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Finding my Identity as a Child of God | John 1:12-13

  • August 22, 2021
  • Jonathan Romig
  • Child of God , Discipleship , Everyday Life , Family , Identity , Theology
  • Rest, Renewal & Grace

Today I want to share a passage I was meditating on during sabbatical. I started reading the gospel of John and for a while, I got caught up on these two verses.

John 1:12-13 (ESV) But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

These verses caught my eye because they talk about Christians being identified as children of God . I wrestle with what it means to be a child of God. Do you know what that means? Do you get it? Other pastors tell me all the time how important this is, and how identifying as children of God can make a huge difference.

I went into sabbatical really wanting to experience what it means to be a child of God.   See, I don’t believe everyone is a child of God, only people God adopts into his family. But just because I know a “theological truth” that “I’m a child of God” through faith in Christ doesn’t mean I really get it in my heart.  

Unfortunately, I can’t say I figured it all out on sabbatical, but I want to share a few things the Lord is teaching me. Three words help us find our identity as children of God: blood, flesh, and will.  

1a) I’m not a child of God because of my blood.

I’m sorry if you’re squeamish about blood, like I am, but the passage talks about it. “…he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood…” I won’t be showing you any pictures of ER or Grey’s Anatomy . My mom used to like watching those shows when we had an old TV that had lots of static and the color wasn’t very good. When we got a high-def television, she didn’t like them as much. Too much blood! Blood may be kinda gross, but it’s also really significant for identity.

Remember who wrote this book. Jesus’ disciple John wrote the gospel of John, one of Jesus’ most beloved disciples. He’s Jewish, but he’s writing the gospel of John to a mixed audience made up of Jews and Gentiles, non-Jews. In the verse right before ours, John says the Israelites rejected Jesus and then adds, “But to all who did receive him.” One of John’s most important messages in the gospel of John is that “all” or “whoever” believes in Jesus receives eternal life, whether they have Jewish blood or non-Jewish blood.  

That’s a complete turn of events because for over a thousand years the story they’ve been living has been all about blood. Back in Deuteronomy 14:1 God identified the Israelite people as “the sons of the Lord your God.” The Israelites were to be one blood. The sign that marked all males as Jewish was a sign stamped in blood, circumcision. The Israelite people, and Jewish people today, still find a lot of identify and security in believing they are children of Abraham and God’s chosen people. But John is saying you’re not a child of God, or Abraham, because of your blood type or mark made in blood but through faith in Christ Jesus.

I was able to make progress on my Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min) this summer. One of the people helping keep me accountable is Pastor Nathan Willems, the English Pastor at CBCGL. We’ve been reading each other’s chapters and encouraging one another. His project is about second-generation Asian-Americans and identity formation. He’s now the English pastor, but he was the Youth Pastor for many years, and found that children of immigrants, second-generation immigrants have a difficult time figuring out who they are. Am I Chinese? Am I American? Am I Christian? I feel out of place. In his paper, he shares this quote from the book, Becoming Asian American :

One of Meg’s most vivid early memories, from when she was about 8 years old, was that of a group of neighborhood children, primarily white, following and harassing her as she walked home from school. They pulled their eyelids up to make fun and chanted racial slurs. When Meg got home, her parents comforted her. Besides advising her to ignore the attacks, they also emphasized that she should take pride in her Chinese ancestry: “They told me not to pay any attention, that the kids were just ignorant and mean. They also told me that I was Chinese, it was in my blood, it wasn’t something to be ashamed of. It was one of the few times they actually talked about it, but I think it was really important to them that we be proud of being Chinese.”

Maybe you can relate to that. You find a lot of identity in your Asian blood, your American blood, your New England blood (also known as Dunkin blood), or your family’s blood. I find a significant amount of identity in being a Romig, son of Paul and Ellen, brother of Christy, Timothy, Matthew, and Nathanael. But here, in this text, Christians can find a new way to identify themselves. And if you’re someone who has struggled with ethnic or family identity, here’s a new way to identify yourself, as a child of God.

We’re born, not of human blood, but of God. “But to all who did receive HIM, who believed in HIS name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Whose the “him?” Who do we receive to become a child of God? Who do we believe in to get this new identity? Jesus! I’m not a child of God because of my blood…

1b) I’m a child of God because of His blood.

These two verses, 12-13, tell us that we “become children of God . . . not by blood, flesh, or man, but by God.” So you have to kind of back track and ask, how does God make us his child? By his blood, his flesh, his man. I’m a child of God because of Christ’s blood on the cross, ultimately, because of God’s blood.

We’ve been in the book of Acts for a while, and are going back next week. And one verse that really stuck out to me describes God bleeding for us. Paul says, “Care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28b ESV) God, through Christ Jesus, spilt his own blood on the cross to save us from our sins so that whoever believes in him can receive eternal life but also be adopted into a new family.

God’s blood, through Christ’s blood, doesn’t just save us, it transforms our identity. No longer are we foreigners and aliens to God, but his beloved children. The blood of God covers us on the cross. What is one of the primary rituals Jesus gave all believers to remember him, and form community? Communion, the Lord’s Supper, where he said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:25b ESV) He wants us to remember his shed blood, to symbolically internalize his shed blood, and for our identities as believers and as a church to be defined by his shed blood.

