As I study through John…
12 “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
Previously I had a post entitled: “We are all God’s children” – Is that an accurate statement? I explain that it is not an accurate statement. No one is automatically a child of God, and we need a spiritual (supernatural) birth into God’s family. Being physically born means you are physically alive and places you in a human family. Being born of God makes you spiritually alive and places you in God’s family.
However, there is nuance with this. (See comments after the original post.)
I appreciate this from Leon Morris on page 98 of the hardcover edition I have of his commentary:
“While the New Testament sees God as the Father of all men, paradoxically it does not think of all men as sons of God. God’s attitude to all men is that of Father. All are His sons in the sense that he made them, and that He provides for them. But men are his sons in the full sense only as they respond to what he does for them in Christ. When they receive the Word they are born again (ch. 3) into the heavenly family. It is only in this way that they are really God’s children.”
Note that John 1:12 says that those who receive him, those who believe in his name, become a child of God. Romans 8:15 and Ephesians 1:5 use the word “adoption” to describe this. We are adopted into God’s family, and can call God our Father!
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
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