Friday, 22 January 2021

Who is a child of God?

Who?

What qualifies you to be a child of God?

What is it that you should do to be a child of God?

How difficult is it to become a child of God?

At what point can you say that you are a child of God?

Where is the answer to all this and how would we know for sure?

Well, the answer is Jesus being right here in the open and available to everyone  who would receive Him. We will be looking at the answer of this question in scripture and going a bit deeper so that we can be sure to go beyond our brainwashed religious mindsets and ideas.

We'll be reading from the Gospel of John starting at the very first verse and concluding with verse 14 when the witness is introduced.

Our context here is identity. It answers many of the most basic questions, but also deep spiritual questions, namely: Who is God? Who is the Word? What is Light? What is Life? Where does It come from? What is It for (purpose)? What or who gives testimony thereof? How was It revealed? What should be done by us (mankind)? What is the relation with religion?

In this post we'll look at each one of these questions and how the Answer is revealed right here in the first few sentences of the Gospel of John.

In order to answer these questions directly our main verse(s) will be John 1:12 - 13:

... as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

To better understand the magnitude of what John wrote here in starting his Gospel, we'll have to look closely at the context, the words used and the implications.

Our method

In answering these questions, we'll firstly look at the context as a whole, followed by what is said from verse 1 leading up to verse 12 and 13 and then what follows for us and the witnesses (like John the Baptist being the first direct witness).

We will also be looking at some better translations and extended meanings of Greek translated words from Thayer and the Strong's concordance so that we may better comprehend what is said. We work from the King James translation of the Bible as a more direct translation so that we may easily translate and get the meaning of what was written. 

Throughout this post I will also refer to previous posts that dealt with a specific topic. I will provide the necessary links so that it is easy to click and follow.

Context

The Apostle John (the one who refers to himself as 'the disciple that Jesus loves'), whose name in the Hebrew means YHVH is Grace writes his Gospel, starting at the very beginning, creation itself.

John goes the extra mile throughout his Gospel account to show that God had always been Grace Himself. He had always been light and life and the answer to mankind, his only Bridegroom. 

Start at the start (better and extended meaning in brackets)

We start with verse one and follow through with elaborations after each verse to make it clearer:

Verse 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. - in the beginning refers to when God created the earth. The Word (or the Logos in Greek refers to the logic of YHWH; the Logos is a person, the Word Who became flesh, Yah'shua (Jesus). It is categorically stated here that the Word is God and God is the Word, one and the same!

Verse 2: The same was in the beginning with God. - the Greek word pros translated here as with is a preposition of movement denoting direction; to be together as in one; by the same side, place, time, position ...

Verse 3: All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. - Just look at this scripture over-emphasizing creation and whence it came from. The Greek word used here for All things has the explicit meaning as a primary word meaning all, any, every, the whole:—all (manner of, means), alway(-s), any (one), × daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no(-thing), X thoroughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever ...

Scripture makes it abundantly clear here that the actual creating work itself was performed by Jesus and that not a single thing, seen or unseen, was not made by Him.

Verse 4: In him was life; and the life was the light of men. - In this verse life is attributed to one Person, Jesus. By implication there is absences of life without Jesus. And Life is the Light of men, meaning Light or the Greek phōs (illumining power; the power to make clear and be revealed. It also means that life (and light) is the only power to redeem mankind from darkness and eternal confusion and death.

Note that a better translation for the word was from the Greek en would be "be" and not was! Now read the sentence again ...

Verse 5: And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - and the Light be in the darkness ... a condition that exists even today. The darkness, Greek word skotia, refers to dimness, obscurity, unseen, secret, ignorance, and its associated wickedness, and the resultant misery ...

... and now for the witness

Verse 6: There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. - Note that the witness sent from God was a man named John. His name is from the original Hebrew Yehowchanan meaning YHVH is Grace. YHVH, from the beginning was all about Grace. The law and rules came as a result of man's choosing and sin  (death) entering into his realm.

Verse 7: The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. Remember that John (the Baptist) was the first person to witness. He is the one who met with Jesus on occasion whilst still in His mother's womb and John being in his own mother's womb. John Leapt with joy on that very first encounter, becoming the first ever witness of God Who came in the likeliness of human flesh.

Verse 8: He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. - To prepare the way ... this is why John was the most important prophet of all times. He lived in the time that the Light came and when he prophesied his prophesy came true immediately because Jesus had already manifested onto man. He spoke and there was Jesus!

Verse 9: That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. - The Light shines on all mankind, without discrimination.

Verse 10: He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. - ... again, this is true even for today ...

Verse 11: He came unto his own, and his own received him not. - The keyword here is received. Remember our post on lambano? Click here. This is the very essence of the next verse ...

And now we move onto our main text ... who?

Verses 12-13: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Let's firstly note what verses 12 and 13 above do not say. They do not say:

As many as obeyed the 10 commandments ...

As many as obeyed the law and prescripts ...

As many as loved unconditionally ...

As many as forgave their neighbour ...

As many as lived right ...

As many as paid their tithes ...

As many as followed a specific doctrine ...

As many as said the sinners prayer ...

As many as completed the catechism ...

As many as were baptized ...

... etc.

But it does say as many as received him!

Who  is a child of God?

... as many as received him!

So, let's study this scripture and attentively look at the translation from the Greek so that we may understand it a little better.

as many as received him - As many as in the Greek is hosos, meaning whosoever, so many as, the many, the more ...

to them gave he power - to them he gave exousia, that is privilege, i.e. (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely, magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence:—authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength

to become the sons of God - to become (ginomai - to cause to be) the sons (or rather, teknon better directly translated as a child) of God

even to them that believe - The single Greek word pisteuō is translated here as even to them that believe. But it actually means to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ):—believe(-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.

This part says He gave them freedom power to have faith and actually credit Jesus (for the finished work of the cross, remember ...). To have faith in someone is to credit that person, to put your life and being in that person's hands and trust that the person will do or has done what he or she had promised.

on his name - His name is Yah'shua! There is intense power and grace in the meaning of His name that I have posted on here, here, here, herehere and elsewhere on my blog.

which were born - to those born, or rather gennaō, directly translated it does mean procreated ones (properly, of the father, but by extension of the mother); figuratively, regenerated ones, reconceived ones, delivered ones. Check out my post dealing with gennaō anōthen here.

not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor will of man - Man and the physical world together with our abilities and disabilities has NOTHING to do with our exousia power to choose deliverance!

but of God - But YHVH HAS!

Recapping the questions

Reading just the first few verses of the Gospel of John, it should now be abundantly clear to us that:

What qualifies you to be a child of God? — Jesus, and Jesus alone!

What is it that you should do to be a child of God? — Nothing except to receive as an heir, that that is already your inheritance!

How difficult is it to become a child of God? — Easy as pie. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most difficult), your measurement is -1. All you have to do is receive!

At what point can you say that you are a child of God? — It happened when Jesus died and rose for you, demonstrating everlasting love and life. The moment you receive this as yours, BAM!

It is a last-will-covenant and available to as many as will receive Him, nothing to do, nothing to add, nothing to argue ...

Can it be that easy?

If you are still unsure of who God is and how religion is a stumbling block in the way of your receiving, then I invite you to read some more posts on this blog and ask the abiding Spirit of Jesus in you to teach and lead you.

Remember, God is not who we think He is ... He is Who He says He is!

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