Sunday 19 Nov 2017
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
John 6:51

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live for ever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

The true children of God

Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God – Romans 8:14.

If the question is asked of us today, that what is the proof that we are indeed the children of God, what would our answers be? Are we going to wax lyrical about what the scripture said about us being born again of God? Or are we going to start sermonising that because we believe in Jesus, we have as a result received the right to be called the children of God? (John 1:12-13).  

While these scriptural truths remain valid and form the foundation of our claims to being the children of God, the truth however must also be told that they would all count for nothing if we are not going to walk in the status and the nature which they confer upon us. They would all count for nothing if we are not going to walk in the obedience that is demanded by every parent from their children. It must be stated clearly that even God demands such a walk of obedience from everyone who claims to be his child.

A son honors his father,And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master,Where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts – Malachi 1:6.

 It must be stated that the claims to sonship and adoption would fall flat on it’s face if we fail to walk in the nature of the One we claim have become our father and it must also be clearly stated that these claims would be shallow and hollow if we do not conform through obedience to his instructions to us in his position as our father.

The truth is, while the position of the scripture on the following point listed below remains solid and forever true;

a. Children by adoption;

    But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: -John 1:12.

b. God is our father through the regeneration of our spirit

   Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. – John 1:13.

What is equally true for all intent and purpose, and one which we also need to pay good attention to is the fact that if we are found to be walking in a nature that is contrary to the nature of the One we call our father, then we are making bogus claims which our actions have only exposed to be false.

Confronting a crowd of Jews who laid claims to being the children of God through the Abrahamic covenant (John 8:37-41), Jesus exposed the fallacy of their claims, how you may ask? Well let us read what he told them first;

Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.  You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.  But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. – John 8:43-45

What criteria did Jesus use to arrive at this damning conclusion? Well he listed a couple of points which exposed their claims and they are.

a. Their inability to understand the truth which he was sharing with them about God, the one they claim to be their father.

b. The nature which they operated in (they wanted to kill him for telling them the truth, they hated the truth).

By these two points he exposed the fallacy of their claims, you see anyone who is born of God should know and delight in the truth, they should do so because they should be able to see and recognise the voice and the position of God in these truths. Likewise anyone born of God should also walk in the nature of God; the one who lies and kills is not born of God, because such nature is not of God.

If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. – 1 John 2:29.

There is a reason why the scripture enjoins us to always audit ourselves especially the state of our heart in order to be sure we are still in faith, surely one area where we need to do serious auditing is to determine if our claims are consistent with the nature in which we walk and talk.

You may say just like the Jews that Jesus confronted ‘hey I am born again, I have confessed Jesus and from the position of the scripture therefore I am a child of God’. You may be saying ‘hey I go to church, I pay my tithes, I pray regularly and I hold an important position in my church’, believing that all of these qualifies and gives you the privilege of those who are the children of God. All I will say to you is this, do not be surprised if appears as if your faith is unable to deliver you into the inheritance of those who are the children of God. I want you to know that anyone can claim to be a child of God, but the real children are revealed by the nature in which they walk.

What is this nature you may ask? What is the nature of God to begin with?

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:24.

God is not flesh, he is Spirit, although we are given the body of flesh, the body was and is meant to be subjected to the spirit. The flesh without the spirit is dead, especially the corrupted flesh. It is dead because it is cut off from fellowship with God and it is unable to bear fruit as a result.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. – John 6:63.

In its incapacitated state, it is only capable of producing what the scripture called dead works, works which cannot inherit the kingdom of God. It cannot because it is not of God neither does it have the ability to do so (Romans 8:5-8, 1 Corinthians 15:50). The flesh is nothing but clay, a house or a temple put in place to house the spirit of God in man. It is the spirit of God in man that bequeaths to man the nature of God, it is through the spirit, that man in turn worships and fellowships with God his maker, the body or the flesh or the temple is where this fellowship occurs.

The act of being born again by confessing Jesus as our Lord and saviour, is the act by which God bring about the regeneration of our dead human spirit in order that the fallen man would come into the nature of God again. The act of professing and confessing Jesus as our Lord and saviour indeed allows for God to carry this act out on us. But the evidence that we have indeed received this new nature of God is seen when we commit ourselves to walking in it as well as when we are led by it.

Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God – Romans 8:14.

