A radio talk show host was recently discoursing on race relations in the nation. His plea encouraged listeners to consider one another as important members of our society. “After all,” he concluded, “We are all children of God.” While the emphasis of his point is certainly valid and worthy of being embraced, I am taking this opportunity to address a matter about which people are often confused.
Are all human beings inherently, naturally "children of God"? Since God made humankind, it seems logical and proper if not a bit poetic to call the human race “God’s children”. (God does love what God creates.)
When a couple gets pregnant and births a child, they properly refer to that little person as their child. The pronoun “their” does not refer to ownership but rather to origin. As children grow up and for the rest of their lives they refer to mom and dad as their parents. Again the pronoun “their” refers to origin.
As of this writing, there are just under eight billion souls on planet Earth. The Bible account tells us all have sprung from the first two human beings God created, “male and female he created them” the book of Genesis says. But does God consider all human beings to be his children? Is this distinction important or is it just semantics?
This verse from the book of the Apostle John in the Bible gives us helpful information. “...To those who received him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right tobecome children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision, …but born of God.” (John 1:12-13)
If a person can become a child of God what is that person before becoming a child of God? The Apostle Paul lines up with John when he writes,“Those who are the children of the flesh are not the children of God.” (Romans 9:8) Since there is a clear distinction between the two groups, children of the flesh and children of God, how does one become a child of God?
Jesus is a good source for answering this key question. In his conversation with a man named Nicodemus, Jesus says, “Flesh gives birth to flesh but Spirit gives birth to spirit.” It is as simple as that. Just as a child born to human parents is their child due to the child’s origin, so it is that that those born by God’s Spirit are to be called children of God due to their origin in that they are birthed directly by God.
We become children of God when we accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross in our own place, inviting and receiving God into our heart and life. One is spiritually born directly and personally by God’s Spirit. Each one becomes a child of God. It does not matter if you go to church all the time or not at all. Going to a church does not make you a child of God anymore than going to a hospital makes you a doctor. (Going to church is good and beneficial, but do not miss the central point here.)
In summary, all human beings are God’s creation but not all are God’s children. To blur this crucial distinction is to obscure the seriousness of the matter. Are you certain you are a child of God? I would be happy to talk with you personally to discuss your questions.