Who really are the children of God the Father? The psalmist wrote: “You are gods, all of you are sons of the Most High. Nevertheless you shall die like men, and fall like one of the rulers” (Ps. 82:6-7). Who are these children? And do these children called gods die as ordinary men?
The apostle Paul set the fundaments of a doctrine about the true children of God, saying: “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children” (Gal. 4:4-5).
In these two verses we have a few truths about the children of God:
1. Prior to Christ everyone was under the law, and those who were under the law were not children of God.
2. To be children of God they would have to be redeemed by Christ, for he was born for this reason. And he was born under the law to fulfill the law.
3. Those that Jesus Christ redeems receive the adoption of children, that is, the Jews thought that they were children, but they were not, for in order to become children of God, whoever he may be, Jew or Gentile, sinner or saint, righteous or unrighteous, that one has to go through the hands of Jesus. John said: “But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). What does “redeem” mean? Paul answers: “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). Only the blood of Jesus can redeem sins. In the last supper Jesus said as he took the cup: “For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28). Without the shedding of the blood of Jesus to redeem the sinner, there could be no children of God; therefore, there were no children of God in the Old Testament.
But Jehovah declared many times, before Jesus was born in this world and before his blood was shed to redeem sinners, that he had children, and children who were sinners, for according to Jehovah there is no one who never sins (Eccl. 7:20).
4. “God’s sons saw that men’s daughters were beautiful, and they took for themselves wives of all that they chose” (Gen. 6:2).
5. “You are the children of Jehovah your God: you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead” (Deut. 14:1).
6. “Of the Rock who became your father, you are unmindful, and have forgotten God who gave you birth. Jehovah saw [it], and abhorred [them], because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters. He said, ‘I will hide my face from them. I will see what their end shall be; for they are a very perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness’” (Deut. 32:18-20).
7. Jehovah said to David: “When your days are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who shall proceed out of your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men” (2 Sam. 7:12-14). Jehovah used to speak of Solomon to David.
8. “I will tell the north, ‘Give them up!’ and tell the south, ‘Don’t hold them back! Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth’” (Is. 43:6).
9. “For he said, ‘Surely, they are my people, children who will not deal falsely:’ so he was their Savior” (Is. 63:8).
10. Jehovah complains about his children, saying: “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, then where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is the respect due me? Says Jehovah of Armies to you, priests, who despise my name. You say, ‘How have we despised your name?’” (Mal. 1:6).
How do we solve a delicate question? After so many declarations from the prophets and from the very Jehovah speaking of his children, who were not redeemed by the blood of Christ, shed on the cross for the remission of sins, were they children of God or were they not? The blood of Christ is valuable, or is it not? Do we have to be washed in the blood of Christ in order to be children of God? (Rev. 1:5). If the blood of Christ has real value, those children of Jehovah, in the Old Testament, are lost, for they think that they are children of God, but they are not.
Someone will say, “The epistle to the Romans says: “As it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were” (Rom. 4:17). Those of the Old Testament faith were not, but because in a future time they were going to be, God called them children.
The argument is valid. But Jehovah considered children the unfaithful and wicked men. Let us read a few texts:
“Hear, heavens, and listen, earth; for Jehovah has spoken: “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me” (Is. 1:2).
“Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come forever and ever. For it is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of Jehovah” (Is. 30:8-9).
“They sacrificed to demons, [which were] no God, to gods that they didn’t know, to new [gods] that came up of late, which your fathers didn’t dread. Of the Rock who became your father, you are unmindful, and have forgotten God who gave you birth. Yahweh saw [it], and abhorred [them], because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters. He said, ‘I will hide my face from them. I will see what their end shall be; for they are a very perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness. They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God. They have provoked me to anger with their vanities. I will move them to jealousy with those who are not a people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. For a fire is kindled in my anger, burns to the lowest Sheol, devours the earth with its increase, and sets the foundations of the mountains on fire. I will heap evils on them. I will spend my arrows on them. [They shall be] wasted with hunger, and devoured with burning heat and bitter destruction. I will send the teeth of animals on them, with the poison of crawling things of the dust’” (Deut. 32:17-24). We do not know which is worse: if the sinner, who sins for being too small, or if the one who tortures, for being too big. Which is worse? Those who yield to the corruptive fury of the flesh, or the one who created the corruptive flesh? Paul said: “Now I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood can’t inherit the Kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Cor. 15:50).
We are sure of one thing: Jesus saves everyone, for everyone is condemned (John 3:18). Jesus saves, heals, and delivers. Paul said: “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of God. Such were some of you, but you were washed. But you were sanctified. But you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:10-11). Here is the love and mercy of God the Father. Amen.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira