Standing and State, Part One

Description

There is only one way in which we can receive the standing of children of God. We must be born into His family—that is, born again.

How can a baby become a prince? There is only one way. He must be born into the family of a king. Only the son of a king is a prince. Just so there is only one way in which we can receive the standing of children of God. We must be born into His family—that is, born again. You know how one can be born again, do you not? When we are born again into God’s family the standing or position that we receive is far more wonderful than that of a prince in this world. 

First of all, when we are born again we receive the position of children of God. John 1:12 tells us that God gives to as many as believe on His name the right to be called the sons of God. It does not say that we always act like children of God. But that is our position. God says we are His children. Yet in 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 He tells us to come out from among unbelievers and not to be with them or act like them, and He will be our Father and we will be His sons and daughters. How can that be, if we are already His children? This verse is not talking about our position, but about our condition. If we do what this verse says, we shall live like God’s sons and daughters, and He will be able to act as a Father to us, more than ever before.

Because we are the children of God, we have many wonderful privileges. We have His love and care, and we are made His heirs. A person's heir is his son, or some other person who receives that other persons possessions when he dies. God says we are His heirs, which means that He is giving us all. He has, though of course He can never die. Look up 1 Peter 1:4; Romans 8:16-17. Think of all the things which God possesses! The whole earth is His, and the sun, moon and stars. We may not even own a little piece of the earth, but really it is all ours, because we are rich—heirs of a King!

More important to us than what God has, is that which God is. We are heirs of His holiness, His love, His gentleness, His peace, His goodness and all the other attributes which are revealed to us in Christ. We are to be like Him when He comes (1 John 3:2), but we are to grow more like Him now day by day as our condition is changed little by little to be more like our position.

In the last lesson, in the picture, we saw that our standing or position is what we are in Christ. Read any place in Paul’s epistles and see if you can find one of the more than one hundred verses where the believer is said to be in Christ. It would be a good thing for you to draw a circle around the word in every time you find it in front of a name of Christ or a pronoun representing Him in all of the epistles. In Ephesians the first chapter you will find this little word nine times. We were placed in Christ the moment we were saved.

STUDY QUESTIONS

  • What is a child of God? 
  • How do you become a child of God?

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