Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a friend about God and Heaven. In the midst of our conversation, he told me he believed that everyone is a “child of God.” I explained that while it is true that we are all created by God and made in His image (Gen. 1:26–27), being part of God’s family is different.
In John’s account of Jesus’ life, he states that the world did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, nor did they receive Him as their Rescuer (John 1:10–11). However, to those who do believe in Jesus and His resurrection, “he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). When God the Father looked at a depraved humanity, it would have been astounding if He only had pity or charitable compassion for the lost souls. It would have been extremely generous if He merely set forth a plan to save them from eternal punishment. But God went well beyond that. He called them His children.
Our text highlights that it is only because of God’s love that believers can be called His children (v. 1). The word for “love” John used here is agape, a never-ending, unconditional love. He states that God “lavished” or “bestowed as a gift” this love on us (v. 1) and therefore we are included as part of His family. When you and I believe in Jesus, we become part of a new family, the family of God. As His children, we bear His name and His reputation. Wherever we go and whatever we do, we carry the name of Christ. Being in Him makes us part of a new family.
>> Do people know you are part of God’s family? The early believers did not keep it a secret they were part of the household of God. Their lives were testimonies of who they belonged to and the same should be known about us.
We rejoice in our status as children of God! Father, let the joy we have in our identity be evident to all around us, drawing them into your family of faith.