Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | July 27, 2007

Why is it Significant We are Called Children of God? (Lesson 2: Question 7 Answer)

7.  Why is it significant that we are called children of God?

John uses the term “right”, which is from the Greek word εξουσιαν that can also mean “authority” or “power”.  A few examples of this word used elsewhere would be Luke 12:5 (But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!) and Mark 3:15 (and have authority to cast out demons.).  In this passage this word carries the connotation of “potential or resource to command, control or govern, capability, might, power.”27 It is analogous to the process of becoming a naturalized citizen in the USA, which in many parts of the world is seen as a great privilege.  Once the alien or foreigner is naturalized by the government of the United States they are granted all the rights and privileges of citizenship in the Republic.  Although similar in concept we were not seeking this privilege of citizenship, yet were aliens and foreigners to the kingdom of God (Eph 2:11-14).  We were formerly at enmity with God, however have been rescued by grace from our rebellion.  God grants us the privilege of becoming His children through adoption and now we “enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God” 28

In light of our discussion above, the fact that John calls us children of God is significant because it is something we were incapable of becoming.  We previously had no “right” or “authority” to claim this privilege.  However, God does have the “right” and “authority” to do this and our justification before Him is instrumental in making this possible.  And as we will find in continuing this study that these children were known to Him from eternity and He prescribed a solution to gather them (John 11:52).  That prescription is unveiled in the story of redemption in which God sent His Son into the world for the salvation of His people. 

27 Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature/ revised and edited by FW Danker (Chicago:  The University Chicago Press) 352

28 Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 12 of Adoption (1643)

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