According to the Gospel of John, by receiving the Son of God, whom the Father had sent, we have become the children of God. The Gospel explains this further, as children born not of natural descent, a human decision, or a husband’s will, but born of God (John 1:13). Even the children of natural descendants are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him (Psalms 127:3). God created Adam in His image with the intention of bringing up God-fearing offspring.
And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit.Malachi 2:15
And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed.
When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they were ashamed of their nakedness as sin entered inside of them. They gave birth to children in sin, and every human in this world was born with a sinful nature (Psalm 51:5). Because of this, there is a need for every human born to be born of God. God made a provision for everyone to become righteous through Jesus. Because of one man’s righteousness, we all will become righteous, in the same way, people became sinful because of one man’s sin (Romans 5:17).
Love of God
Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council, came to Jesus at night with a simple understanding that God is with Jesus but was unable to recognize Him as the Messiah. Jesus asked Nicodemus that being a teacher of Israel why did he not understand the basic need for a person to be born again. A person born to a Christian couple takes their inheritance as granted and refuses to be born again. We might have an inheritance from our forefathers, such as land, mansions and gold but the priceless heritage for us is the love of God. Inheriting the incredible love of God is the born-again experience.
Often people are misled by attributing the act of baptism as a source to receive the born-again experience. To be born of God, one should experience the love of God on their own. One cannot understand the love of God through any rituals but by sitting quietly with a hunger to seek the Lord. This hunger for experiencing the love of God in everyone was temporarily satisfied by attending Sunday Services or Prayer Meetings or admiring the eminent spiritual preachers. Spiritually, we think that we can calm our hunger by seeing the spiritual maturity of our spiritual leaders. We cannot fill our stomachs by seeing someone else eating their meal. Why don’t we apply the same principle to our spiritual life? Experiencing the love of God in our capacity can only give us the born-again experience. To emphasize what Jesus told Nicodemus, John immediately brought out how God exhibited His love to this world in the following verse.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
Forgiven Child of God
Even after understanding the love of God, we often fail to explain the love of God when face to face with the accuser. The devil always reminds us of our past mistakes and compels us to feel guilty. With this, we label ourselves as sinners, attributing it to our sicknesses and problems. Often the devil threatens us that there is no more chance to be forgiven by Him. Children of God should understand the profound truth that Jesus is not going to die again for our sins as we feel guilty of it today because He died for our sins and the sins of the forthcoming generation only once on the cross two thousand years ago. As we have already understood the love of God, based on His love, we should come back to God with repentance, and the blood of Jesus will wash away our sins. When the devil accuses us if we rely on our deeds, we will not be able to give him a befitting answer. If we rely on the Son of God, who died for our sins, we can answer by saying that I am a forgiven child of God. Peter blamed the forgetfulness of the children of God as a reason for their fruitless lives in the following verse.
But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.2 Peter 1:9
Once we understand the love of God and are determined to live a life as a forgiven child of God, daily reminding ourselves that, God has forgiven my sins, the devil will devise another plot to deceive us. Now he will ask us to prove to him that we are the children of God through signs and wonders. The devil that asked Jesus to show two signs to establish His authenticity as the Son of God applies the same tricks in the life of the believers. He wants us to prove to him that we are the children of God.
If we love the world more than God, we will become a victim of his plot and start proving to him that we are the children of God. When we genuinely serve God, the devil cheats us by teaching a subject called the privileges of the children of God. Whenever we think that we are the privileged people, we obey the devil more than God. We claim our privileges in haste, based on the word of God only but coming under the network of the devil, forgetting that those privileges are given to us by God. Instead of receiving those privileges, we obey the devil and use those privileges for our fall.
By obeying the devil, we will please people rather than please God. We cannot please people and God. If we want to be praised by people, Jesus said, that I make people praise you, and I will settle everything in the earth, and you will have nothing in your account to receive your rewards during My second coming. Do we tend to expect words of appreciation about our preaching, or do we expect that the word we preached by His grace would turn people towards Him? Accepting the approval of people to do the will of God is also a trap laid by satan. When we do His will, people might not be pleased, and they would not approve of our actions when God has already approved it.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.Matthew 6:1
Renewal of our Spirit
King David had a habit of speaking to his soul to strengthen it. We should develop this habit of addressing our souls. Our souls suffocate with the evil of this world and quench our spirit. When the world sends its destructive messages to our soul through our five senses, we have to strengthen our souls by the promises of God. When we sing praises to God, we are not only glorifying His name but simultaneously strengthening our souls with the love of God.
Many people think that the forgiveness they have received is a one-time affair. The Bible tells us that retaining the forgiveness that we have received is a daily affair. We have to renew our spirit every day by forgiving others. Jesus met His disciples after His resurrection to give them peace and gave them a hint to forgive others to retain the peace they have received. But they failed to forgive others and lost their peace of mind, and again Jesus asked them to wait at Jerusalem to receive His Spirit. We always think that our souls are stuck when we become weary. But Bible says that as we grow old and become tired, the spirit in us is renewed day by day and grows in its stature.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.2 Corinthians 4:16
In all circumstances of our lives, when the devil tries to fool us that God is angry at us, let us not forget that God is still doing His best to reveal His love to us. When we call ourselves the children of God, we should remember that we are the forgiven children of God. There is no need to prove to the devil and others that we are His children. Let us be content with God and our relationship with Him. Let us not hesitate to forgive anyone because unforgiveness kills our souls, but forgiveness renews our spirits.