What does it mean to be a Child of God?
I once heard a story about a rich man who went to a restaurant for lunch and, after he was given the cheque, he paid the waiter a $5 tip. Taken aback, the waiter, said to the rich man, “I’m shocked at how little you’ve tipped! Your son gave a tip of $500 and you, being such a rich man, tipped only $5!” The rich man smiled and replied, “He is the son of a rich man, but I am the son of a woodcutter.”
Just like the rich man in this story, most of us derive our worth from knowing who we are to God in Christ. The scripture helps us understand this.
Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!”2 Corinthians 5:20 (NET)
We are the ambassadors of heaven and we represent Christ. That means wherever we go, we go as sons and daughters of God and show Christ to the world. We represent the Kingdom of God! Now if you have been to church, chances are you already know this. If someone were to tell us we are the children of God, we probably won’t flinch or be surprised. The reason is that we have heard this so many times, it seems like a cliché. It doesn’t strike us as a revelation. But, I want us to get to know the Person of the scripture, than merely just get familiar with the scripture.
Have you ever thought about how a little shepherd boy (who was not even twenty years old) took down an almost 7-foot tall giant? When David came face to face with Goliath, he didn’t just have his slingshot and a few stones, but he also had the Lord of Heaven’s armies fighting with him! Of course, God was always with him, but it was his knowledge and assurance of this truth that led him to take on Goliath and kill him that day (1 Samuel 17:37, 45-47). So, it is our knowledge and assurance of who God is and who we are in Him that makes all the difference!
Why is knowing your worth important?
One of the things the devil tries to attack is our identity. He knows that if we lose sight of who we are, we lose our purpose with it. The devil deceived Eve by attacking her identity (Genesis 3:1-7). She was so convinced and captivated by the lie of the future the devil portrayed to her, that she forgot she was already like God and made perfect in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). We also see in Matthew 4 how the devil tries to attack the identity of Jesus twice. But unlike Eve, Jesus was able to withstand the devil because He had a revelation of who He was. He knew that He was the BELOVED Son of God (Matthew 3:17).
It is only when we find our worth secured in Him, that we will be able to fulfil God’s purpose (like Jesus did).
Our Initial Worth
When God created the earth, He spoke, and things came into existence. He spoke into the darkness, and there was light. He spoke into the waters, and there were sea creatures. He spoke into the air, and there were birds. He spoke into the land, and it was filled with cattle and creatures of all kinds. But when He created man, He did not speak into the creation, but to Himself, making us in His own image.
Genesis 1:26 says that He created us to rule and have dominion over all creation. In 1 Peter 2:9, we read that we are a royal priesthood, called to rule.
Our Present Worth
People in the old covenant were deeply waiting and anticipating the coming of the Messiah. So when it finally happened, the Bible says the patriarchs rejoiced to see that day (John 8:56). But here’s the good news: the new covenant that we have in Christ is greater than the old. While the old covenant had the presence of God, we have the Person of God with us.
In the new covenant, there are four things that happen to us in Christ
1. We are adopted as sons of God.
One of my favourite verses in the Bible is Romans 8:15, which says:
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit if adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.”Romans 8:15 (NET)
Jesus’ primary purpose on the earth was to reveal God as our Father (Matthew 6:9). The Father’s love for us is large, that being adopted as His sons means that we have His DNA and are just like Him now.
2. We have the boldness to approach God without fear.
In the old covenant, only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies to talk to God, and even then, if he wasn’t pure in the sight of God, he would be dead the second he entered in. But in the new covenant, Jesus is our High Priest and He represents us (Hebrews 4:15, 10:9).
God is pleased with us because He is pleased with Christ (Ephesians 2:17-18).
We have access to God by the Spirit through Jesus. God chose us even before the foundations of the earth were laid out (Ephesians 1:4). He knew our weaknesses, but they were never a hindrance to His strength being perfected in us (2 Corinthians 12:9). All we need to do is remain humble to surrender to His goodness (James 4:6).
Once we learn to surrender to His goodness, we learn to behold Him, and as we keep beholding Him, He transforms us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). This simply means that we are being restored to our original worth. We become saints. When I say “saints”, I am talking with the root word “hagios” in mind, which, in Greek, translates to “likeness of nature with the Lord”.
3. The third thing that happens when we realise our worth is that we have the same privilege of Christ through the same Spirit. Here are some verses to better understand this. Romans 8:17 says that we are co-heirs with Christ; Romans 8:11 says that we have the same power of resurrection that raised Christ from the dead; and Ephesians 1:21 and 2:6 talk about the authority that we have that is far above all principalities.
4. Lastly, we have complete security and protection in Jesus and this comes by knowing who we are in Christ. John 10:28-29 says that we have eternal life in Him and no one can snatch us away from His hand. We are completely secure in the Father, and the more we know Him, the more we become aware of this reality (John 14:19).
Sometimes we just don’t realise how valuable we really are to Him. The world we live in is not always kind. There are so many voices around us that make us question our worth. That is why, each day, we need to ask God to give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him, because it is only when we know Him, we know our position in Him (Ephesians 1:18-20). Our worth is IN Christ, AS Christ! The next time we question our worth, all we need to do is remember the Man that laid down His life to redeem ours. We are not worthless. We are valued and precious, and His blood paid the price for our life (Romans 8:35-39, Ephesians 1:7). If this isn’t enough to convince us of our worth, here are some more truths from Ephesians 1:3-14:
- We are blessed with every spiritual blessing
- We were chosen in Him before the foundations of the earth
- We were predestined in love
- We are accepted in the Beloved
- We are redeemed
- God has lavished His grace upon us
- He has revealed the mystery of His will to us
- Our inheritance is in Him
- We have been sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit
- We are the praise of His glory
May the knowledge and the reality of the truth set us free. We don’t have to dwell in self-pity because we are made for a much bigger purpose.