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Plain Talk About

Becoming a

Child of God

 

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those that believe in His name.  (John 1: 12)

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  John 3: 5)

For you are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ.  (Galatians 3: 26, 27)

 

When do we become a child of the family in the natural realm?

We are considered a member of the natural family at our birth date, the day we born from the womb of our mother.  We do not reckon our age from the time of begettal,

 

When was Abraham’s faith reckoned for righteousness?

Abraham is the first individual about whom it is recorded, God reckoned his faith for righteousness.  But when does that take place?  Does it happen immediately upon believing?  These questions are answered in an interesting and important event in his life.  God tested Abraham by telling him to offer up his only son whom he loved as a burnt offering in the land of Moriah.  Abraham made the preparations, laid his bound son on the altar on top of the wood and raised his knife to slay his son when the Angel of the Lord stopped him and said “for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me.” This was not said for the benefit of God who knows all things, but it was said for Abraham and for us.  (Genesis 15: 6; 22: 1- 20)

James used this very incident to illustrate that Abraham’s faith was reckoned for righteousness when his faith was perfected or completed by his works.  Faith that obeys is reckoned for righteousness.   (James 2: 14- 26; Hebrews 11: 8)

 

Do we become a child of God immediately upon believing?

No, John 1:12, 13 tells us that we are given the right to become children upon believing.  It is clear from this verse that we do not become a child of God immediately upon believing.  When we come to faith in God and Jesus we are begotten of God.  We do not become a child of God until we are born of water and the Spirit.

 

Do we become a child of God when we are spiritually born again?

Yes, we become a child of God when we are born again spiritually.  The new birth is a birth from water and the Spirit.  When our faith leads us to obey Christ and be immersed in water, God pours out His Spirit richly and abundantly so that we are figuratively immersed in the Spirit.  As we come forth from those two elements, water and Spirit, we are born again.   (John 3: 3, 5)

 

When is our faith reckoned for righteousness?

Our faith is reckoned for righteousness when it is completed by obedience.  (James 2: 14-26)

 

What does “obey the gospel” mean?

First we must determine what the “gospel” is.  In this case we do not have to speculate, Paul tells us exactly that the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus our Lord.  These are facts.  But how do you “obey” facts?  (1 Corinthians 15: 1- 4)

Again Paul tells us that when we are baptized into Christ, we are baptized into His death, we are buried with Him and when we arise from the water we arise in the likeness of Hid resurrection into newness of Christ.  We obey the gospel when we reenact the death, burial and resurrection in our own life when baptized in water.  (Romans 6: 3- 10)

 

Is “obeying the gospel” essential?

Yes, Paul wrote that those who do not “obey the gospel” await the penalty of eternal destruction. That is about as serious as it gets.   (2 Thessalonians 1: 6- 10; Romans 10: 16; 1 Peter 4: 17)

 

What does “obeying that form of doctrine,” mean?  (Romans 6: 17)

Earlier in this chapter, Paul had been discussing baptism in water in relationship to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.  Evidently baptism is that “form of doctrine or teaching.  Paul explained that when baptized into Christ, we are baptized into His death, buried with Him and arising in the likeness of His resurrection.  Romans (6: 2- 19)

 

Is “obedience to that form of doctrine” essential?

Yes, Paul tells us that in so doing, we are freed from sin.  That is important.  One cannot be a child of God and be in bondage to sin.  (Romans 6: 7)

 

What can we learn from Galatians 3: 26, 27?

First, we learn that we are children of God by faith.

·        Justification is by faith not works otherwise grace is not grace.

·        (Romans 5: 1; 11: 6)

·        Without faith it is impossible to be pleasing to God.  (Hebrews 11: 6)

·        God begets us when we come to faith.  (James 1: 18)

Secondly, we learn that becoming a child of God occurs upon baptism.

·        God pours out His Spirit at this time.  (Acts 2: 38, 39)

·        We are baptized into Christ.  (Romans 6: 3)

·        We obey the gospel, that form of doctrine.   (2 Thessalonians 1: 6-10;

           Romans 6: 17)

·        We are born again.  (John 3:  3. 5)

Thirdly, we are clothed with Christ and His righteousness, when we are baptized into Christ.

 

Conclusion:

Do you want to become a child of God?

·        You must believe in God and the Son.

·        You must believe that Jesus died, was buried and arose again, paying the penalty for sins of the whole world.

·        When we believe God begets us

·        Now we must be born again

·        We must be born of water (baptism in water) and the Spirit (God richly pours out His Spirit)

 

God bless.

Arland  Pafford  

 

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Last Update   09/26/12