Saturday, November 13, 2010

I am a child of God

As has already been mentioned in my last posting, the image of God is the key way of defining the individual’s worth and significance. The divine image is given to all of humanity, regardless of religious persuasion. At the core of each person lies the fact that they matter to God for they carry within them his image. But sin disfigures the divine image that is in each of us, meaning that while we have worth, the image needs to be redeemed. The redemption process gives further definition to the individual’s significance. Indeed it redefines us. In John’s gospel, John writes “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God...” (John 1:12). Here John presents a new reality for those who put their faith in Jesus as a child of God.  This implies the concept of adoption which Paul picks up in Romans 8:14-17 and in Galatians 3:23-4:7. In the Romans text Paul informs us that our adoption into God’s family brings a renewed intimacy with God the Father (8:15) and makes us heirs with Christ (8:17). In Galatians Paul emphasizes our change in status. Where we were once slaves, alienated from God, through Christ we have been brought into God’s family. 

For some, the imagery of adoption brings up thoughts of being unwanted as we may have had negative experiences with the human adoption experience. But I challenge us to think about adoption in other terms - as being wanted so much that another person goes out of their way to bring a child into their family. Personally I think that adoption is a beautiful action that shows deep love and redemption as a child who had nothing is given a family, a home, love and a new life. It is a life changing event. This is what the Bible tells us happens to us when we put our faith in Jesus. Our lives change! 

In 1 John 3:1, John picks up on this theme of being God’s children as he marvels at the present status of believers as God’s children. John speaks of the lavish love of God like a gift that is to be received. The reality of God's love is that he sent his son to die so that we may have new, and eternal, life. Through Christ everything changes - we move from being alienated from God to having the status of his child,  from being an outsider who doesn't belong to finding our place in God's family, from being old and tired to being made into  a new person who has purpose, from having no hope to having hope. 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! ~ 1 John 3:1a

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