
There are certain blessings and promises that come with be children of God. Continue reading Romans 8:14-17. In Romans 8:16-17 Paul writes, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” What a promise, to be heirs with God and joint heirs with Christ, and toglorified with Him! Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Paul writes in Hebrews 2:10, “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
Yes, children of God must sometimes endure suffering and hardship. This may mean simply serving the Lord in difficult situations. It may mean the teasing or taunting of fellow students or co-workers. It may mean worse forms of persecution, even to the point of death. But Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” So if we suffer hardship and/or are persecuted for our service to the Lord, it is well worth it! Paul writes in Romans 2:7, “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.” Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” So God’s children will be richly rewarded for their suffering for Him.
But God will be with us and give us strength during our trials here. Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:10, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” The Lord promised in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”
John gives the beautiful promise: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). One day, all faithful children of God will see their Lord face to face. But John continues in 1 John 3:3, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” Indeed, one who has the hope of one day seeing the Lord will keep himself pure. And he will be careful to allow himself to be led by the Spirit (Romans 8:13-14). Paul writes in Hebrews 12:9, “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” This is a rhetorical question.
Are you a child of God? Then you will certainly want to live as He teaches in His word, the Bible. Are you not a child of God? Then, as the Ethiopian asked in Acts 8:36, what hinders you from being baptized?