I just had a birthday last week. Quite exciting. Slight quarter life crisis as I quickly approach the big 3-0. I was born into a fantastic family on June 7, 1988. Two loving, supportive parents and two awesome role model cool older brothers. I didn’t have a choice which family I would be born into, I was just born into the James and Sara Rainey family. It was just automatic. When it comes to God’s family, are we just automatically His children? The short answer is: no, we aren’t. the Bible is clear that God created everyone (Colossians 1:16), God loves everyone (John 3:16), but not everyone is automatically God’s child (John 11:52, Romans 8:16). So, are you God’s child? Do you know what does it takes for you to be born into God’s family?
John was one of Jesus’ closest apostles. He wrote the book of John to new Christians and to people seeking out Christianity, and his main purpose was to definitively prove that Jesus was truly God’s Son. In the very first chapter of this book, we get an idea of what it takes to be in God’s family. John 1:9-11 says,
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
John is writing about Jesus here, if that was unclear. Now, most everyone - Christian or non-Christian - believes that Jesus existed. Like Abraham Lincoln or Gandhi, even the staunch atheist still believes that He was a real man. Not much of an argument against this. But John was claiming here that Jesus was more than just a man - He actually created all things. This is a massive claim - that Jesus Himself is the Creator. And as the Creator who came to this world, John says that people didn’t recognize Him as the Creator and rejected Him. But, there were some people who accepted Jesus as God’s Son. Let’s keep reading. John 1:12-13:
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The people who believe and accepted Jesus as God’s Son, they were given the right be called God’s child. This is a spiritual birth, not a natural birth. This is to be born into God’s family. What does it mean to be God’s child? For starters, Romans 8:16-17 shares that we become heirs of God’s glory. To receive the Heavenly inheritance with Christ, we have eternal glory to look forward to one day. To be God’s child means to have a relationship with Him into eternity, experience His glory. This is massively important, to be God’s child! But, verse 12 doesn’t say that everyone is automatically in the fam — to be given the right to be called God’s child is when you receive Christ and believe in His name.
What does it take for you to be born into God’s family? Know and believe that Jesus gives you FAM status. Yes, God created all and He loves everyone, but not everyone is automatically brought into God’s family as His child. Jesus and only Jesus gives you family status in God’s eyes. God desires for everyone to make that decision, but does not force it. It is a decision that you must make personally - to accept Jesus as God’s Son. And this is more than just believing Jesus existed - almost everyone believes that! Specifically accepting Jesus as your Savior - recognizing He died for your sins and trusting in His resurrection to save your soul.
Are you in God’s family? Being a “good” person and going to church doesn’t cut it. Just believing that Jesus existed isn’t enough. This question is really asking: do you recognize your sin separates you from God and you need saving? And… do you trust in the sacrifice of Jesus to save your soul? Accepting that will give you the right to be called God’s child. Have you given your life to Christ? Are you in God’s family? Make that decision for yourself!