Children of God: What it means

John 1-12

The Verse of the Day for July 31, 2016 describes what it means to be children of God:

John 1:12-13 (AMP):

But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name— who were born, not of blood [natural conception], nor of the will of the flesh [physical impulse], nor of the will of man [that of a natural father], but of God [that is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified].

1 John 3:1-3 also points out the difference between the children of God and the children of the world:

3 See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, we are [even here and] now children of God, and it is not yet made clear what we will be [after His coming]. We know that when He comes and is revealed, we will [as His children] be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is [in all His glory]. And everyone who has this hope [confidently placed] in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure (holy, undefiled, guiltless).

Verse 9 speaks of those who are “born of God” as being “born again.”

1 John 3:9 (AMP)

No one who is born of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, because God’s seed [His principle of life, the essence of His righteous character] remains [permanently] in him [who is born again—who is reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose]; and he [who is born again] cannot habitually [live a life characterized by] sin, because he is born of God and longs to please Him.

In reflecting on the distinction between those who are born of the flesh and those who are born again of the spirit of God, I thought of comments and a poem posted this past Father’s Day when I made reference to the statement “Spirit is thicker than blood.” Here is an excerpt from that post:

The statement “Spirit is thicker than blood” . . . I first heard more than 30 years by the late Skip Mesquite, celebrated saxophonist and songwriter, who performed with Tower of Power and other prominent musicians and singers back in the day. When I learned of his falling asleep in Christ, I commented about one of his songs: “Hey, Brother,” the composition written for his brother by blood, trying to explain why he was closer to his brothers in the spirit than to his own “flesh and blood.” I was so moved by his performance that I was inspired to write “We Be Brothers” which I dedicated to Skip. Since first completing the poem, I have read it countless times, expressing the bond of brotherhood shared with fellow believers.

We Be Brothers

“Spirit is thicker than blood.

Oh, yes, it is, brother.”

Skip Mesquite,

songwriter, saxophonist

         

men born again in brotherhood

beyond thin skinship of the soul

not blood but spirit makes us kin

we be true brothers, brother-man

 

I dig your gig, so rap to me

and play the sounds I need to hear

tune me in and play my number

just call me on your saxophone

 

soothe my soul with those mellow notes

flowing from your horn of plenty

man, make your heart-song melt my dark

and paint my skies in sunrise hues

 

I can escape the basement gloom

to scale the palace stairs with you

we climb to where the air is rare

we be true brothers, brother-man

The Verse of the Day and related scriptures reinforce the distinction made between those born of the spirit and those born of the flesh:

Listen to “Born Again” by Third Day

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