ARE WE ALL GOD'S CHILDREN?
There is a belief among the people worldwide that every human being is a child of God. I have heard the phrase spoken so many times, “We are all God’s children,” but, are we? To answer this question it is necessary to see just what the scriptures have to say on this subject. I believe that many might be surprised to see what the Bible has to say.
Psalms 11:4, Psalms 12:1, Psalms 14:2, Psalms 17:14 and all throughout the book of Psalms calls mankind “the children of men.” Children in this case means one born. Men means a human being. So a very basic understanding of who we are would be one born to a human being. I'm
sure we can all believe in that definition and agree with it. Now, if that were all there was to it, we could go on our merry way and think nothing of
it, however there is the spiritual application which is a great deal different than the physical and mortal aspect of being a child. Here we find not only who we are, but we also find that we’re accountable for what we are after we are born. This is something that many do not fully understand, do not know about or refuse to know about. All children are immortal from birth; living souls, not mere bodies! We will never die as a spiritual being, and therefore we have an accountability to the creator whose words on this issue are inescapable whether we choose to believe them or not. The rest of this article will deal with that aspect of who children really are and we will also consider what our real accountability to our creator entails.
There are many scriptures concerning the "children of God" that deserve our consideration. We shall examine enough of them to get a clear and accurate picture of what moves a person from being a child of men to a child of God. Here I must caution the reader that the words written in scripture are God’s words no matter how much anyone would like to deny it. Please bear with me in this! If these are not God’s words we have nothing to concern ourselves about, but if they are indeed God’s words then we should be very concerned that we read and understand what they are saying. To believe God speaks through scripture and to ignore his voice would be the greatest folly any person could ever be guilty of. To reject scripture as God’s word to mankind is the option all of us have before us as well, but the consequences of that rejection could be terrible if scripture is God’s word. In this all men have been instructed to consider and judge for themselves. There are many scripture verses that attest to our obligation to make a decision and live by it. 176 verses in Psalms 119 speak clearly of God’s Word. Joshua 1:8 promises that if we abide by God’s word we shall find success, Psalms 1:2 tells us that a godly man meditates on God’s word day and night, Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s word is powerful and sharper than a sword dividing asunder the soul and the spirit and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 remind us that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” Other verses speak of the word of God as a hammer and fire (Jeremiah 23:29), as light (Psalms 119:105) as seed (Mark 4:3), and as milk (I Peter 2:2) for new Christians. The Bible itself claims to be God’s Word. “And God said” or its equivalent is stated over 2600 times in the Bible itself. Now some have said that the Bible stating that it is God’s word doesn’t validate that it is God’s word, so that proves nothing. I have to agree that this point would be valid except for one factor. This is where the spiritual part of our being comes into play. The God of the Bible speaks to any person who is willing to listen. There are many ways in which he does this, and one of them is the Bible. Jesus said; “He that has an ear to hear; let him hear.” By implication, he is saying that there are some who are willing to hear God speak and some who are not. This would divert this lesson on the children of men to another whole teaching and will have to wait. I want to close out this subject with my own personal thought on this issue. I know that the Bible is God’s word because I am in daily touch with the author and have a personal relationship with the one true God of the universe. Because I know him, and because I have prayed to him according to his written word, I have had many prayers answered and many needs met that I spoke to him alone about. For me to doubt his word considering all he has done in answer to prayer would be abysmal foolishness of the worst kind. In a results oriented world God alone produces amazing and sometimes supernatural results through the power of prayer.
