“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1 ESV)
Children Of God
The profound news of salvation is sweet to our ears at the moment we believe, but how many of us actually know all that the Lord accomplishes for us when we become children of God? What really happens, and how should it all impact our lives?
Thankfully, God is in the business of enamoring his people with the gospel more and more throughout our lives and teaching us about all that he has done for us.
If you’re one of the children of God, all the following happened for you at the moment of your salvation. Now you get to enjoy walking with the Lord and coming to understand these truths more and more.
Once we were God’s enemies, now we’re His friends.
God extended His hand, His peace offering of reconciliation at the cross. Though He was the one who had been rejected, He initiated a right relationship with humanity. Reconciliation is always an option from God’s side, and becomes complete on man’s side the moment one believes the gospel. Reconciliation means that relationally, God and I are good.
More on Reconciliation: 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Colossians 1:20-22; Romans 5:10
We used to fit with the world, now we fit with Christ.
Our old associations have changed. Where before we could identify with the flesh and the world with its philosophies, we’re now in an entirely different sphere with Christ. At salvation God baptized us by the Holy Spirit into Christ – what is true of Him became true of us. We were identified with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection, and because of this, our relationship to sin was changed forever. We died with Christ to be set free from sin, and were raised with Christ to new life – making it possible for us to walk in victory over the power of sin.
Physical baptism is an outward picture of what has happened for us internally, as well as a public declaration of our identification with Christ.
More on Identification: Romans 6:1-4; Ephesians 2:1-6; Colossians 2:12
3. Positional Sanctification
We were unholy and separated from God, now we’re holy and set apart as His.
Positional sanctification is our true identity, whether we choose to live according to that holy identity or not. We’re secure as God’s special possessions, and it is on this basis that God appeals to us to live worthy of what he has made us to be. Positional sanctification is who we are, while conditional sanctification has to do with how we act day-to-day. God continually pursues us, and as we grow to know Him more, our every day living begins to match our holy identity – we start looking more and more like who we actually are.
More on Positional Sanctification: 1 Corinthians 1:2; Hebrews 3:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:27
Once we were orphans, now we have a place in God’s family and He is our Father.
Adoption literally means “son placing”. Each and every believer has been accepted as children of God, and therefore have all the rights and privileges that come along with being in the family. We get to approach the holy God on familiar grounds – He is now our Abba, or Daddy. We can cry out to Him as little children call out to fathers who love them.
More on Adoption: Romans 8:15-17; Galatians 4:6,7
We were once dead in our sins, now we’re alive to righteousness.
Regeneration is a change that happens within us. The Bible talks about regeneration in a few different ways; sometimes referring to us as new creations, or as people who have been reborn, or as having been resurrected and made alive in Christ. But the main idea is that of being given new life. The new man is a real part of me that has been crafted by God Himself at the moment of my salvation, and it has a divine nature like Jesus’s. It is my true and new identity that did not and could not exist within me before Christ saved me.
More on Regeneration: John 1:12-13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24
6. The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
We were alone in this world, now the Holy Spirit lives within us.
The Holy Spirit’s presence within us is what makes it possible for us to say yes to God’s will. He empowers us, comforts us, and guides us. He is also a “taste” of what’s to come. He is our guarantee that God will fulfill the rest of His promises to us, complete the work He has started in us, and lead us to future glory.
More on the Indwelling Spirit: Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; Galatians 5:22-25
7. All Spiritual Blessings
So, all this to say… a lot of profound things happened to and for us when we became children of God. All of these blessings are spiritual in nature, and can sometimes seem sort of “out there” and unable to be grasped when we first begin to study them.
But as we live and keep going with Him, we’ll see God intersecting them with the nitty-gritty of our physical lives. We’ll learn the implication of these truths over time – everything we need, we have.
The Lord will use our physical circumstances and relationships to help us realize our need and bring us into a deeper understanding and dependence upon the spiritual provision He has given us. He will make us more like Christ and draw us into deeper intimacy with Him until the final day of redemption.