December 28, 2021 Faith Bible Church

Children of God - Letters to the Prison

Children of God - Letters to the Prison

From the series Letters to the Prison


Last week, there was a quote from Paul saying, “…it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise… .” This quote came from Paul’s letter to the Romans chapter 9, verses 7-8.  Sorry to have omitted the reference.   

Anyway, we’re continuing our slow tour through John 8… and an important conversation between Jesus and the “Jews who had believed in him” (John 8:31).  One would think that, since they supposedly believed in Jesus, this would be a friendly conversation.  But Jesus is challenging them to live according to his word if they truly believe in him… and they don’t want to.  They’d rather lean on their heritage than change their behavior.  But Jesus won’t let them.  He shows that, if they were children of Abraham, they would “do what Abraham did” (John 8:39).  Jesus therefore shows that our earthly lineage doesn’t matter.  What matters is that we believe in Jesus and then live according to that belief by trusting and obeying his word.  Since the people listening to Jesus didn’t want to do that, Jesus accused them of having a “different father…” twice (John 8:28, 41a).  But these superficial believers weren’t getting it.

We saw last week how, rather than accept Jesus’ rebuke and repent, they went on the offensive and smeared Jesus’ own lineage (“we were not born of sexual immorality…” John 8:41b).  Then, they made quite the claim for themselves:

  • “…we have one Father – even God.” -John 8:41c

We could spend a long time discussing how they could support this claim Scripturally –and they could.  But they are still resting on their cultural, national, and biological heritage which completely misses Jesus’ point, which he reinforces by saying:

  • “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. -John 8:42

What Jesus says about himself here is not necessarily new to us.  We’ve seen in the past how he claims to have been sent from God and that he always acts in perfect accordance with the will of God because of his unique relationship with God the Father as part of the trinity.  What matters more for the purpose of our study at the moment is what Jesus says about us here.  Once again, Jesus directly ties our spiritual status to our behavior.  Children of God love Jesus.  Those who don’t love Jesus have a different father…

So, what we choose to do matters.  Not that it determines our spiritual status.  We don’t work our way up to being children of God with our good behavior.  Rather, our behavior reflects our spiritual status.  Children of God behave in a way that is consistent with the way Abraham behaved… he trusted, obeyed, loved, and honored God.  Not perfectly, by any means… and neither do we as Christians.  We still make terrible mistakes.  Still, while we may not love God perfectly, we still love him… and his Son, Jesus.

Those who don’t love Jesus have a different father altogether, as we will see soon enough.  Until next week!  We love you!

Dean A.