Who is a child of God? All human beings are created by God, in God’s image, and for God’s glory. But this is not the same as being a child of God. To be a child of God, to be a part of his family, is something much different than simply being created in his image.
John 8:42a – Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here.”
In a conflict between Jesus and the religious teachers of his day, the issue of being children of God comes up. The Jewish leaders claimed that they were children of God. Jesus let them know that, no, in fact they are not.
According to Jesus, there is a simple way to know who is a child of God. Loving Jesus is a mark of being a child of God. Not loving Jesus is a sign that a person is not a child of God.
Is that exclusive? Yes, indeed it is. To be a child of God is to be adopted into God’s family. You see, we all start off as enemies of God because of our sin natures. God adopts people into his family. But none are adopted into his family who do not come to him through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus is the only way to be a child of God.
Be aware, then, that many will claim to be children of God. If they mean that they are creatures of God, they have a bit of truth in their words. But if they mean that they are Ok with God, or if they mean that they are part of God’s own forgiven family, they must have something more than creation to claim. Those who are part of God’s family love Jesus.