The Joy of Being a Child of God
So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. 32 And you will know the truth [regarding salvation], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin].” 36 So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.
Christians are happy because they are set free from sin’s power. Everybody who sins is a slave to sin(John 8:34). Since ancient times many nations and races have been subject to the harshness of slavery. Some of the masters were kind, and some were cruel. But there has never been a slaveholder who was such a cruel master as Satan, and there was never a bondage as awful as the bondage of sin.
Every person who is not in Christ is a salve. But when you come to Christ, He sets you free. The Lord Jesus Christ takes every man and woman who believes in Him and sets him or her free from the power of every sin.
Christians are happy because they know that they are children of God. It is a wonderful thing to know that you are a child of God. No one knows it but the Christian, for only the Christian is a child of God.
How does the. Christian know that he is a child of God? Because God says so.
“But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name— who were born, not of blood [natural conception], nor of the will of the flesh [physical impulse], nor of the will of man [that of a natural father], but of God [that is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified].”(John 1:12-13)
The moment you accept the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be a child of God and know that you are a child of God. Isn’t that enough to be happy about? Suppose you knew you were the son of some great man or the son of a millionaire or the son of a king. Don’t you think you would be happy? But being the son of any king is nothing compared to being the son of God, the King of Kings.
One day many years ago, an English duke lay dying. He called his younger brother to his bedside and said. “Brother, in a few hours you will be a duke, and I will be a king.” He was a Christian. He was a child of the King, and he knew that when he left this world, he would get a kingdom in heaven. The moment anyone receives Jesus Christ, even if he is the poorest man on earth, he can lift up his head and say, “I am a child of the King. I know I am a child of God.”
Sometimes, as I travel around the world, people will point out a man to me and say, “That man is the son of a great man.” What of it? Suppose he is a child of a king? I am a child of God. That is better than being a child of a king.
We read in the Bible that the Gospel is preached to the poor. I believe in preaching it to the rich. They need it as much as anybody. But I would rather be a poor man who is a child of God than a rich man who is a child of the Devil.
R. A. Torrey
I remember talking with a young woman some years ago who was struggling with being adopted. She was wondering what was wrong with her that would cause her mother to give her away. She felt as though she had no value, that she was a cast off. I began to ask her about her adoptive parents. Did they love her? Was she happy with them? Was her life with them a good life? To each of these questions, she responded that she knew she was loved and she was happy being with them but she didn’t feel like she was truly part of the family. She had been adopted but somewhere in her was the question of acceptance. Even though her adoptive parents were showing her love, she had little sense of belonging. So I said to her, “Those who are natural born children struggle with the same questions. They know their mother gave birth and that they are naturally and legally part of the family but suppose they were an accident? Suppose their parents really didn’t want them and just kept them because it was the right thing to do rather than because they loved them. Those who have been adopted were chosen by parents who really wanted a child and the adopted were specifically chosen to become their child.” The light bulb turned on and this young woman began to see her value. Being adopted was a positive thing rather than a negative one. No longer viewing herself as a castaway but as a chosen one. I remember the joy that filled her heart that day to know she was chosen.
In a greater sense, this is us. God has chosen us and has adopted us into the family of God with all the rights, benefits, and privileges that come with sonship and daughter-ship. Every one who is born again is born into the family of God from the moment of accepting Christ as Savior. There is no trial period in which we have to earn our position as a child of God. Far too often we focus on where we were and what we were rather than focusing on where God has brought us and the fact that whatever we were in the past, we are now the children of God. In Romans Paul tells us that it is so that we are the children of God through adoption.
“For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “ Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God. And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory.”(Romans 8:14-17)
John in 1 John provides an even more powerful description of who we are in Christ Jesus.
“See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, we are [even here and] now children of God, and it is not yet made clear what we will be [after His coming]. We know that when He comes and is revealed, we will [as His children] be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is [in all His glory]. (1 John 3:1-2)
So no matter where you came from and what you have done, if you have receive Jesus Christ you are a full fledged child of God now with no restrictions nor limitations. You have full access to the throne of God so you can bring your requests to Him. You are no longer subject to Satan nor your past. Since God has forgiven you, washed you in the blood of Christ, and adopted you into His family, let the happiness of being a child of God flood your heart, mind and soul. Let it lift your spirits today. Let it encourage you to stay in the race. Let it give you the faith to believe the promises of God and let it give you peace.
Dr. John Thompson