“Someone once asked, ‘If you were charged with being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?’”
My brother Bob and I sound very much alike. In fact, our voices are so similar that when either of us calls my mom, she can’t tell us apart. After saying hello, she’ll always ask, “Is this Bob or is this Mark?”
Bob and I sound alike because we come from the same family. Children inherit characteristics from their parents. Some are biological while others are learned by example. Maybe you inherited your dad’s sense of humor or your mom’s passion for gardening. People say about you, “I can sure tell whose child you are!”
Do you and I bear a resemblance to our heavenly Father? Do people say, “I can tell that you’re a child of God!” In 1 John 3:1 the Bible says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” In his letters, John shares his wonder at being God’s children and urges us to let that truth transform us.
Contrary to popular opinion, not everyone is God’s child. While all humans are created by God, until we repent and follow God, we are not His children (John 1:12; 3:16). Being God’s child changes everything about us. We are given a new name: Christian. We are given a new heavenly destiny. We have a new identity and purpose. Ephesians 1:13 declares, “You were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”
In this world, God’s children will experience rejection (Rom. 12:2; 1 John 3:1). Someone once asked, “If you were charged with being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” As God’s children, we are not to blend in with the world, but to be holy, set apart for His purpose.
The name “Christian” is first mentioned in Acts 11:26. Because the first followers of Jesus were acting so much like Him, people began calling them “little Christs.” The same should be said of us today. The Holy Spirit guides our behavior, shapes our thinking, and transforms us into His likeness. We are “being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory” (2 Cor. 3:18). As children of God, loved and secure, may we be transformed each day to be more and more like our heavenly Father.