You are not a child of God unless….

you know Jesus Christ as Savior. It does not matter how religious you are, if you believe in God, Heaven or even Satan and Hell . Even though you were created by God, that does not automatically make you his child. The phrase “child of God” or “son of God” (in this sense, “son”  means child) originates from Scripture , yet Scripture does not create an environment where anyone can claim to be God’s child. This does not ruin the fact that every human is created and is loved by God [1], but it means the special privileges of being part of God’s family are exclusive.

Jewish Family

Only certain people can have the privilege of being in God's family

The idea of a familial relationship with God originates from the Beatitudes in Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Jesus said that those who create peace will be called “sons of God”[2]. He goes on to call God the Father in Heaven, to those who are the “salt of the Earth and the light of the world”[3]. Later on in a discourse with the Sadducees about the resurrection Jesus clearly describes how those who “attain the resurrection” (eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ) will be called “sons of God”[4].

The phrase “children of God” is first used by the Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Romans. Talking to Christians in Rome, Paul described how the kin of God are heirs of his suffering and glory. Here, Paul said that people who are lead by the Holy Spirit (and not human nature) are sons of God. The Holy Spirit is a spirit given to those who are adopted as God’s sons, giving former orphans the ability to call God their father (in the same way Jesus called him father)[5]. It is the Holy Spirit that testifies to someone when they are a child of God[6].

Again we see in Romans that is not by a natural birth that people become God’s children, but rather a spiritual birth[7]. Furthermore the children of God are described as having pure innocence[8]. Perhaps the clearest definition of who cannot be God’s child is found in 1 John where it says that those who do not act righteously or those who hate their brothers cannot be God’s children[9]. It is by receiving God’s love through faith[10] that we become his children and he becomes our Father.

The right to being God’s child is not something that can be claimed on basis of human nature. You cannot call somebody your father if you are not really their child, whether that be biologically or naturally. The only way to know God is to know Jesus Christ as Savior[11] and to be reborn, spiritually- not biologically[12]. Membership in God’s family cannot be obtained by any work or by nature, but by placing faith in Jesus Christ you will be adopted into God’s family and be reborn by his Spirit. It is clear in the Bible that the title of “child of God” applies exclusively to true believers. The only time the Bible calls non believers God’s children is in reference to those who will become believers in the future[13]. If you say you are a child of God, back it up- what part of the Bible applies to you so that you can claim that title?

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  1. 1 John 2:2, 1 Tim 2:3 (Link)
  2. Matt 5 (Link)
  3. Matt 5:16 (Link)
  4. Luke 20:36 (Link)
  5. Rom 8:14, Gal 4:6, Mark 14:36 (Link)
  6. Rom 8:16 (Link)
  7. Romans 9:7-8 (Link)
  8. Phil 2:15 (Link)
  9. 1 John 3:10, 2:29 (Link)
  10. 1 John 3:1-2, Gal 3:26 (Link)
  11. John 8:19 (Link)
  12. John 3:3-8 (Link)
  13. John 11:52 (Link)