When you put your faith and trust in Christ Jesus, Christ’s blood covers you, not just cleansing you from sin, but giving you a new identity as a child of God. You can still find identity in your Asian American blood or European American blood or African American blood or Romig blood, but as Christians, the blood of Christ gives us eternal identity that far surpasses anything this world offers. I’m not a child of God because of my blood, but because of His blood, and his blood covers me through Christ.

2a) I’m not a child of God because of my flesh.

John says we don’t become God’s children through the “flesh.” Nothing the Jewish people or the Gentile people could do with their bodies could make them children of God. When we think about identity formation, we often think about what we do, don’t we. What’s the first thing people ask you when they meet you? What do you do? I’m a pastor. I’m a civil engineer. I’m a teacher. The Jewish people also found a lot of identity in the things they did, especially obeying the law of God. God gave them lots of rules to follow back in Exodus through Deuteronomy, and those laws gave them a lot of identity. But John says there’s nothing you can do in your flesh that will make you a child of God, no rule you can follow, no law you can keep.  

You might have had a father or a mother or teacher or significant authority in your life who insisted we acted or behaved a certain way. They could have insisted on good things, like doing your chores, your homework, being polite, etc. And each of us probably discovered that when we did those things, our parents or parental figure seemed happier with us. What we did in the flesh really mattered for the day to day relationship with them. Some of our parents did a good job of assuring us that they love us no matter how we behave, but some did not. Here’s the dark side of all this.  

I can come to believe deep in my soul that my heavenly father feels the same way about me. That he only loves me when I’m obeying him. And pretty soon you and I begin to live under a constant raincloud of feeling like we’re always disappointing our heavenly father. Maybe he does love us, but in kind-of a frustrated way. Do you ever feel that way? I feel that way all the time. But here’s the thing, I’m not a child of God because of my flesh, because of the things I do in the body.

2b) I’m a child of God because of His flesh.

Before Jesus started his ministry, before he multiplied the fish and loaves and walked on water, before he proved he wouldn’t fall to Satan’s temptation, the father said this about Jesus: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17b ESV) Before Jesus ever accomplished the mission his father had given him, his father said how much he loved him, and that he was “well pleased” with him.  

When we believe in Jesus, we become identified as being “in Christ” (Romans 6:11, 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17). In Christ, I’ve already lived a perfect life of obedience. In Christ, I’ve never ever disobeyed. In Christ, I’m not a disappointment, but the greatest glory. In Christ, my heavenly father also says of me, “This is my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased.”  

I know that can be hard to hear. I struggle to hear it because I want to prove myself. I also argue back. Yeah, but we’re supposed to obey (John 14:15). Yes, but we obey not in order to win love, but as a response to love. I love my son and my daughter and I hope they’ll obey, but their lack of obedience does not make them any less my child who I absolutely adore. There’s nothing I can do in my flesh to make myself any more or any less his child than I already am.  

The verse after ours says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14a ESV). God recognized that in our own flesh we’re not enough, which is why he came. We’re not just not God’s children, Paul actually calls us “children of wrath” (see Ephesians 2:1-10). God didn’t just come to save us, but to make us his children, to adopt us into his family. How he did that was by putting his flesh on the line. But once he laid down his flesh on the cross through Christ Jesus, our very identity changes. And the question becomes, do I identify more as a “child of God” or as a “child of wrath?” Part of believing the gospel is learning to identify more as a child of God, no matter what I feel inside. I am a child of God because of his blood and his flesh and his will.

3) I am not a child of God because of my will but because of his will.

John talks about “the will of the flesh” and “the will of man.” If I trust in Jesus, there is nothing I can think or will that makes me any more or less God’s child. If I can only have a pure thought life, then God will love me. False. God loves you as his child and is helping change your thought life. If I can only get the mental help I need, then God will love me. God loves you no matter your mental health. If I can only have the right goals and aspirations, then God will love me. Wrong, God loves you because your his child, because you love his Son. It was the will of God, his will, that you would be his child.

On sabbatical I also read the book of Job. The book of Job is the story of a really successful man losing everything. He losses his family, his wealth, his wife’s love, and his friends’ support, his happiness, his joy. And we’re led to wonder if Job will curse God and die. But instead, Job chooses to trust in God, the mighty God who made the heavens and the earth and the underworld itself (Job 26). And by the end of Job, God shows up and says how he made the earth and the sky and the rain and the seas (Job 38).  

I was sitting on top of Mt. Avalon in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, close to Mt. Washington, just looking at the side of a mountain covered it lots and lots of trees. God reminded me that the one who made all of that loves me. This summer I saw the mountains of Colorado, the mountains of New Hampshire, the Atlantic ocean along Cape Cod, and I heard deep in my soul that it was the will of the one who made all of that that I would be his child. And if you know Jesus, the creator of the mountains and the oceans, your creator, it’s his will that you would be his child too.  

God calls you his child and there’s nothing you can do about it but believe in Jesus.

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” There is some sort of deep paradox here. You can’t win God’s favor through your blood, your flesh, or your will. God loves you and adopts you into his family. You believe because you’ve received and yet you also believe to receive. It’s as we believe in Christ and wrestle with our identities that we come to know we are God’s children. Maybe today’s sermon message helped, but maybe you’re just more confused than ever.