What does it mean to be led by the spirit of God? The first question that we need to ask is, what spirit is being referred to here the Holy Spirit (third person of the Godhead) or our regenerated human spirit? This is one question that we need to answer if we are truly going to understand what it means to be led by the spirit of God. In order to do this, we must understand the role of our born again and regenerated human spirit and we do this by knowing that this spirit (our regenerated spirit) is distinct from the Holy Spirit the one who is the third person of the Godhead. To understand what it means to be led by the spirit we must also recognise the relationship between our regenerated human spirit and our body of flesh, finally we must also understand the relationship between our regenerated spirit and the person of the Holy Spirit.

As stated earlier it is the spirit that gives life, what does this mean you may ask? Well you see revisiting Genesis, when Adam (clay) was created it was not until God breathe into him the breath of life, that he came alive, it was only when he received the spirit of God in his body, that he came a living being.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being – Genesis 2:7.

We see something similar occur through our spiritual regeneration as a result of the spiritual death that resulted from the fall of man; God had to breathe a new lease of life into our dead human spirit in order for our spirit to come alive again and for our flesh to have life of God inside of it again.

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. – Romans 8:9-11.

As a result of our spiritual rebirth, we have come into a new lease of life inside of us, a new lease of life that has the power of life that is of God living within us. The scripture says ‘He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to our mortal bodies through His spirit who dwells in you’.

What manner of life is the spirit of God in us equipped to give to us? Well in one word, the very life that is seen in the children of God; Jesus being the first born and as such the perfect example. Therefore everyone who has come into this spiritual regeneration is expected to grow into his likeness; everyone who has received this new nature or spirit also receives the life that it is able to impart. The recipient of this life is expected to grow into the image of Christ. Everyone who claims to be a child of God is expected to grow into the likeness of this image, nothing else will do.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.- 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus – Philippians 2:5.

But for this to happen, the recipients of the new lease of life that is now resident in them, must understand the relationship between the flesh and their born again spirit, this relationship is clearly defined for us by the scripture;

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. – Romans 8:12-13.

The relationship is a clear one; the flesh must come under the control of the spirit, what spirit you may ask, their born again spirit. What about the Holy Spirit? Good question but let me ask this question, can a man submit himself to the Holy Spirit when he does not first of all yield himself to his regenerated human spirit? Does the scripture not call the spirit of man the lamp of God, the one which he uses to search the heart of man? You see it is sheer fantasy and fallacy for anyone to ignore the role of his regenerated spirit while claiming he is being led by the Holy Spirit, for the question need be asked, how does the Holy Spirit lead such a man? But the Holy Spirit dwells in us you may quip. True that but which one, the one who is the third person of the Godhead or the one that is of God which the scripture referred to as the spirit of Christ, the one who indwells you making you a whole creation of God? But if you are still struggling to understand the uniqueness of the spirits being mentioned, then let us see the relationship between the Holy Spirit and our regenerated human spirit;

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, - Romans 8:16.

The Holy Spirit who is the third person of the Godhead is a distinct person from our regenerated spirit, he has his own personality as well as his role, In addition to this he is part of the inseparable triune called the Trinity. His role in creation came to the fore through the regeneration of our dead human spirit and his role continues in our life in the capacity of the Helper (John 14:16, Romans 8:26), the Teacher, Comforter and Counsellor (John 14:26, John 15:26). He does this by equipping our born again spirit.

We on the other hand are told to submit ourselves to the leading of our born again spirit, we are to live by it, to give ourselves to it, to yield ourselves to it’s daily prompting and nudging because it is the nature of God who dwells in us. To be led by the spirit is to put away the body of flesh and to put on the spirit, the spirit of God that is now resident in us. It is those whose lives are shaped by the fruits of the new nature produced in them through their regenerated spirit (the very work it was given to accomplish), that are truly the children of God.

 

While we may not be able to verify by their confessions, those who claim to be the children of God, nevertheless we can bythe nature in which they walk, indeed verify if they truly belong to God or are still giving themselves to the the devil himself. We can verify these by the very attributes and the nature which the spirit of God in them bequeaths to them, the scripture revealed these attributes to us;

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. – Galatians 5:19-23.

Likewise we can also verify those who only make vain claims of being the children of God, yes we can also verify this, because the flesh which they have given themselves to also is capable of producing its own fruits.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

I said earlier that God is spirit, well we can see from the fruits produced by the flesh that it is only those who are truly walking in the spirit, who are led by it that are indeed the children of God. What is the evidence? There is a simple answer, the nature in which they walk as a result of being led by the spirit.

 

Home Kingdom Standards The true children of God
Psalm 1:1-2
“[BOOK I Psalms 1?41] Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com.