But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children—children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God. John 1.12-13
Nobody is born, physically, as a child of God. It is not by human parents that someone is his child. We are not his children automatically. It’s a lie to say that we are all children of God.
This shocking truth ought to cause us to learn how to become children of God. If we are not, God gives us the right to become his children.
In order to become a son or daughter, it’s necessary to be born into the family. Jesus explained that birth into God’s family comes through immersion in water, John 3.3, 5. Since it is an act of faith, it is described in the above verses as being an act of receiving or believing in the name of Jesus. His name is confessed at the moment of immersion by the person being baptized. His name is pronounced over him during the act of immersion, Acts 2.38; 8.37.
We live in a world which rejects Jesus, John 1.10-11. The very word “world” means, in many biblical contexts, humanity in rebellion against God. Even the religions and denominations are a part of this rebellion, for they have invented their own system against God’s will.
The verse above begins with the word “but.” It means that although the world rejects Jesus, there will be some people who receive him.
Let us be certain that we are among the number of those who receive and obey him.
Creator God, I want you to be Father to me. I want to be an obedient child of yours. I want to be part of your family.
Translated from our Portuguese-language devotional, Deus Conosco. For more information about becoming a child of God, see Richard Mansel’s book, The Most Important Question.