“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29
Though Adam and Eve were created as children of God, knowing God and His holy will, truly loving Him, trusting Him, and fearing and honoring Him with their lives (cf. Gen. 1:26-27; Luke 3:38), Adam and Eve lost their right to be God’s children when they doubted God’s Word and disobeyed Him. They sought to be like God, knowing good and evil, but became children of the devil, enslaved by evil (Gen. 3).
As a result, all of us are born “children of disobedience” and “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:1-3). We are, by nature, sinners deserving of God’s everlasting punishment!
But, through the promise of His Son to be our Savior, God again gave the right and privilege of sonship to His elect, from Adam through Noah and Abraham to the present. Those who place their faith in Christ Jesus – who was to come and now has come – are called the sons of God (cf. Gen. 6:1ff.; Hos. 1:10; John 1:12-13; 1 John 3:1-2). Those who do not trust in Jesus as the Son of God and their Savior are of their “father, the devil,” (John 8:44) and continue in his evil ways. Like the judgment of God which came upon the children of men in the days of Noah, so God’s fiery wrath and judgment will come upon the children of men on the Last Day.
How do we become children of God? God’s Word tells us: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:26-27; cf. Mark 16:16).
We do not deserve the right of sonship, nor can we earn it; for we are sinners. But Christ has won it for us by His holy life and innocent sufferings and death in our stead.
The Bible tells us that “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18). Because Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again, the right and privilege of sonship are ours through faith – simply by believing the truth that God will forgive our sins and accept us as His own dear children for Jesus’ sake when we place our faith in Him and His blood shed upon the cross (Eph. 1:6-7; John 1:12-13).
And, through Christian Baptism, God offers, gives, and conveys to us this forgiveness of sins, right of sonship, and eternal life which Jesus won for us on Calvary. In our Baptism, He graciously washes away our sins, and His Holy Spirit regenerates us and gives us faith and assurance that we are indeed forgiven children of our heavenly Father (Acts 22:16; 2:38-39; Tit. 3:5-6). In our Baptism, our sins are cleansed and washed away, and we are clothed with the perfect and holy righteousness of Christ – making us blameless and acceptable in God’s eyes (cf. Eph. 5:25-27). This is true, regardless of our race, status, or sex; through faith in Jesus, we are God’s children and a part of Christ’s family, the Church.
“If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:29) If we are children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, then we are the promised offspring of Abraham (Gen. 15:5-6; 17:4-8; 22:17-18; Rom. 4:13-25) and shall inherit the blessings promised to Abraham and his seed.
We have “a lively hope” because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven” for us (1 Pet. 1:3ff.). When we die, the angels will carry our soul to the bosom of Abraham (Luke 16:22; 23:42-43); and on the Last Day, our bodies will be raised up and changed into glorious and heavenly bodies like that of our Lord Jesus, and we will ever be with the Lord (cf. 1 John 3:2; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17)!
Dear Father in heaven, we thank Thee for the privilege of being Thy children through faith in our Savior. Dear Christ Jesus, we thank Thee for winning for us the right and privilege of sonship by Thy holy life and innocent sufferings and death. Dear Holy Spirit, we thank Thee for bringing us to faith in Christ Jesus and making us children of our heavenly Father. Graciously keep us in the true faith until we receive the promised inheritance – eternal life with Thee, the Son, and the Father, and all our fellow believers. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible.]