Continuing with the subject of children, I will consider the negative and frightening aspect of the spiritual side of this subject. The Bible speaks of children of darkness, and also children of disobedience, children of the devil and children of hell. This is something that most people would rather not discuss, but it would be gross negligence to overlook this subject in the light of the effect it has on eternity and the coming judgment. Ephesians 5:6 speaks of God’s wrath on the “children of disobedience.” Colossians 3:6 states the same. Proverbs 4:19 speaks of the way of the wicked as “darkness.” Isaiah 5:20 speaks of the confusion of wicked men. John 3:19 tells us that “men loved darkness rather than light” which verifies that we would rather not face truth because we refuse to acknowledge our accountability to God. Paul, the Apostle, dealing with a man who sought to pervert the way of the Lord called the man a child of the devil in Acts 13:10. And Jesus speaking to the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:15 called them “the children of hell.” All these verses indicate a spiritual condition that speaks of the evil nature of mankind. They are meant to teach us what we should avoid and to warn us to flee the wrath of God that will come upon those who rebel against him and choose to do their own thing even if it is a religious thing. We have all inherited a sinful nature from birth, and some would like to use that as an excuse to blame God for our sinful condition. God is not impressed with our ignorance of spiritual matters and will not change his word or
his expectations for us. His call to every one of us is to repentance and life in Christ. It is a call to a life of purity and holiness which is impossible without God's direct intervention in our lives. Scripture is filled with the impossibility of mankind to be holy or pure by himself. Proof can
be found in Isaiah 64:6 which boldly declares, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness is as filthy rags.” Psalms 39:5 tells
us every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Psalms 14:2-3 , Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:10-12 and Romans 3:23 all tell us that all mankind is sinful, and Jeremiah 17:9 cries out to us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?” All these verses and many more proclaim with a loud voice that we are lost and without any hope of recovery in our sinful condition, and there is not a single thing we can do about it. Certainly we are born with this sinful nature, but we also choose whether to allow that nature to control us or turn to God for help. A little poem posted in my office will be helpful.
Two natures lie within my breast.
One is cursed and one is blessed.
One I love and one I hate,
But the one I feed will dominate.
God has given us the freedom to make a choice to either serve him or to serve Satan. Some might say, I serve myself. I am not serving the devil! These words often come with some indignation and temper, but it is not convincing to God who knows the hearts of all men. There are two masters in the universe, and neither of them is you or I. Satan is the personification of evil and Christ is the personification of good. All who live serve one or the other. There is no middle ground. Jesus said; "You are either for me or against me." To somehow believe that we possess power that can overcome either of them in ourselves is the height of deceit and will earn us a lifetime living in delusion and ending in spiritual death. Because God is merciful, there is a possibility to turn from sin and death to life in Christ which moves us from being children of the devil to being children of God. The Bible has a lot to say about the children of God. Matthew 5:9 says the peacemakers shall be called the children of God. Luke 6:35 gives instruction for the children of the highest. Romans 8:16 speaks of the Spirit bearing witness that we are the children of God. In Romans 8:21 we are told that being a child of God is release from our bondage. Galatians 3:26 says we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:2-3 speaks of what we were before we were children of God. Children of God are also defined in other ways as the children of the light, children of the day, and more. The following verses show those differing ideas: 1 John 4:4, 1 John 2:12, 1 John 5:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:5, John 8:12 and 1 Peter 3:9.
The Bible goes on to draw comparisons between the children of this world and the children of God. Matthew 13:38, Luke 16:8, Romans 8:9, Ephesians 5:8, 1 John 3:10, 2 Corinthians 6:14 and Ephesians 5:8 are some examples of this. In addition, there are scriptures that speak of the nature of those who follow after the flesh and those who walk after the spirit. These are those who are sensual and those who are spiritual.
The works of the flesh are outlined in Galatians 5:19-21 and the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. The most severe test is to be found in
the book of 1 Corinthians, the thirteenth chapter which is commonly known as the Love Chapter. We can all measure our true character by simply inserting one word in each verse where this measurement is given. In place of charity we should use our own name starting at verse 4 and finishing with the first word of verse 8. For those honest enough to make a self-examination like this will soon find that they fall far short of being a loving individual, and will find that we are self-centered and of low character and have much to improve upon. God’s condemnation of us is deserving, and it makes his forgiveness far more valuable to us.
So then, anyone who followed this all the way through can have no more delusion as to the true nature of mankind and our willingness to live our lives as we wish before God reveals himself to us and delivers us from a lifestyle that is offensive to both God and man and the rejoicing of the devil who despises God and his creation. It has also been made clear that we have a choice to believe God’s word or our own opinion. One is a real course for spiritual disaster, and the other the doorway to peace with God and eternal salvation. I leave the choice with the reader.
C. R. Lord © 5/22/2016