“We are all children of God!” This idea is really disseminated and accepted here in Brazil. Even people that don’t know the basic attributes of God or the purpose of He sent his son to earth, may believe that this sentence is the truth, but is it really? By Colossians 1.16, we know that we are all God’s creatures; however, there is a difference between being God’s creature and God’s child. So, who can one be not only God’s creature but also his child?
To answer this, let’s go deeper in the verses 31 through 47 of John Chapter 8 (NIV). Jesus is talking to a really heterogeneous audience; there are some people that believe his words and some that don’t, such as the Pharisees. He states:
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”(John 8:31-32)
Next, Jesus explains that everyone who sins is a slavery of sin; therefore he wants to set them free from this slavery. (John 8:34) Not comprehending what Jesus was saying, they replied that they were never someone’s slave because they were Abraham’s descendants. (John 8:33) Then, Jesus says that they could not be Abraham’s children because they were refusing to accept his teaching and were even trying to kill him, things that Abraham would never do. (John 8:37-40) So they protested,
“We are not illegitimate children, […] The only Father we have is God himself.”(John 8:41)
Then, again Jesus says that if they were really God’s children they would love Him and would hear His words (John 8:42, 47).
This story shows us that the Pharisees thought there was a shortcut to be God’s children: their blood. They thought they were already God’s children just because they were Abraham’s descendants. However, Jesus teaches us differently; if we truly want to be God’s children, there is only one way: loving Jesus Christ and obeying his commandments.
And what the story tell us about the ones that persist on sinning and not listening to Christ words?
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. […]”(John 8:44)
Was Jesus talking only to the Pharisees? Not really, the verses 1 through 3 of Ephesians Chapter 2, explains that we were dead in our sins and wanted to satisfy the desires of our flesh. In other words, like the Pharisees, we wanted to satisfy the devil’s desires. But when we received Christ, things began to change:
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
Then, to receive the right to become God’s child, one must be born again and persists in obedience to Christ.
We may find some commandments of Christ relatively easy to obey, but let’s be sincere – there are some that are just hard to follow. In addition to that, you have earthly things that are so attractive that make it even harder not to sin, by going against Christ commandments. However, keep in mind that you are not alone. Always remember Jesus words:
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26)
Therefore, with the help of the Holy Ghost that dwells on you will be empowered to follow Christ commandments and then no one will be able to take away your right of being called a child of God!