I’ve been spending a lot time thinking about our identity in Christ and what it means to be a child of God. There are around 40 verses that deal with this important doctrine that we tend to overlook.
But before we look at those we need to ask a few questions. Like why believers are called “children” and why do we need a heavenly Father? What is it about the parental relationship that we as believers need to understand? Fundamentally, why do children need parents? Children need parents (and believers need their heavenly Father) for at least two reasons.
The first benefit of being a child of God is love. We experience is radical, sacrificial love as seen in Romans 5:6 - 11 and John 15:14. This kind of love knows who we are (sinners) and loves us, sacrifices for us, anyway. It does so for greater purposes: reconciliation, justification, salvation and ultimately for glorification. It’s the kind of love that Christ exemplified and believers are called to have for one another.
The other side of being a child God isn’t so pleasant (at least initially), It is for our discipline or training. We see this clearly in Hebrews 12:6-11. We see that this discipline or training should lead to respect for the one giving it. It is for our own good, that we may share in His holiness. And while it seems painful at the time it yields the “peaceful fruit of righteousness”.
Through these 2 things we learn to ABIDE (John 15:4-14); to remain, continue, and stay. We learn to be about our father’s business. We learn the work (or discipline) of bearing fruit, of following commandments, and the joy that comes from those. We learn how we should love one another.
This is the kind of love God has for His children. So, as we move through this series of blog posts, we are going to see the benefits of being being a child of God and some of the hinderances that get in our way.