Contrary to popular belief, all humans are not one big family with God as a cosmic dad who practices a warm-fuzzy, live-however-you-want, it’s-all-good-because-I-love-everybody parenting philosophy. Instead, only those people who accept Jesus are God’s children. All humans are created by Him, of course, and He is completely sovereign over them, but they are not truly His spiritually until they commit their souls to Him through Jesus Christ.
Membership in God’s family is a free gift of grace, but it is definitely conditional. Behold these verses:
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. (NIV)
Condition: have to receive Jesus.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (ASV)
Condition: have to be led by the Spirit.
This means that Abraham’s physical descendants are not necessarily children of God. Only the children of the promise are considered to be Abraham’s children. (NLT)
Condition: not merely being born, but being adopted into the promise of redemption through Christ.
1 John 3:10
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. (NAS)
Conditions: to practice righteousness and love one’s brother.
1 John 3:1
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. (NKJV)
This verse indicates that believers in Christ are set apart from the rest of humanity that does not know Him.
No warm fuzzies here…you either are, or you aren’t, a child of God.
So who’s your father?
Janice Powell 2013
Note: I used different translations, not to manipulate Scripture to say what I wanted it to say, but to avoid any copyright infringement.