Here’s what I’m doing. There are a couple of things I pray for on a semi-regular basis, and one of those things is that I would know deep in my soul that I am a child of God. Sometimes I pray that for my family too. If you wrestle with finding your identity as a child of God, then add it to your prayers. Pray it for yourself, for your family, and for your church family, including your pastor. God calls you his child and there’s nothing you can do about it but believe in Jesus.

Pastor Jonathan Romig preached this message at Cornerstone Congregational Church. You can download a PDF copy of this sermon above. You can also listen via  Apple Podcasts . Read the story of our church here .

Discussion Questions

  • What does it mean to be a child of God?
  • Do you identify yourself as a child of God? Why or why not?
  • How do blood, flesh, and will tell us about being children of God.
  • How do we become children of God? Is it something we’re born with?

Take a moment to pray to identify as a child of God.

Church Service

You can watch the full service on Facebook or only the sermon on YouTube .

Nazli Kibria, Becoming Asian American (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), 42. *Thank you Pastor Nathan for giving me permission to reference your D.Min project.

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  • Audio (MP3) 26 MB

Spiritually Hungry

I Am A Child Of God Bible Study

Note: The page numbers listed in this study correspond with pages in the PDF printed version. The questions at the end likewise correclate with the printed version.


This Bible study is written from the perspective of helping you better 

understand who God the Father is so that you can step deeper into your identity as a child of God. 

Identity is never an easy thing, especially for women. We can have a really hard time feeling secure in who we are for many reasons. Furthermore, as Christian women, we are adopted as children of God. But understanding God as our Parent – as our Father- can presents difficulties for so many of us (myself included) because of  negative experiences with our earthly fathers in the past. 

In this study, it’s my hope to share with you much of the insight that I have gained on this important issue, not only in seminary or as a professional minister, but also through my personal experience as a disciple of Jesus.

It is because of my relationship with Jesus that God has truly become my Father, my Parent. While I have still room to grow in this reality, I am overjoyed to share with you the wisdom God has bestowed upon my heart and life, and I do pray this Bible study is revolutionary for you.  

Seriously, we can never get close enough to God. There’s never a maximum amount we can learn, nor is there a place where we stop growing. To be a disciple is to follow Him every day. 

Jesus has so much in store for you, more than you can ever dream of! So I hope and pray that the time set apart for this study is transformational for you. May God do mighty things through the time you have devoted to learning more about His role as your Father. 

In Him and His enormous love, 

There are questions to help you process and retain the information at the end, and we encourage you to complete those questions after you finish reading.

All Biblical citations are taken from the World English Bible (WEB), which has a public domain copyright and can be freely reproduced.

All other works within this publication are copyright Spiritually Hungry 2019. Reproducing, sharing, copying, borrowing content, or sharing this content digitally or in print, without express written permission, is an infringement of the copyright.

I Am A Child Of God

During our final semester of seminary, Aaron came home from class one afternoon and said, “So, I’ve been thinking about all I’ve learned about our faith over the past three years here…and there is still one thing I’m not sure I understand that really bothers me.” Given the intensity of our study at Denver Seminary, I expected him to then share some obscure question about Christian theology that is rarely discussed outside of academic circles. I was quite surprised however, by the simplicity of the question he then stated.

“I’m not sure that I really understand who God the Father is,” he continued. “What does He do? I understand I’m His child – but seeing Him as my Father just doesn’t make sense to me…I don’t think I REALLY undestand this.” 

It’s a question that many Christians have struggled with over the centuries.

Being a child of God begins with understanding that God is our Parent. 

However, with that foundational recognition comes a whole host of issues that can trip us up and prevent us from living as the beloved child of God we are.

You see, we naturally first understand parenthood through the lens of this broken world – and that’s one of the biggest barriers that prevents Christians from genuinely embracing that they are a child of God.

For me personally, I know that understanding myself as a child of God was never an easy thing; I had a really hard time seeing God as a Father. 

My biological father abused his role in every sense and created a life of turmoil and destruction because of his decisions and actions. Thankfully, my mother found the strength to kick him out of our house, and eventually out of lives through the loss of his parental rights and a restraining order by court order. 

However, as a kid in elementary school, I was the only child that I knew with divorced parents. Even worse, I didn’t know a single family that suffered the level of abuse my sisters and mom did at the hands of their father.

In turn, I naturally questioned, “Why did I get the father I did? Why do all of my other friends have dads, but I don’t?” These questions haunted me for most of my childhood and adolescence. 

As a result, when I began my true walk with Jesus as a teenager, my past experiences with my biological father directly influenced my comfortability with the idea that God the Father.  

How could I embrace openly the idea that God is my “Father” when I had such a negative concept of what a father is from my own life experiences?

Whether you have had a good father in your own life or not, we can all  struggle with understanding God as our Father because everyone comes from human parents. 

Every single one of us was biologically created by a male and a female, and those people, just like you and I, are not perfect.

Yes, some parents are better than others, but every single parent, even if they are well intentioned and loving, makes mistakes. They fall short. They are human. 

All of us have experience with parents, whether they are biological parents or not… or were part of our lives or not, and those experiences are variegated and nuanced. 

Because of this, we often take our experience as the child of human parents and fuse it with our understanding of being a child of God. 

