"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God," John 1:12 ESV
There aren't many things that happen just because we believe. It certainly helps to have a positive attitude when we hope for something, but that doesn't make it happen. For example, thinking that you are a medical doctor just because you believe doesn't make you one. It takes years of dedicated study and years of practical experience before that happens.
Becoming God's children is the exception. All we need is to believe in Jesus, and we are guaranteed the right to become God's adopted children. I often hear it misstated that we are all God's children. Not true, we are all created by God in his image, but it is only is accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord do we become joint-heirs with Christ and God's adopted children.
Like the doctor who grows into their profession, understanding what it means to be a real child of God is a maturation process. It is an ongoing discipline of Bible study and prayer to grow from babes, who simply believe, into adulthood. Over time, as we experience God in every facet of our lives that we grow in faith. Looking back, we can fully appreciate what that journey means and the significance of being God’s child.
Father God, we give you thanks for the right to be your children. We are thankful for your Son, Jesus Christ, who offered us this privilege through his death and resurrection. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, acting as our guide in growing from spiritual babes into adulthood. Please help us remember both your love and the responsibility that comes from being your child. Father, fill us with your grace and guide us so we may be witnesses to others. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
What does it mean to be a child of God?