We are called to be Children of God. What exactly does this mean? In 1 John 3:1 it says this, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” This sums up exactly why we are called his children. As we go deeper into this study we will learn more about why we are called his children, and what, as children, we are supposed to do.
If we take the first part of 1 John 3:1 “See what kind of love the Father has given to us”, there are lots of reasons why he loves us. First off, he created the very beings we are. Most of the time when people create something, they enjoy and cherish it. We know God created us – Gen 1:26. And we know he loves us. Why? John 3:16-17, because he gave his only son for us. What greater love can someone have for us, than to give his only son that we may be with him after this life is over. Secondly he loves us because God is love. This profound statement made in 1 John 4:8, is one of the most important ones we have. God’s true nature is love, he loves us because he is love. This is the exact reason why Christ came to die for all of mankind. Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were rebelling against him, he sent his son to die on our behalf. Why? So we can have that hope of an eternal home with our Father.
Not everyone on this earth is a child of God. And I say that in a spiritual way. Yes, everyone is a child of the Lord Almighty because he created us. But, to spiritually become a child, you must receive him and be baptized for the remission of sins. John 1:12-13 explains, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” Now John says “born…of God”. Aren’t we born of God? Essentially, yes we did come from HIm. But being born spiritually, or born again as Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” We are a new creation because of baptism (Galatians 3:26-27). We become a “spiritual child” of his when we are in Christ.
As children of our physical parents on this earth we are supposed to obey them. Ephesians 6:1 and Colossians 3:20 both tell us this. As children of our heavenly Father, we must obey him as well. John 14:15 Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Sounds easy, but its easier said than done. John 14:21 says that if we keep his commandments God will love us. That’s the relationship we have with him, he created us, so the least we could do is obey his commands and he loves us for that. It’s just like parents and children. When the kids do something that parents asked him/her to do, the parents love them, not just because they obeyed their command, but because they know what’s good for their child. It’s the same with us and God. When we obey him there is a reward, heaven.
But being children of the Almighty God does not mean we are without troubles either. In fact, it’s just the opposite we endure more trials. Why? Because the world hasn’t accepted Christ. John 1:11 states, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” His own his us, the world. (Also another example of when we are called his “own” or “children”). The world did not accept him and they still fully haven’t. It’s all because of Satan, and he is the reason we endure hardships. If we stay faithful to our Father until the end, and don’t get caught up in all the sin in the world, we will be saved. Matthew 24:13, “But the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” That is a promise from God that shall never be broken.
It is an honor and a privilege to be called “Children of God.” We know he loves us more than we love ourselves, and he cares for us. He will watch over his children and make sure that they return home. Isaiah 40:11, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.”