Let me be clear here – there is some overlap between the two. But our God is a parent far and above and beyond anything we could experience in our relationship with human parents.

Jesus teaches us an important truth about our Father God in the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 7:9-11 (WEB)

9 Or who is there among you who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

This teaching from Jesus is of paramount importance. 

Basically, what Jesus is saying is that if fallen, sin-driven, broken parents can provide for their children, then how much more can God – who is holy and perfect – provide for His children. 

And a child of God – that’s what you are!

You were formed by God’s hands in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139). 

God’s love for you is tender and good, and as we see through Jesus’ teaching, God is the supreme parent.

God is good, holy, and perfect. With Him there are no mistakes, no shortcomings, no failures. 

When God is our Parent, He is doing everything right, even if we may not understand it or are able to interpret it. 

While we may carry some baggage, either a lot or a little, in our knowledge of God as our Father, we must not rely solely on our understanding of earthly parents when we look to God as our parent. 

Because even good earthly parents are just a shadow of what God is to us – the ultimate and perfect parent.

It wasn’t until I started studying who God is – who the Father is, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is – and really looked into who I am as defined by God through the grace of Jesus Christ, that I was able to take hold of my identity as a child of God. 

There is so much theology and truth in the depths of being a child of God. But this truth, and living in the reality of it, requires time and dedication. 

Our commitment to discipleship is what enables God to heal our brokenness – the evil in this world that is trying to snatch up our birthright that Jesus paid for with His precious blood. 

You are God’s child, and the Bible is very clear on this issue.

When you decided to follow Jesus you were adopted as a child of God. (John 1:12; Eph. 1:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 8:15)

Again , it is through Jesus Christ that we become children of God. 

Likewise, it is through Jesus Christ that we understand who the Father is.

“All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.” (Jesus speaking in Matthew 11:27)

Because of Jesus and what He shows to us, we are able to know the first person of the Trinity- God the Father – and Jesus has a lot to say and show us about who the Father is.

First of all, we see from Scripture that when Jesus prays, He prays to the Father (John 17; Matthew 26:39, 42; Luke 23:34, 46 ). 

Jesus also had a deep dependency on the Father (Matthew 26:53). We learn to model our prayer and dependency on the Father through Jesus’ teachings and actions. This is just one of many ways Jesus models for us what being a child of God looks like.

Even more so, Jesus teaches us through a beautiful illustration of just who the Father is to us: The Parable of the Prodigal Son.

This parable is easily one of the most beloved and popular of Jesus parables. The story depicts a wayward son and his return back to grace through his father’s love. 

But despite its most commonly used title, this parable isn’t about the son. 

It’s about the father and his unconditional grace. 

Interestingly, Jesus Himself didn’t actually give titles for His parables. People throughout church history have instead applied titles to His parables to better reference and explain them. So, for the sake of better explaining this story to you in this study, I’m going to instead call it “The Parable of the Good Father.” 

The Parable Of the Good Father: Luke 15:11-32

11 He said, “A certain man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of your property.’ So he divided his livelihood between them. 13 Not many days after, the younger son gathered all of this together and traveled into a far country. There he wasted his property with riotous living. 14 When he had spent all of it, there arose a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need. 

15 He went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He wanted to fill his belly with the husks that the pigs ate, but no one gave him any. 17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I’m dying with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. 

19 I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.”’

20 “He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let’s eat, and celebrate; 24 for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’ Then they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his elder son was in the field. As he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the servants to him, and asked what was going on.

27 He said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and healthy.’ 28 But he was angry, and would not go in. Therefore his father came out, and begged him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Behold, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed a commandment of yours, but you never gave me a goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 

30 But when this your son came, who has devoured your living with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’

31 “He said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’”

There is so much meat to this parable that we could literally spend weeks exploring all the lessons, but for this Bible study I want us to focus on the actions and attitude of the Father. 

I believe looking at The Parable of the Good Father in this lens will help us stand stronger in our identity as a child of God. 

The story all begins with the younger of two sons requesting to receive his inheritance from his very much still alive father. 

This action was brazen, and not a normal request. Typically one waits until the relative passes before the inheritance is distributed, but not in this case. 

Since the younger son requests his inheritance before his father has passed, this son in effect is basically saying that he wishes his father were dead. 

In the act of taking an early inheritance, the younger son emancipates 

himself from the family, and from his responsibilities and duties of a son. In the ancient world, taking care of a father as he aged was a responsibility of sons, but by taking the money and leaving, this younger son essentially abdicated those responsibilities entirely. 

There could be few things more insulting to a father at the time than a son asking for his inheritance before moving away entirely.

The father in this parable undoubtedly fully comprehended all the nuances of his son asking for his inheritance. However, the father showed no reservations or offense in verse 12, and he gave the money to his youngest son. And at the same time, the father also gives the other part of the inheritance to his eldest son.

The stage is set all in verse 12, where Jesus is immediately trying to show us in the story the character of the father.

To further reinforce the son’s rejection of his father, the prodigal packs up and leaves for a distant country. Not only does he want his inheritance from his father, he wants to leave the family altogether and live life apart from the rest of the family.

So the younger son leaves and, “prodigals” it up, living life so large and fast that he ends up blowing through all the money. He ends up having to take a job working with pigs, a line of work which was unclean and unlawful for a Jewish person. 

