Children of God

I will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:18)

Is it possible that we could actually be the literal children of God – higher than the angels? Most people think that we are “children” in the sense that all God’s creatures are His children – it’s semantics – somewhat akin to a schoolteacher speaking of her pupils saying, “These are my children.” Most are not able to accept the magnificent truth of God’s promise to us – that we can be like God and in the God Family.

Paul wrote to the Romans: “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (Romans 8:16) How can we genuinely pray, “Our Father…” as Jesus taught us to pray, unless He is our Father, and we are indeed His children?

At conception and birth, we become the physical children of our dad – his life passes to us – we receive our dad’s last name as our own. We are the children of our dad. In the exact same way at our baptism and with the laying on of hands, we become the spiritual children of our heavenly Father – His Spirit life passes on to us – and we receive the Father’s name (Matthew 28:19, John 17:11). Therefore, we are the children of God – the seed of God. “And because you are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba [daddy], Father.” (Galatians 4:6)

Notice how clearly the Scripture reveals this: “That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Romans 9:8) In other words, when a person is baptized and receives God's Spirit, he becomes a begotten son of God - God places His own name on the newly baptized believer! He belongs to God. He is God's son in embryo – not yet fully born spiritually into the eternal Family of God. That will come at the resurrection.

The Apostle John wrote at the end of the first century and recorded this incredible fact that only converted Christians would be able to believe: “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” (John 1:12) “For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26)

In the same way that a child must grow through nine months of development before being born into this world – we must grow in Godly character and develop spiritually for a time before our full spiritual birth takes place. Nonetheless, we are already considered by God to be the children of God at this present time.

This incredible mystery was hardly known to the ancients of old. Jesus, Himself, began to expound on God’s plan to create literal sons and daughters to be a part of His family – made in His image and likeness. (Genesis 1:26) God is Spirit – and we will be fully Spirit too, when our change takes place in the better resurrection (Philippians 3:21).

Jesus Christ set the example – going before us. The Word [Jesus Christ] became flesh as the Son of God (John 1:14). After His death, Jesus was resurrected to Spirit life - the "firstborn from the dead" (Colossians 1:18) and the "firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29). Jesus became the first child of God. In turn, Jesus makes it possible for us to follow in His steps: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” (1John 3:1)

The Jews of Jesus' day accused Him of blasphemy for saying that He was the Son of God: "Because you, being a man, make yourself God" (John 10:33). They did not understand that God’s plan included reproducing Himself – utilizing mankind. Jesus was raised in glory, the first of many who will soon be raised in glory also (Romans 8:18).

Jesus answered those Jews, “Is it not written in your law, I said, You are gods?" Jesus interpreted the term “gods” literally to mean, “Gods.” Notice: “If He [God] called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God?" (John 10:34-36). Psalm 82:6 reads: "I [God] said, You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High."

God is a family. There is one God (the God family) made up of more than one member of the God family. At present, the literal spiritual Family of God consists only of the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ – two divine Beings – God and the Word (John 1:1-3). At the time of Christ’s return, there will be a huge increase in the number of members of the God family – that is because we have not yet been spiritually born – though God counts us as children already.

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.” (1John 3:2) “Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature." (2 Peter 1:4)

The very reason that God created the universe, the earth, and man in it was for the purpose of bringing many sons to divine glory. “For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory…” (Hebrews 2:10) As divine children of God we will be a part of God’s infinite plan of developing the entire universe into the Kingdom of God.

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God…Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Romans 8:17,19,21)

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." (1John 4:7)

***

Sermon:  "Children of God"