Are we children of God


John 17:1-13

Those that live and work according to the spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

We have all been called to be the children of God.

Do we not call God our Father and do we not address Him as such in our prayers? However, in order to address Him as our Father, our lives need to be as He expects them to be. “For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14) We must be in harmony with God’s will. Christ said, “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50

As Christians, we are defined by Christ’s name and His Cross. By this, by our faith and our works, we must distinguish ourselves from others. As St. Paul says to the Christians in Philippians, “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15) And He advises the Christians of Corinth to turn away from the sinners (2 Corinthians 6:17). It is not enough to merely call ourselves Christians while living a life unworthy of that sacred name. “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” (1 John 3:10) says the holy apostle John the Theologian

We are children of God if we are brothers and sisters amongst ourselves, if there is love between us, regardless of the barriers the world puts between us. In His great fatherly and divine love for us, God took on human flesh, took upon His shoulders the burden of our sins, sacrificed Himself, suffered and was crucified in order to redeem us who are under the law that we might receive the adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:5)

Faith in Christ unites us into a community of people of one faith, of those who through Christ’s love and sacrifice in His Father receive their heavenly Father. “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” (James 1:18) And the holy Apostle John shouts with exultation, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God! (1 John 3:1) For we are all “sons of God through our faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you who were baptized in Christ, have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27), as St. Paul said in his epistle to the Galatians

But our works must not differ from our faith. For if we sin, if we bow down before the idols of our time, if we are Christians only in words, then we crucify Christ all over again with such actions. Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:17-18) And the holy apostle invites us to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

As Christians we must count on narrow and thorny paths filled with degradation, a lack of understanding and suffering. Christ’s kingdom is not of this world and consequently, our kingdom cannot be of this world either. And so, our family life is a reflection of the life that we ought to be living in a great family of Christians. A good father chastises his son in order to make a good man out of him. As the wise Solomon said, “For whom the Lord loves he corrects, even as a father the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:12

We face many challenges in this life. We are tested every step of the way, there are many temptations. We are tempted by many to give up our beliefs and accept others as our idols and fathers, to give them our love and loyalty. Knowing all this, we need to be decisive and courageous and shout boldly like the prophet Isaiah, “Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.” (Isaiah 63:16) Let us not harden our hearts, let us not permit God to be driven out of them by sin, let us not lose our measure and our sense of God. Let us realize in our hearts that God nourishes us in the same way a parent brings up his child

Let us understand who we are, where we come from and where we are going. Let us realize that we have been called to life by God’s love, not for corruption and certainly not for the accumulation of that which is not valuable, but for salvation and sonship in God’s embrace

We are called to be the children of God. It is a beautiful calling, but it is also a great responsibility. If we turn to God in prayer and if we say to Him, “Our Father,” this is a huge responsibility. We must constantly check ourselves to see whether our actions allow us to call our Creator by this name. Let us endeavour for our lives to be in harmony with the image and semblance of God, according to which we were created, for then we can boldly cry out, just as David: “You are my father, my God and the rock of my salvation.” (Psalms 89:26).