Needless to say, things had gotten pretty bad for the prodigal son.

That’s when the prodigal thinks to himself, “Hey, my father’s servants had it so much better than I do! I should return home and seek to be a servant on my father’s property. That’s better than living with pigs! ”

The son’s intentions were not motivated by remorse, but rather an opportunity for a better life.

He was not driven to return to his father and the estate because he missed them. Remember, he abandoned his father and family. The prodigal believed that his sonship was ruined and there was no chance of restoration…so much so that it didn’t even cross his mind to return as his father’s child. 

Instead, with nothing to his name, he decides to travel home to beg for a chance to live on the estate as a servant, because, again even his father’s servants lived better than he was currently being treated. 

The prodigal believed this would be a hard bargain to sell, since what he had done in denouncing his father ,was not something he believed he’d ever be forgiven for, much less restored to full rights as his father’s child. He knew he had better put together a really good his sales pitch if his new scheme was going to work. 

Page 11 In his mind, the younger son must have been planning a speech to make his case, saying, “Father, I messed up. I have dishonored you. I threw your love away for quick cash. I turned my back on you and God, but I know you always need workers for the fields and for the lavish parties you throw, could you consider hiring me on as a servant?”  

“Yes, that will do,” he thought. “That might just be to able to persuade my father to allow me back.” 

So the prodigal son began his journey back to his father’s home.

As he walked home, barefoot and wearing, tattered garments muddy and stinking from the swine, he rehearsed exactly what he would say to his father so that he could get a job on his dad’s estate. 

Meanwhile, while the youngest son has been gone, the father has been waiting, hoping for his return.

The father found a vantage point to watch; a place where he could see travelers on the main road. Every day, he would spend his time looking, waiting, and hoping for his son to return home. 

And today is the day. Looking into the distance, the father knew that figure, the gate of this particular traveler’s walk. Before he can blink his eyes to check again, the father lept out of his seat and hurried to greet his lost son. 

Running in a full sprint, causing a commotion, knocking people out of the way, the father raced down the road toward his weary son. 

Approaching his son, the father didn’t say a word. There was no talking, only a massive bear hug, the biggest embrace you could imagine.

The prodigal son didn’t even had the opportunity to deliver the rehearsed speech he put together to persuade his father to hire him on as a servant before his father tackled him with love. 

As the father embraced his son in a hug, the prodigal son manages to squeak out a few rehearsed lines of his pitch.

But the father isn’t even listening. He’s too overwhelmed with joy and eager to take care of his lost son. 

The father calls out to the servants, “Get me my best robe! I need a ring for his finger! And my son needs some sandals for his feet! And grab the fattened calf we have been saving…because tonight, we celebrate my son, who was dead and now is alive.”

Wow, does this scene get you right in the gut like it does for me? 

This stuff just doesn’t happen in our world. This type of boldly unconditional love really isn’t seen or experienced. This is God’s love.

But before we look at that further, we really need to take note of how many absolutely shocking details there are in this story that reveal the Father’s love . 

First of all, we have to realize that the father was waiting and watching every day to see if his son would return.  This subtle detail is a profound clue into who the Father is and how steady and stable his love is for us.  Additionally, when the father sees his son off in the far distance, he takes off running. 

Running was not something honorable men did in antiquity. Running would have been seen as outlandish, certainly not a dignified action. 

In addition, the garb of the day was a long robe, and seeing that the Father undoubtedly had to pull up that robe in order to run, he would have had to expose his legs, another shameful thing act in that ancient culture. 

But the Father didn’t care about being shamed or foolish! Getting to his lost son as quickly as possible was of the utmost importance to him.

Additionally, before the prodigal son can even say anything, the father embraced him. It didn’t matter to the father what his son had done or why he was even there. 

What the father wanted his son to know is that he loved him, missed him, and he is welcomed.

That’s when the father immediately noticed the ragged condition of his son, and immediately began restoring him. 

His son needs a new garment, and the Father ordered the servants to get his best robe, signifying honor as depicted in the Old Testament in the story of the Pharaoh and Joseph (Genesis 41:42) and in Rebekah’s giving Esau’s robe to Jacob (Genesis 27:15).

The father also wanted to give more than what was needed to his son by bestowing a ring to the prodigal son. 

In ancient times, the ring of the Father would go to the eldest son at the time of the father’s death. Also rings were given as signifying authority as with Pharaoh and Joseph (Genesis 41:42). 

Then the father noticed his son’s feet, which indicated the prodigal son was barefoot. In giving sandals, it also signified bestowing freedom, since slaves of that time usually didn’t have shoes. 

Something else very interesting also happens with the sandals. The act of putting on the sandals shows the father serving the son, much like slaves did to their masters. Again, this is just another detail to illustrate how many of the customs and rules of the day the father abandoned in order to love and care for his son as quickly as possible. 

And to put the cherry on top of the sundae, The father indicated that a party needs to be thrown to celebrate. He orders the servants to kill the fattened calf, which was traditionally saved for a special event.

But for the father, this was the most special occasion there ever could be, for his son was dead, and now he is alive. 

The key to understanding all of this, to understanding the motivations of the father, can be found in a small phrase in verse 20 – “the Father was moved with compassion.”

