Bible Reading: Romans 8:12-17
“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” [John 1:10-13].
I have been so blessed in recent weeks as we have sung the song, “I am no longer afraid, I am a child of God.” As we have sung this song in our church I have wondered, without being judgmental, if everyone singing the song really is a child of God. These verses in John’s Gospel make it clear that only certain people have the right to call themselves children of God.
More than thirty years ago my wife and I adopted a baby. It was a remarkable adoption. We took Timothy when he was one day old but for six months we could not call him our child. After the required six month due process we went to court and Timothy became our legally adopted child, and that gave him the right to call himself our child.
Not everybody is a child of God, and sadly some who might think that they are, are not! There is a legal process in becoming a child of God. Paul likens it in Romans to adoption, where God has adopted us into His family and calls us his children. Only then do we have the right to call ourselves God’s children.
John makes it clear what the process is that gives us the right to be called the children of God. This process is really one but has three parts to it – receiving Jesus, believing in His name and being born of God.
We must receive Jesus personally. His own people rejected Him [John 1:10] but to become His children we must receive Him. Have you personally asked Jesus to come into your heart? Have you welcomed Him into your life?
We must believe on His name. The word, believe needs to be explained. It is not a passive belief in Jesus and it is far more than a mental persuasion. The Bible says that even the devil believes [James 2:19]. The word, “believe” means to adhere to, to trust in, and rely upon! Are you relying upon Him for salvation? Do you trust Him for everything? Are you adhering to Him?
We must be born again of God. We will look much more closely at this when we look at John chapter three, but what John tells us in chapter one is that this birth is not by human descent – not of blood, nor by human effort – not of the will of the flesh, nor by the will of any other person – the will of man, but of God [John 1:13]. This new birth is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life when they turn from sin, receive Jesus, and trust Him as their Lord and Saviour.
As you have read today’s reading do you have in your heart the assurance that you are a child of God? If not why not surrender your life to him today? If you are His child, then why not thank Him today.