Archive for May, 2009



Another personable term describing our relationship with God is ‘children of God’.  It is used in the very comforting verse, John 1:12 (‘sons of God’ in the KJV is an inaccurate translation of the Greek word teknon):

NAU John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

NIV John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

KJV John 1:12 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

It is also used in the theologically encouraging verse, Rom 8: 16, 17:

NAU Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

NIV Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs– heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

KJV Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

And in the sanctifying verse of Philippians 2:15:

NAU Philippians 2:15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,

NIV Philippians 2:15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe

KJV Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world

The greek word for children, teknon, is used interchangeably with Sons of God in Romans 8. But where the Greek word for Sons stressed the legitimacy of familial relationship, teknon stresses the dignity and character of one made prominent by birth. Although there is no direct physical, familial connection of believers with Mary, the mother of Jesus, there is a direct spiritual family connection of believers with Jesus by the spiritual rebirth experienced through faith in the finished work of Christ and the legal adoption into the family of God accomplished through the faith transaction.  Bottomline: Believers are in a close family relationship with the Living God that is made legitimate by God’s work in the spiritual rebirth accomplished through faith. Not only are we slaves as pointed out in previous posts, we are close members of God’s family as Sons, Daughters and Children by our faith connection with Jesus. Let us rejoice and be glad in His work.




An even more personable description of Christians is the term ‘sons of God.’ It is used by Paul in Romans 8. It is significant that he uses the term in Romans 8 because the previous chapters have been describing the salvation of God that comes to those embracing the work of Christ on the cross by faith alone. In Romans 8, ‘sons of God’ is used to describe the intimate relationship of those who have embraced by faith the teaching of Romans 1-7.

NAU Romans 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

NIV Romans 8:14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

KJV Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Sons of God’ describes a family relationship. While being ‘a Friend of God’ is honorable and desirable, being a ‘Son of God’ is more so. Sonship indicates legitimacy as opposed to illegitimacy.  However, the ‘Sonship’ of a Christian is not naturally acquired but legally acquired. We are ‘declared righteous’ through faith alone in Christ’s work and following this legal theme, Christians are legally adopted by God into His family:

NAU Romans 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

NIV Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. {15 Or adoption} And by him we cry, “Abba, Father!”

KJV Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father

Sonship, however, has responsibility. Just as children have the responsibility to represent well the family name, so Christians have the awesome responsibility to represent well the Name of God who has adopted them as sons and daughters into His family. Loving, lending and doing well to our enemies should be a trait of God’s adopted sons and daughters.

NAU Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

NIV Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

KJV Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Being a peacemaker should also be a trait in the life of an adopted son of God:

NAU Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

NIV Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

KJV Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

What an honor to be called Sons of God by God, our Father. Though adopted, the term expresses legitimacy – not because we earned the right, but because He did the work to make us legitimate to enter into His family.

Christians have a kind Father who has adopted them into His family, and He treats us more kindly than we deserve. In a kind family, the father and mother treat their children – both natural and adopted – with discipline, kindness and respect. In return, their children live to honor their parents with a lifestyle that reflects the values of the family. Let us live as Luke 6:35 and Matt 5:9 describe the adopted sons of God.