The way we might understand human compassion might lead us to expect the father to allow his son to speak with him, repent and ask for forgiveness. Then, we’d expect time for the father to pray about what to do and, before allowing the son to come back on a probationary period, watching closely that he didn’t trip up or take for granted his liberties. 

But this story isn’t about a good earthly father or human love. It is about our Father God! This is how He is with all of us, giving unconditional love, unbelievable love.

There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38). 

No matter what we do, all we have to do is make our way back to God, and before we even return God meets us and celebrates just as he did with the prodigal son. 

This is God our Father. This is who loves you and is with you all moments of the day. This is who is on your side. The perfect Parent who always knows what is best and is filled with divine love for you.

But there’s more we can learn from this parable in the father’s  interaction with the older son. 

We learn from the story that while the prodigal son was doing outlandish and crude things, the older son, even though he too was given his inheritance, stayed and remained a loyal son to his father. 

He didn’t squander anything, but instead continued to work hard. 

The older son might have had to take on a double load of work because of his brother’s abandonment. So you can understand why this brother was livid when he found out that his wayward brother had return home and his status in the family was reinstated.

When the older brother realized there was a party going on and why he refused to come in and to take part of the celebration.

So the good father did what the good father does – he went out and tended to his eldest son, where he met a fiery exchange. 

In a heated monologue, the older son reminded his Father of his faithfulness, his respect and honor, and how he never once received a party for he and his friends. 

And in another twist, the father responds by saying in response, “My son, everything I have is yours and always has been. If you want a party, we will throw a party, if you need a break, take a break, if you want jewelry I’ll give you my jewelry, but tonight…oh tonight is for your brother!” 

The father’s response continued, “You see, my oldest son, your brother was gone forever. He was lost, dead, and buried. But a miracle has happened, he found his way home! He is now alive and we must celebrate.”

And with final notion, Jesus ends the parable. It’s up to the eldest son to decide if he will too accept the invitation of his Father’s endless, compassionate, and grace-filled love. 

It’s important to take note of this final story about the eldest son,  because as believers and followers of Jesus – the oldest child represents us. Perhaps at other points in our walk we were more like the prodigal son, living outside of God’s grace and love when we were not followers. But now we are children of God. 

The feast is ours and everything in it is available us. The Father is saying to each of us, “Will you step into your identity as my child and live in the land I have created and made for you?”

And it really is that simple! We have to accept the invitation… but not just once, or twice, but every single day, moment by moment. We have to choose to take God’s hand and enter the celebration that is going on all the time in the Kingdom of Heaven.

We do this by never losing sight of God, never forgetting what He says about us, over us. This is how God rewrites our script, especially when the world speaks ill, hurtful things to us. 

One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn as a follower of Christ, as a child of God, is that the only thing that truly matters is what God says of me, not others. 

I am still on my journey of allowing God’s voice, truth, and love speak over me, as sometimes the actions and words of others can be very hurtful. 

But I must choose to believe what God says over me above all else, especially when the people attack my worth or identity. And it happens to all of us, it is especially hard for a lot of us women. 

When things like these happen, I run to my Father’s arms. I implore Him to speak truth over me, and mend my hurting heart. And the more I do this, the quicker the results are, and the faster I am rerooted in His truth about who He says I am. 

And that’s where I leave you in this study. We have gone over a lot about our good Father. His love is unstoppable, His truth is freeing, His compassion -well it knocks you over.

The father in the parable is the Father that has so much in store for you, more than you or I can imagine. The more we acknowledge and accept His embrace the more we bask in the goodness of His love. 

Whether you had good or not-so-good earthly parents, this fact remains God the Father is so much more. For He is a good, good Father!

Making It Stick

Optional Extended Reading:  

-Read some of Jesus’ other teachings about His relationship with His Father in John 17; Matthew 26:39, 42, 53; Luke 23:34, 46.

Processing Questions – Answer In Your Own Words

  • What is the lens through which we first understand parenthood? (P.3)
  • Why does everyone need to focus on a better understanding of God as our Father? (P.4)
  • How is God as our Father different than human parents? (P.5)
  • How does a person become a child of God? (P.6)
  • What were some of the ways Jesus relied on His Father? (P.7)
  • What were the implications of the prodigal son asking for his inheritance early and leaving the country? (P.9)
  • What was the prodigal son’s thoughts about what would happen upon his return home? (P.10)
  • What had the father been doing the entire time his son was gone? (P.11)
  • What detail about the father’s actions and acceptance of his returned son are most surprising to you? (P.12-15)
  • As disciples, which of the two sons represents us, and what are the implications for our lives? (P.16)
  • And what does all of this mean for you and your relationship with God?

About Spiritually Hungry

Spiritually Hungry is a Christian website developed to encourage and guide you into a closer relationship with God by focusing on breaking down barriers to a deeper spiritual life.

Truth Story

Who Am I? A Christian Perspective


Three dimensions of personal identity – true of everyone, true of unbelievers, and true of Christians.

Short answer.

From a biblical perspective, all people are created in the image of God, unbelievers are estranged from God thus not being fully connected to the source of life, and Christians are new creatures being completed in Christ.

Long Answer

Some questions are ‘big questions’. These are the timeless, perennial questions that each person aims to answer during their life. One of those ageless questions people ask is ‘who am I?’.

