But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
The designation as “the sons of God” in the King James Version is translated “the children of God” in other versions: The verses are rendered this way in the New Living Translation:
12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
1 John 3:1 speaks of the source of our being called His children:
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.
From a spiritual perspective, those who are designated as sons of God, take on the character or the spiritual nature of their Father. “Like father, like son,” so goes the familiar expression. Jesus Christ whose very nature embodies the fullness of God is the Son of God, and those who receive him have obtained the power to partake of his nature, being born again. Romans 8:14 declares:
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
The New Living Translation offers this statement:
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Although our presence as children of God makes a critical difference in the world today, the fullness of who were are is yet to be totally realized. 1 John 3:2 points out the difference between what we see now and what we shall see in the future:
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Romans 8:19 in the Amplified Bible speaks of this sense of anticipation:
For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known [waits for the 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are., the disclosing of their sonship].
The New Living Translation puts it this way:
19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.
Many believe that future day is close at hand.
To round out our discussion, John 1:12 is the inspiration for the following scripture memory song: