children

Can we claim to be God’s children by virtue of being created by him? Or does the bible make distinctions between those who belong to God, and those who don’t? What did Jesus have to say about religious leaders, who by virtue of their lineage back to Abraham, claimed God as their father?

If your belief is based on scripture and not your own wisdom, there is a distinction between those who God calls children and those who he says is not. We are all free will agents, free to believe whatever we want, but those beliefs lead us astray and subject us to consequences?

God is many things to many people. Everyone has their own version of God based on ancient, or not so ancient writings, or even just their own gut feelings. Because of the depth of this discussion, I will limit myself to the Christian holy bible. The reliability of the bible is supportable, other writings are much more difficult and gut feelings are just impossible to support or debate. The links below are a good starting point for why the bible holds the Guinness World Record for best selling book of all time, and why even atheist biblical scholars agree Jesus tomb was empty.

The question is, do we need to concern ourselves with salvation, or our behavior since we are all God’s children anyway? Many think because they are basically good people and God is love, they need not worry about what the bible says. After all, the God they believe in, won’t condemn good people. The next question is, is the God you believe in, the God of the bible, and is your definition of good the same as God’s?

Before you dismiss the bible, is it reasonable to believe the the God who created all existence, and who you are trusting with your eternal life, not powerful enough to keep the viability of his message to us intact? I am not saying there are not scribal errors, or even verses that should not be in today’s bible. I am talking about the core of God’s message of salvation. Surely, an All Powerful God can do that, so we owe it to ourselves to at least investigate the historicity of the bible and its message.

John 1:10-13; “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He 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.”

1 John 3:1; “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.”

In Jesus day, the Jewish religious leaders prided themselves on their ancestries that lead back to Moses and even Abraham. The Old Testament speaks often of Israel being the children of God. But, Jesus spoke quite harshly to them.

John 8:42-44, 47 ; “Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does.”… “Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.” – Jesus

Matthew 7:21-23; Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.” – Jesus

John 1:10-13; “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He 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.”

According to scripture, God calls his children, those who believe him, listen to and obey him. To accept we are all God’s children, one has to disregard scripture. You can’t chose to ignore one verse in favor of another that is more easily interpreted to support your view. For example, if several verses say don’t steal, and another verse is more ambiguous, you can’t throw out the one in favor of another.

Proverbs 4:20-22; “My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.”

James 1:22; “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

John 14:15; “If you love me, keep my commands.” – Jesus

1 John 5:2,3; “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.”

Proverbs just told us that the word of God is life to those who find it. James tells us that God’s word is true, and those who accept it become God’s prized possession.

James 1:18; “He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.”

We Belong To God, or the World

There is a definite distinction between those who belong to God, and those who belong to the world in scripture. Again we read that God’s word, his truth is central to being identified as his children.

Belong to God

John 15:18,19; If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world,” – Jesus

John 17:14-19; I have given them [disciples] your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth” – Jesus

1 John 4:4; “But you [all believers] belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”

1 John 5:19; “We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.”

Galatians 3:26-29; “For you [believers] are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism … For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.

Ephesians 5:1-2 [Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church] “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 5:5-6; [Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica]“For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.”

Belong to the World

Luke 16:8-9; And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.” – Jesus

Acts 13:10; “Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord?”

1 John 3:10; “So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.”

John 8:44-45; For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me!” – Jesus

1 John 4:5-6; “Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us.”

I guess now it comes down to whether the bible is believable, or we can take what we like to believe and discard what we don’t like. To do that renders the bible useless for discerning truth. It is no longer a guide, no longer a light for us to follow.

With just a little time spent on this blog and on the resources page, you will find strong support for the reliability of scripture. You can always choose to ignore the evidence, but it is available for those who are genuinely looking for answers. God said his word would never disappear, that his message would be available for all to find so they could become children of God through faith.

2 Timothy 3:16; “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

Romans 10:17; “faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”

Isaiah 40:8; “he grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever”

Ephesians 6:17; “… and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Matthew 24:35; “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.” – Jesus

 

To ignore the verses that speak of the children of God, and those that express the reliability of scripture in favor of your own personal feelings is a mistake. We get our truth from scripture. Scripture is not validated by our perceived internal wisdom. Scripture exposes us, not the other way around.

Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”

The children of God are those who put their faith in him. Without faith there is no pleasing God. Without faith there is no adoption, no salvation.

Hebrews 11:6; “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”

Galatians 4:5; “God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.”

Matthew 13

“Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels.

“Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” – JESUS

HOW CAN I BE SAVED

Robert J.

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