In this post, I aim to answer the question from a biblical perspective. As people, we are all created in the image of God, unbelievers are estranged from God thus not being fully connected to the source of life, and Christians are new creatures being completed in Christ.

Biblical Identity Part 1: True Of Everyone  

The first part of Biblical personal identity is true of everyone. In other words, you don’t have to be a Christian to understand this part of your identity. It’s true of every human being.

God created each every person in his image (Genesis 1:27). It’s what makes a human being distinct from every other created being. We are not giraffes, party sequins, sequoias, or moths. We are people, fashioned in the image of God. This aspect is also the source of dignity for every man, woman, and unborn child. Theologians throughout church history have described several aspects of the “image of God” (Latin: Imago Dei) idea which include…

  • Rationality and cognitive capacity (Job 32:8)
  • Relationship with God and others (Genesis 3:8).
  • Ruling over God’s creation (Genesis 1:28).
  • Object of God’s compassion (Matthew 5:45).

Being made in the image of God is vitally important. Despite how the world may belittle, bully, or try to destroy us, we are special in God’s creation. We have been blessed by our Creator with a glory even angels don’t possess. We have dignity, honor, respect, and beauty because we reflect God himself. We are God’s image-bearers.

The Bible Project’s “Image of God” video incorporates some of the latest theological research in this area…

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

Biblical Identity Part 2: True of Unbelievers

There is an aspect of identity that is only true of unbelievers. God has made each of us, but each of us are born estranged from God. This estrangement affects personal identity, because unbelievers are relationally cut off from the source and meaning of life (Romans 11:36). This may seem strange.

On the one hand, we as people are made to reflect God. But on the other hand, we are not (naturally) God’s friends. In Biblical language, we are “dead in (our) sins” and “by nature children of wrath.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)

We’re like the son who angrily leaves his home, stops calling his mom, and is non-communicative with his family. We are disconnected from our true family and spiritual home: God. This is the identity as unbelievers: alienation from God. It plays out in…

  • Looking for another explanation of the universe outside of God.
  • Lustful thoughts while being in a fulfilling relationship.
  • Relationship problems with family and friends.
  • Lying when there’s no benefit to dishonesty.
  • Stealing when we’re not even hungry.
  • And more…

The alienation shows up especially in our relationship with God. In our unbelief, we don’t pray to the one true God. We don’t seek God’s opinion for our lives because, frankly, we’re not interested in it. Or if we do pray, we talk to an idol aiming to fulfill our desires without God’s direction. Sometimes it’s worse. Some deny God’s existence despite the fact every person knows God is real (Romans 1:21).

Both in our relationship with God and with other people, we demonstrate we are estranged from God and under his judgement. Despite the discomfort of this reality, it is the core reason why things are not right in our world. Without connection with God, we are relationally disconnected from the source of all life, truth, and purpose in the universe.

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)

Biblical Identity Part 3: True of Christians

But there is something uniquely true of Christians. A Christian has a different identity from unbelievers. Unlike those outside of Christ, a believer has been spiritually renewed by being “born again” (John 3:3). These are some of the realities Christians enjoy in their new identity:

  • A chosen person and royal priest (1 Peter 2:9)
  • Partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4)
  • Raised to walk in a new life (Romans 6:4)
  • Free from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
  • Reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18)
  • God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
  • Citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
  • A child of God (John 1:12)

Christians have a new identity. Despite being formerly estranged from God, the source of all life and meaning, Christians are reconciled to him. Since he is the ultimate purpose and reason for our existence, we find our new identity subsumed in his. We are like him, partaking in his supernatural nature (2 Peter 1:4).

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Conclusion: Press Into God’s Identity For You

God has created you for himself. As Saint Augustine once wrote, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” In truth, we don’t understand who we are or what we’re made for until we find our purpose, meaning, and destiny in our Creator.

If you are not a Christian, I encourage you to turn from your sins and believe the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness. For “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). God can reconcile you to himself and grant you a new identity in Christ. In this way, your identity can be renewed in God, the source of all life, meaning, and truth in the universe.

If you are already a Christian, I encourage you to study your identity in Christ as found in the Bible. In this way, you will further appreciate your renewed nature and find God’s purposes for yourself.

  • The Nature of Man
  • Emery Nester: Anthropology: The Doctrine of Man
  • Anthropology Articles

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Ministry Answers

What does the Bible say about me as a child of God?

As a child of God, it’s important to understand what the Bible says about your identity and relationship with God. The Bible is filled with passages that describe the love and care that God has for His children, and the unique privileges and responsibilities that come with being part of His family.

One of the most important aspects of being a child of God is that we have been adopted into His family through faith in Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 1:5, Paul writes, “He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” This means that we have been chosen and welcomed into God’s family, and we have the same rights and privileges as His biological children.

One of the greatest privileges of being a child of God is that we have direct access to Him through prayer. In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” This means that we can come to God with our needs and desires, and He will listen to us and provide for us according to His perfect will.

Another important aspect of being a child of God is that we are called to live a life of holiness and obedience to God’s commands. In 1 Peter 1:15-16, Peter writes, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'” This means that we are called to live in a way that reflects God’s character and values, and to follow His commands out of love and gratitude for all that He has done for us.

Finally, as children of God, we have the assurance that nothing can separate us from God’s love. In Romans 8:38-39, Paul writes, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This means that no matter what happens in our lives, we can be confident that God loves us and will always be with us.

