A common assertion often heard is that we are all God's children. Many think that
it was Jesus Christ who taught that humanity is one big family with God at its head.
However, as we will learn from the following incident, Jesus actually taught the
The incident took place one day when a certain antagonistic group of Jews proudly
proclaimed, "We have one Father, even God" (John 8:41). In response, Jesus had to
question their claim by stating "IF GOD WERE YOUR FATHER, YE WOULD LOVE
ME: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he
sent me." John 8:42
You see, they had already tried to kill Jesus (John 8:40); they definitely didn't like Him,
nor were they interested in what He had to teach. That's why Jesus said to them: "And
because I tell you the truth, YE BELIEVE ME NOT." John 8:45
Strange, isn't it? Here they were, claiming to be God's children and yet YOU WOULDN'T
KNOW IT BY THEIR BEHAVIOR. For one thing, they wouldn't receive instructions from
their own supposed Father! So Jesus told them what He thought of their claim: "He that
is of God HEARETH GOD'S WORDS: ye therefore hear them not, because YE ARE
NOT OF GOD." John 8:47
In fact, Jesus went as far as telling them who they were actually taking after. He
said: "Ye are of your father THE DEVIL, and THE LUSTS OF YOUR FATHER YE
WILL DO..." John 8:44
They were behaving like the devil, whereas Jesus was behaving LIKE A REAL CHILD
OF GOD. He said, "...I do nothing of myself; AS MY FATHER HATH TAUGHT
ME, I speak these things....for I DO ALWAYS THOSE THINGS THAT PLEASE
HIM." John 8:28-29
Christ was obedient to His Father. His behavior, belief and even His speech was reflective
of what His Father was like. You know the old saying: "LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON."
Consequently, His example totally blows away the idea that we are ALL God's children,
because when one observes the way most people act, one has to conclude that:
Most people can't possibly be a child of God after all . . .
A true child of God will be OBEDIENT TO GOD. They'll be attentive to whatever their heavenly
Father tells them to do as revealed in His Word. Do you see, therefore, why most people don't
"qualify" as God's children? Most people don't bother to find out what their supposed Father has
to say. They don't gravitate toward the desires of God the Father. They act like He doesn't even
Oh, some of them may show up on Sundays to give "their Father" homage, but the rest of the week
they live like the devil. They'll do the things the devil would. You know, tell dirty jokes, swear, drink
booze, take things from work and rationalize that it's okay. They'll "fudge" on their taxes, figuring
the government has it coming to them. They'll throw a few "little white lies" around. (By the way,
Jesus said of the Devil: "...When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for HE IS A LIAR,
and THE FATHER OF IT." John 8:44)
Whereas, by contrast:
A true child of God ALLOWS their Father to lead them.
The Bible says: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons
of God." (Rom. 8:14). Yet many who are assuming that God is their Father won't let Him lead
them. They constantly try to run their lives independent of God. They don't readily go to God in
prayer before they make a decision, or readily search His Word for advice.
A true child of God has a REPENTANT ATTITUDE toward their Father.
Repentance is a change of mind from following your own will to following God's will. It is an
attitude that says, "Whatever you tell me to do, Father, I will do it!" It is the opposite of a
rebellious attitude. A parable that Jesus tells in Matthew 21 illustrates a repentant attitude. Jesus
said: "But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son,
go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented,
and went." Matt. 21:28-29
Yet, many who are assuming that they are a child of God, spend their lives rebelling against God's
will by not following His Word. They refuse to submit to God's authority over their lives. Many of
them don't even believe that their supposed Father wrote the Bible!
A true child of God is DISCIPLINED by their Father when they sin.
One of the biggest disservice a parent can do is not teach their child right from wrong. And
God is definitely not negligent when it comes to discipline: "My son, despise not thou THE
CHASTENING OF THE LORD, nor faint when thou art REBUKED of him: for whom the Lord
loveth he CHASTENETH, and SCOURGETH EVERY SON whom he receiveth" (Heb. 12:5).
The three levels of discipline mentioned here are: "rebuked" - to convict, to expose; "chasteneth"
- to train, to correct; "scourgeth" - to discipline involving calamities. The true child of God cannot
willfully sin without God dealing with it, be it through simple conviction or a calamity occurring
in their life.
In fact, God's discipline always comes with the full knowledge that He is behind it. That's why the
Bible says: "If ye endure chastening, GOD DEALETH WITH YOU AS WITH SONS; for what
son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" (Heb. 12:7). Yet many who think they are a child of
God can go on willfully sinning without any immediate conviction or correction from God. The
BIBLE says: "BUT IF YE BE WITHOUT CHASTISEMENT, whereof all are partakers, then
are ye bastards, and NOT SONS." Heb. 12:8
Finally, A true child of God KNOWS that God is their Father.
Since God cannot be seen (John 4:24), HE provides ASSURANCE through His indwelling Spirit
that someone is His child: "NO MAN HATH SEEN GOD at any time...hereby know we that
we dwell in him, and he in us, because HE HATH GIVEN US OF HIS SPIRIT" (I John 4:12-13).
Yet many have no absolute assurance that God is their Father. The best they can do is assume or
feel that they are His child. But feelings are deceiving (Jeremiah 17:9). That's why the Father lets
His child know for sure: "THE SPIRIT ITSELF BEARETH WITNESS WITH OUR SPIRIT,
THAT WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD." Rom. 8:16
By now, you're probably wondering HOW A PERSON BECOMES a child of God.
Well, first of all, it's not by infant baptism or most people would be acting less like the devil and
more in accordance to what we just read! A person becomes a child of God the same way someone
becomes anyone's child--THROUGH BIRTH! A spiritual birth. That's why Jesus said: "Verily,
verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be BORN AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE the kingdom of
God." John 3:3
And how is one born again? The answer is: by REPENTING of your sins and self-will, and
TRUSTING Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Jesus died on a cross to pay for our sins and thus
make it possible to become a child of God: "But as many as RECEIVED HIM, to them gave he
power TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD, even to them that believe on his name." John 1:12
TO RECEIVE JESUS CHRIST, The Bible says: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the
Lord Jesus [i.e. REPENT], and shalt believe in thine heart [i.e. TRUST] that God hath raised him
from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED." Rom. 10:9
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