So you think you are a child of God, but how do you know for sure? Here are four ways that you can verify that God is truly your father.
- By your belief system
Some truly want to believe that God is their father, but the belief system that argues that God can’t father humans is a huge stumbling block for them. To move this stumbling block out of the way, we need to start from the very beginning. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and by day six, God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. (Gen 1:25). On the seventh day, God then says, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us” (Gen 1:26).
In essence, God made living things that could reproduce their own kind, and he then shows how, by reproducing His own kind. So right from the very beginning, man was created as an offspring of God, and although sin came, and destroyed many things, the idea that man was an offspring of God was never erased from human consciousness. This is why for instance, Paul quotes a pagan Greek poet who wrote – “we are his offspring.” Acts 17:28.
Romans 8:29 then firmly establishes the idea for us that, from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him should become like his Son, so that his Son would be the First, with many brothers. This has always been the entire point of God’s relationship with man; to recover sons that were lost to sin. Unless we apprehend this truth, it can indeed be challenging to understand how we can be children of God.
- By faith
Many people are hindered from fully embracing the fatherhood of God over their lives because it sounds all too easy. People truly struggle with the idea that you can simply believe something, and that makes it true. The thing though is, you are not simply believing anything, you are believing what God says about how to become His child. “As many as believe, to them he gave the power to become the sons of God.” (John 1:12)
- By the Inner witness
Now it is indeed possible for a man to believe that God has sons among men but to not be one himself because he has not exercised faith in what he believes to be true. So we see that faith, which springs from our belief is the source of our assurance that we are the sons of God. But we do not yet sense in our belief or our exercise of faith, the assurance of our sonship. This is because we cannot assure ourselves of a thing; assurance is given by a different person.
So who is this different person who gives us assurance that the things we have believed and in which we are exercising our faith is true? That person is the Holy Spirit, For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we really are God’s children. (Rom 8:16)
- By your actions
Yet, there are many spirits that speak, which is why we are admonished to test the spirits (1 John 4:1). Indeed there are many spirits that may whisper all kinds of things in the heart of a man, and so we must test the Spirit that we are walking in, by the manner of our walk. In Romans 8:1 for instance, we read of the end of condemnation, for those who are in Christ Jesus. To be in Christ Jesus is of course to be a child of God, but since the ambiguity we are dealing with here is about how one may know that he is a child of God beyond the inner witness, we find help for this in the elaboration that is provided about those who are in Christ: who walk not according to the flesh.
Our walk; the daily working out of our salvation is the other thing that validates what we truly believe, and what witness the Spirit actually bears in our heart. The sons of Eli were serving as priests in the temple and may have considered themselves sons of God, but God calls them sons of belial (or Satan, 1 Sam 2:12). Jesus also, pointed out to some Jews that they were mistaking in thinking that they were children of Abraham (and by extension God), when in fact they were children of the devil, because their conduct reflected his.
You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths.
Indeed, Jesus says that we (our true identity) are known by our fruits. Now the seed determines the fruit, and so that is why it is written that, whoseover is born of God does not make a habit of sin, because His seed remains in Him (1 John 3:19). It is impossible then to be a child of God and to continue in sin.
If the fruit is perennially the works of the flesh, then we must check the seed. Check your paternity!