Being a Child of God
The Bright Hope of Being a Child of God
As children of the sinful first Adam, we were obstinate and ornery, helpless and hopeless, having nothing in ourselves to commend us to God. God’s love, however, overruled our unloveliness. Through Christ, God provided a way for us into His family. As God’s adopted child, you have been given a new identity and a new name. You are no longer a spiritual orphan; you are a son or daughter of God. As a child in God’s family you have become a partaker of His “divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).
If you are beginning to think you are someone special as a Christian, you are thinking right—you are special! Your specialness is not the result of anything you have done, of course. It is all God’s doing. We are what we are by the grace of God. All you did was respond by faith to God’s invitation to be His child. As a child of God, in union with Him because you are in Christ, you have every right to enjoy your special relationship with your heavenly Father.
How important is it to know who you are in Christ? Countless numbers of Christians struggle with their day-to-day behavior because they labor under a false perception of who they are. They consider themselves sinners who hope to make it into heaven by God’s grace, but they can’t seem to live above their sinful tendencies.
Look again at the hope-filled words of 1 John 3:1–3: “See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.… Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
What is the believer’s hope? That you are a child of God now, who is being conformed to the image of God. The person who has this hope “purifies himself” and begins to live according to who he or she really is. You must believe you are a child of God to live like a child of God. “God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).
Neil T. Anderson, Victory over the Darkness, ed. Virginia Woodard, Second Edition. (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2000), 55–57.