Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
Weekly Devotional 2-24-20 Children of God
“1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through Him,
and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4In Him was life, and the life
was the light of men. 5And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness
did not comprehend it. 6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through
him might believe. 8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that
Light. 9That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the
world.“10He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world
did not know Him. 11He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12But
as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God,
to those who believe in His name: 13who were born, not of blood, nor of the
will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God 14And the Word became
flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only
begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:10-14).
There are many observations that we might consider in these opening verses of the Apostle John’s account of Jesus, God the Son, but in this offering, our focus concerns those who would be children of God. We note that Jesus came unto His own people, the Hebrew nation, but they rejected Him. Verse 12 does state, however, that there were some who did individually receive Him, who believed in Him, and to those individuals, He gave the right to become the children of God. The condition for these people becoming a child of God was accepting Him for who He was, not only their Messiah but their Redeemer. John said of Him, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The right to become a child of God was granted to those who received Him, who believed in Him. This refutes the thought that all persons are children of God. One does not need to become what one already is. Continuing further into the passage, we read that those who became children of God were those “13who were born; not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” To become a child of God for those of the Text, and all other persons who become His children, they are made so by the will of God.
John would later write of a conversation between Jesus and a Pharisee named Nicodemus. This explains that God’s will is brought about by the Holy Spirit in those who become His children, consider, “1There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’ 3Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ 4Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ 5Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again. 8The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.’”
The apostle Paul explains that God’s purpose for those who become His children is that they will be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. We read from Romans 9:29: “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
Because of His desire to be worshiped by man and His desire of fellowship with man God restores them to a state of righteousness. By spiritual rebirth, He spiritually regenerates and adopts them as His children.
What a wonder, to be a child of God. But it took a great sacrifice on the part of God to make this relationship possible. The sacrifice of His only begotten Son. That son, Jesus, testified: “14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:5-9), even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
Number 21:5-9 tells us that after all that God had done in taking the Israelites out of bondage to Egypt, defeating the army of Pharaoh as it pursued them, yet they questioned His care for them and murmured against Him. In response, He sent fiery serpents among them to bite and kill them. The only way of escaping that death was by looking at a bronze serpent that Moses was instructed to fashion and place on an erected pole. God said that they would be saved from death if by faith they would look at that erected bronze serpent believing that in so doing, they would be saved. Similarly, Jesus said, He would be nailed to a cross and lifted up for the same purpose, to save those, who by faith, would look upon Him for salvation.
He added, “16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:16-20).
Believing on Jesus is what allows one to become a child of God.
What a wonder!
Transforming power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man