Friday, April 10, 2015

on Leave a Comment

Are You A Child of God?

          There are those who would assert that we are all God’s children, but is this assumption proven to be true by the word of God?  It is written: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (Genesis 1: 27)  Letting the word speak for itself, it declares rather that God is the Creator of all mankind, but does not state that all of mankind are children of God.  To gain an understanding of who is a child of God, one must necessarily study further.

          Before the birth of Christ, the Books of the Old Testament tell the story of how God entered into a special covenant relationship with a man called Abraham, his descendants, and their development into the special nation of Israel.  God promised them that He would always be their God, and they would always be His people.  Yes, man has no excuse for not acknowledging God, for the works of His creation are evident for all to see.  But in reaching out to mankind, God has worked in a special way through a special covenant and the faith of Judaism.  “And he (Abram-later renamed Abraham) believed in the Lord; and it (belief, or faith) was counted unto him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15: 6) After God brought the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt, He told Moses to tell the people: “ ‘Now, therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.  And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19: 5, 6)  Without Judaism there would be no Christianity, for Christ is The Jew (all God, in the form of man), from the line of King David, and through Him the offer of Salvation has been made to all mankind.  Jesus is the final sacrificial lamb (the blood of atonement), the Messiah, the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the earth; without faith in the blood of Jesus there is no forgiveness of sin.  Without His resurrection from the Cross, our faith is dead.  He proved that He is the Son of God when He arose from the dead, was seen by many witnesses, and after forty days, He was seen ascending into Heaven.          

          Under the new covenant, God came to earth in the form of a man, to pay for the sin debt for whosoever would believe in Him and His work upon the Cross.  His birth did not do away with the promises made under the law to the Jewish people, for God’s promises are never withdrawn.  He did not come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it.  Jesus taught that our first birth, through our earthly parents, has made us created in the image of God, but then He states that for one to be accepted into the kingdom of God, you and I must be born again, not just in the flesh, but of the spirit.  “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God.”   “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3: 3, 5 – 7)  The word makes it clear then that the first birth of the flesh makes one a creation of God, made in His image, but it is only through the second birth in the spirit, by the Spirit, that enables man to become a part of the kingdom of God.  Either we must accept the truth of what He says, or in our own pride and arrogance, we declare Him to be a liar.  

          Let us not be satisfied to stop there, for the word of God will always give further confirmation of its own truth, so that it can not be left up to any man’s opinion or private interpretation.  Who is a child of God?  It is written:

John 1: 12- 13

“But as many as received Him, He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Galatians 3: 24 – 29

“Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” *Remember, Abraham’s belief, faith in God, was counted or credited unto him as righteousness.

Romans 8: 8 – 14

“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  For if we live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

Romans 10: 9 – 13

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.”

          If we are now made children of God, under the new covenant through faith in Jesus Christ, does that give us cause to boast of ourselves, as if we have made ourselves better and more righteous than any other man?  Of course not, for our righteousness is as filthy rags in the sight of the Lord.    We have no righteousness made by our own hands, for we have all gone astray and come short of the mark.  What then is the source of righteousness within the believer?   “For what saith the scripture?  Abraham believed God, and it [faith] was counted unto him for righteousness.  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned by grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Roman4: 3 – 5) It is our faith in the blood of Jesus Christ that is imputed unto us as the righteousness of God.  It is not of ourselves, for even our faith is a gift from God.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”  (Eph 2: 8) 

          Neither can we boast in good deeds, as if by them we can save ourselves and attain salvation through them, for only God is good and perfect.  We were all at one time lost in our sins, and without hope of redemption.  “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ, (by grace are ye saved.)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace towards us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”    (Eph. 2: 3 – 10)

          By scripture, not by my opinion or the wisdom of man, it is confirmed that all of mankind is created in the image of God, but not all are children of God.  All have access to God, through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, to be redeemed, born again in the spirit through the power of the Holy Spirit, but not all will choose to believe and become a child of God. 

          Jesus has said He knows who are His.  “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  The hireling fleeth because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10: 11 – 15)  Those who do not believe that salvation can only be found through Jesus Christ and no other, are not His children.  For without faith they cannot hear His voice.  “Then came the Jews around about Him, and said unto Him, How long dost thou make us to doubt?  If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10: 24.  They were no different then than the mockers and scoffers of today.  “Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  I and my Father are one. (John 10: 25 – 30)

          All of us can believe wrongly through lack of knowledge.  However, just as ignorance of the law is no excuse in the secular world, neither is our lack of knowledge an excuse for continuing in error of believing that which is contrary to the word of God.  It is ironic, yet no different than in times past, that those who do not believe Jesus is the only path to God the Father, or believe that the Bible is the inherent word of God, are the ones that are first to accuse “judge not lest ye be judged,” wrongly assuming that believers are not admonished to “test the spirits” to discern good from evil.  Without discernment there is no good judgment, or a compass by which we are to be directed to the narrow gate [and few that go therein] to stay upon the path that leads to everlasting life, as opposed to the wide gate [and many that go therein] and the path that leads to death and destruction.

          Jesus is still full of mercy and grace, ever extending the invitation to follow Him that you might be saved through faith in Him.  He continues to call out to all who would seek Him.  His Word was not written by man through their own opinions and private interpretations.  If that were true, what is the explanation for the prophecies that were written hundreds and more years before they ever came true.  No man can have such knowledge, for the words of the prophets will always come true as they speak truth directly from God, not myths made up by their own vain imaginations.  “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation.  For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (II Peter 1: 20)  Along with this, came the following warning: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (II Peter 2: 1, 2)

          As believers in Christ, children of God, we must never trust in our own opinions, intellect, or reason, for our knowledge is finite and does not always lead to truth.  Only in the fear of the Lord is there wisdom that will always lead to the truth, and nothing but the truth; truth that remains true and is established, unchanging from generation to generation.  If you think that you are a child of God, but hold doubt that He is the only way, the truth, and the life, as Jesus has told us; I urge you to reexamine your faith that you may not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Be not deceived by doubt and unbelief.  By grace are we saved, through faith in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. To be a child of God, we must be born again.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8: 14)  Believe not my words, but study the word of God for yourself, and believe upon the name of Jesus and in the power of His Word.  “For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  God forbid:  Let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in the sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”(Romans 3: 3, 4)


Post a Comment