16 mája, 2010

God's Offspring

When Paul stood in front of "very religious men of Athens" on Areopagus he quoted one of their writers (Aratus) who wrote in his poem Phainomena: "For we are indeed his offspring." (Acts 17:28). Paul takes this statement as very true and immediately confirms this by saying: "Being then God's offspring..." (v. 29).

So knowing that we are the offspring of God, what does it mean? Paul says in Romans: "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God...The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:14.16-17).

So when the Bible speaks of Christians being sons of God and God's offspring, it really is talking about being real children of God. What is a child in the Bible?

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate
(Psalm 127:3-5)

So if we take what God says about children and apply it back to Him, just then we really get to see the picture of what it means for us and for God that we are His children. God considers us as His heritage, "treasured possession among all peoples" (Exodus 19:5). We are the fruit of His labor (death on the cross) and His "reward". We are what makes Him look glorious - like arrows in the hand of a warrior (for His love and justice is vindicated in the death of His Son Jesus Christ).

Let's look at the patriarchs and their sons. Let's take Abraham and Isaac as an example (but this works even for Isaac and Jacob or Jacob and his sons). Abraham saw in Isaac a fulfillment of the promise God gave him (land and descendants). We can even say that Isaac was something in what Abraham could boast in. Abraham loved his son above everything else in this world but not more then he loved God. And let's now look at God whether we can find any parallels. God sees in Christians the ultimate fulfillment of the promise once given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for now (literally and more fully) they are a blessing to all the nations (Genesis 12:3 - in you all the families [nations] of the earth shall be blessed). Jews were to be a blessing, a lamp, to the world but they were centered in Israel (thus their influence was limited) and eventually they failed in this mission. But Christians are nowadays spread all around the world and so the promise of being a blessing to all the nations of the earth is fulfilled even more. God loves His children and "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) Abraham offered his son Isaac as a proof of his love for God. God offered His Son Jesus as a proof and means of His love for us.

So what is the conclusion? How is this to affect our lives? Many times we hear saying: We are the children of God. But many times we lack what it really means to be His children. How is He looking at us? How does He relate to us and we to Him? Being children of God means much more then just a status. It means a reality. Reality which we are to live in. Reality where God loves us and considers us as His treasured possession, heritage, fruit of His labor. Reality in which we are His true children.

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