But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
Son or Daughter
Clearly, when we are born again, God is the One Who causes our birth, as the Greek word Jesus uses more than once in John chapter three is that we are born again, or “anōthen,” meaning we are born “from another place” or “from above.” So when we repent and put our trust in Christ, we are born from above and become a child of God (John 1:12). The Apostle John and the Apostle Paul both declare it is present indicative, or in the present tense, that we “are now” the children of God (1 John 3:2; Gal. 3:26) and not at some point in the future. When a woman becomes pregnant, she is already a mother before the birth of her child; the child already has a mother and a father before they are even born. In the same sense, when we are conceived by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, we are born again (John 3:3, 7) and become a child of God at that very moment, a very son or daughter of the Most High God.
Sinner and Saint
Martin Luther was once asked if he was a sinner or a saint, and he answered, “Simul Iustus et Peccator,” which is Latin for “at the same time just or righteous and sinner.” The Greek word for “saint” is “hagios” and means “a most holy thing” or “a saint.” All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23), and not one of us is ever going to be perfect (Rom. 7) or sinless (Rom. 3:10). However, in God’s eyes, if we have repented and trusted in Christ, then we have Jesus’ own righteousness imputed toward us, and that’s how God sees us (2 Cor. 5:21). We are declared legally right before God as a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Even Paul described himself as the chief of sinners, even though he was an apostle of God (1 Tim. 1:15).
Brother or Sister
Jesus’ mother and brothers once came to see Him. Jesus said, pointing to His disciples, “Here are my mother and my brothers” (Matt. 12:49)! Once we place our trust in Him, we are part of the family of God at that moment. He says that anyone who does the will of His Father is His brother and sister and mother (Matt. 12:50). More than that, He calls us His friend and not just His servants anymore (John 15:15). Imagine that! We are Jesus’ own brothers and sisters and also His friend. So to God we are both saints and sinners, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters but also His friend. How great is that?!
A Closing Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing me into the family of God and being Your very own child. What a great privilege. I thank You and praise You, and in Jesus’ holy name I pray.
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