This week’s question: Is everyone a child of God?

There is a sense in which every person is a child of God. We have all been created in His image. Human beings are God’s offspring, Acts 17:28. The reality, however, is that the New Testament uses the phrase “children of God” in a particular sense. Consider 1John 3:10, “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” All being spoken of by John are human beings. All are called “children.” Not all, though, are children of God. Some are children of the devil. What makes the difference?

We find the answer again from John in the Gospel of John 1:12-13, “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.” Only human beings who “receive” Jesus are given the right by Jesus to become children of God. Those who do not receive Jesus cannot be children of God.

What does it mean to receive Jesus? It is more than mere belief, James 2:24. Galatians 3:26-27 tells us, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Belief in the gospel, repentance, and immersion in water are what make one a child of God.

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