He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in HIs name, He gave the right to become children of God. John 1:11-12
Jesus came to us in the world to make salvation possible for us. But His people the Jews, as a whole, rejected Him. They didn’t receive Him, which is a condition for saving faith. But to those who do receive and believe in Jesus, He gives us the right to become children of God.
We aren’t automatically born into God’s family. Ephesians 2 tells us that we follow the prince of the power of the air, who is Satan. He is the spirit that is at work in us, the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 2:3 reports that we are children of wrath by nature, like the rest of mankind. But when we come to God in faith, receive Jesus and believe that He lived and died for us, we become God’s children. So at funerals when the officiator announces, “We’re all children of God,” that isn’t true. Only those who call on Jesus are children of God.
In John 3:16, some versions read, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…” That means that Jesus is the only one who is a son by right of being a true relative. Everyone else who receives Jesus and believes in His saving work on the cross is given the right to become children.
Another way of saying what happens for those who receive Jesus is that we are adopted. Romans 8:15 announces, “You did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” When we belonged to Satan’s camp, we were slaves and were filled with fear. We might not have understood or recognized our chains, but they were there. Romans 6 tells us that sin was our master.
But now we can call God our Father. 1 John 3:1 says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God; and so we are.” It took love on God’s part to make this whole thing happen.
So rejoice today that you who have believed in Jesus are officially adopted into a huge family with a Father that has made you the object of His love, grace and kindness.