Who are God’s Children and what will God do for them?
“But as many as received Him, He gave them the authority to become children of God, to those who believe in His name;” (John 1:12)
If you have truly received Jesus, truly believed in His name, you have the authority to become a child of God. It does not say you automatically ARE a child of God, by believing in His name and receiving Him, but you ARE able to become one. The effective use of that authority comes as you walk with God in trust and obedience. It is about this great privilege of being a child of God and becoming like God that John is writing when he says, “Everyone who has the hope purifies Himself, just as He is pure”. ( 1 John 3:3).
Is this true? In efforts to avoid “works theology” many times people have implied that you can be a child of God, on your way to heaven, and justified by God, while deliberately walking in darkness. But listen to what the apostle John says, who had a lot to say about being a child of God:
“By this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Everyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. ” ( 1 John 3:10).
Practical righteous living is the fruit of the inner life that comes when we are born of God. There has to be a change. The change is that we go from selfish and dark ways to the way of love and faith. We may certainly do this very imperfectly at first, but it is God’s will that we purify ourselves. This is actually the work of God and man together.
Have you received Jesus? Have you believed on His name? You should realize one thing about Jesus. He is totally against sin. He came into the world to destroy the works of the devil. He came to save people “from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), not to show people a way to keep sinning without having any serious consequences. We can thank God that there is forgiveness for a truly penitent sinner in this life, but sin always costs. It costs like hell.
Your Christian friends, your fellow church members, or even your pastor may not be totally against sin. You might see them practicing sin and teaching that it can be tolerated. But Jesus IS totally against sin. He is against sin because it is destructive to everything good and right. Sin kills people. Sin brings on sickness and disease, poverty and suffering. Sin maims people for eternity. It is sin which separates people from God, and enslaves them to satan, and if not rooted out, will cause them to burn endlessly in hellfire. Sin makes Christian ministers weak and their prayers ineffective. Please don’t think that Jesus is cool with sin. Our God, the Bible says, is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29)
“Behold, how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”
The true children of God will be the winners. We are made to be more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Jesus Christ is able to save us to the uttermost, those of us who come to Him through faith (Hebrews 7:25). Just as God the Father is extremely against sin, so He is extremely FOR His children.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
God is for us when we are for Him (see 2 Chronicles 15:2), and when God is for us, no evil spirit can stand against us. Now look what else it goes on to say in Romans:
“He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up on behalf of us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8: 32)
There is nothing that God won’t do for His children.
It is now up to us to believe that. Believing that will produce results.
The first area I think we need to concentrate on, having receiving Jesus, is this area of sanctification and holiness. We need to place our lives on God’s altar, and be transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:1,2).
God is so against sin, we have to remember that. This being so, if we put our trust in God, and really invite Him to have total access to our inner lives, He will himself work to sanctify, purify and deliver us.
“Faithful is he who calls you, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
If we can walk in Christ, live in Christ, live in faith, live in the presence of God, live in relationship with the Holy Spirit, live in purity, it will be easy to believe what we might call God’s secondary promises. These promises would include divine healing, provision, anointing, more wisdom, enabling, strength, power, gifts of the Holy Spirit, ministry opportunities and more.
But in going after these “secondary promises” before going after the primary things that interest God, namely our sanctification, we are putting the cart before the horse. God might honor it to some extent, but we are treading on dangerous ground, because our ability to receive some blessings from God and some ministry anointing might make us think that all is well with us, that God is pleased, when our lives still fall very short of God’s plan. Read the Bible right through, you’ll see that most of God’s emphasis is on righteousness and holiness. He wants THAT for us before He wants other blessings on us.
I really believe that doing things God’s way would be best for us. We should be like trusting children before God. The whole world is too complex for us to work out ourselves. It is filled with dangerous hostile invisible and visible perils. We cannot afford to trust ourselves to navigate through the pitfalls and arrive safely in God’s eternal presence. We have to trust Jesus to take the wheel of our lives and do what He has to do to make us fit for eternal life and the first resurrection of the righteous.
God wants us to walk in love. That means being patient, kind and faithful. It means to think about the good of others, not just our own interests. I know its possible to do many fine things in this world, but if LOVE is not the motivation, and if LOVE is not proved by the pouring out of our lives for others, then I say that we are wasting our time, missing the point, playing the fool before God, and at very least losing eternal rewards.
The Lord has provided His Word and His Spirit to help us be holy. If Jesus needed to pay attention to the Word and the Spirit while on earth, how much more do we! Its really bad to neglect the things of God in order to pursue our own amusements. We have a generation today which is wasting its time on entertainment, the watching of sport, ungodly music, ungodly websites, and endless computer games. Inasmuch as these things cause us to FALL SHORT of the glory of God, they are SIN. They are socially acceptable idols in the church today, and they account for a lot of the powerlessness of Christians today. We only have limited time, most of us have to earn a living, and everything we do either prepares us for or distracts us from our calling. Our free time should be given for things that definitely please God. We are called to do the will of God.
The will of God is good, pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2). The will of God is satisfying. It is not boring or passive. But in order to enter it, sometimes we need to slow down and stop. We need to repent of wasting our time, listen to God, and start wholeheartedly on the things that are important to Him!
God will supply all our needs, spiritual and material.
We will be looking at some of these promises in follow up articles.