Our culture likes to name generations. You have the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z and Generation Alpha.
As a child of a specific generation, you were raised in a different culture than the one preceding you. For example, one grew up without indoor plumbing, while the other might have three indoor bathrooms. One grew up with only one car without air conditioning, while the other might have two cars, a truck and a boat they never use. One grew up going to church, while the other never attended.
Even though generations might change, what it means to be a child of God has never changed.
So, what does it mean to be called a child of God? Although there are many things from the Bible I could talk about, I’m just going to point out three.
A child of God believes in and receives Jesus as their savior.
The Bible said that Jesus “came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn – not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son,” in John 1:11-14.
When you come to faith in Jesus, you are born again into a new life. The old life is gone, and a new life begins.
A child of God leaves sin behind and walks in obedience to Jesus.
God’s children are called to leave their sinful lives behind and follow Jesus. The Bible said, “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister,” in 1 John 3:7-10.
I know what you’re asking: “What if I sin? Does that mean I’m a child of the devil?” The answer to that is no. There is a big difference between someone living a sinful lifestyle and a child of God who falls short. If you do fall short and sin, when you repent, Jesus forgives.
The Bible said, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world,” in 1 John 2:1-3.
A child of God is a royal member of his family.
In God’s master plan of love for you, “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son,” in Ephesians 1:4-6.
The good news is that through faith in Jesus, you have been adopted into God’s eternal family. It makes you a child of the King of Kings, with all the rights and privileges of royalty.
The Bible said, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory,” in Romans 8:16-18.
Zachary Elliott is the lead pastor of Fusion Christian Church in Temecula. For more information, visit http://www.fusionchristianchurch.com, http://www.encouragementtoday.tv or find them on Instagram.