In conclusion, the Bible teaches us that as children of God, we are loved, chosen, and adopted into God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ. We have the privilege of direct access to God through prayer, and we are called to live a life of holiness and obedience to His commands. Most importantly, we have the assurance that nothing can separate us from God’s love. As we seek to live out our identity as children of God, may we always remember the incredible privilege and responsibility that comes with being part of His family.

Bible Verses about Children – What Jesus Said about the blessing of kids, protecting children, and Gods teaching about children in the Scripture

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Church Life Journal

A Journal of the McGrath Institute for Church Life

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Living as a Child of God

by Charles Kestermeier, SJ May 16, 2016

W hile we are vaguely aware that each of us is a “child of God ,” we might reflect on what it means for us to be specifically a “ child of God. As Jesus said, “I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become as little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3). He himself was very aware of being the Son of God, as we see in his “Our Father” and in all sorts of ways in John’s Gospel, but what does being a child mean for us who have struggled so long to become adults?

Each of us begins existence in the smallest of ways, the joining of cells from our parents which implanted themselves in the womb of our mothers and started to grow. Our life in the womb seemed uneventful, to say the least, and we might say that we suffered from a sort of sensory deprivation if it were not that we were completely unaware of any other way to live and were indeed not equipped to deal with anything more complicated. During those months we felt no hunger and no need to use a bathroom; we did not breathe, sleep, or feel gravity or a temperature change.

We had no sensation of taste, although it seems that towards the end we did have a vague awareness of outside noise, touch, and even of light. Various friends have told me, for example, that in the final weeks of pregnancy they could feel the little person move to follow a bright light shining on the mother’s skin, and some parents would play with the child in a very rudimentary manner: Daddy would gently poke and Baby would kick until Daddy tired of the game and stopped—when Baby would start to kick like the dickens.

I might sum this up by saying that we lived then in a little world that was all we knew, and only at the end did we recognize that there was another world beyond us. We had no choice whatsoever about anything, and we had absolutely no idea of who we were, who our parents were, and what was going to happen to us; these were not even questions for us.

And then we “died”—or at least our birth must have seemed like a sort of death to us. It was the end of our “comfort,” for abruptly we learned what light, sound, breathing, and hunger felt like after a sudden, uncomfortable, and unwilled ejection from our little world.

For the next year we grew in the most amazing way, beginning with a complete inability to make sense of what we saw (and even then it was only in black and white and even upside down for the first few weeks), no muscle control to speak of, and no idea that some sounds might have meaning. Twelve months after our birth we had learned, almost completely by ourselves, to roll over both ways, to waddle, to recognize voices and people.

Our second year was far more challenging. We became more agile in every muscular sense, and we learned a fairly solid grasp of the fundamentals of language, both listening and speaking. We could dance and sing (somewhat), and we started to get a grasp on who we were and our relationships to people, places, and things. Up till then we were very much under the control of other people, especially our parents (whom we trusted fairly thoroughly), but during that second year we led lives very much centered on ourselves and our desires. What was most difficult for us and our parents was that we were beginning to develop a sense of independence, and our favorite word was “No!”

As we grew, our parents insisted that we learn basic social skills such as saying “please” and “thank you,” sharing our toys, being obedient, telling the truth, apologizing, and doing certain things even though we might not want to. We were taking the first steps towards becoming generous and other-centered, although I am sure that we never thought of it that way. Everything our parents asked of us and taught us led in that direction, and we were happier, on the whole, if we let ourselves grow that way. Almost all of this year or two we lived fairly passively, learning language almost by osmosis and generally learning how to deal with reality.

We had a choice in many things, even if we did not realize it, and by our choices we were deciding who we would become. Part of this was trying on different identities, and we can see kids doing this when they play with dolls or play house or when they wear a costume to identify with someone they admire. Although we eventually stopped manifesting the more obvious ways of being a princess or Spiderman, some elements of this remain as part of the personality that we chose for ourselves.

We did not call it playing, but that is what almost all of it was: good toys—including games, pets, and even activities such as getting dressed, eating with silverware, and using tools such as scissors or a broom—taught us things by calling us to interact with them in interesting ways, but once we had mastered what each toy or game had to offer, we moved on to more challenging occupations or simply reduced what we learned to an unconscious skill. In a sense we might even say that our friends were such “toys.” We grew by “playing,” joyfully accepting all as gift and throwing ourselves into interacting with our reality even if it meant sweat, scrapes, and bruises. Even today, as we age, those of us who are active with things we enjoy and find challenging (more “toys”) remain healthier and sharper much longer.

It goes without saying, I think, that each of these toys was at least potentially good for us, but we had both the choice of those toys and the ability to learn how to use them directly or under the guidance of our family. Of course every one of these toys were potentially dangerous, but our parents did what they could to teach us to use them properly.

Let me stop here and ask what kind of children we ourselves would prefer to have. I offer two scenarios, and in the first I imagine that our family is getting ready to go somewhere. We clean up and dress up our kids and then ask them to stay clean and neat until we leave. One kid goes and sits up against the wall, out of the way, and doesn’t move until we are ready to leave, while another goes about his or her life in a relatively careful but still lively manner. Which one would we prefer, and why? My second example deals with a mom who makes her kid’s favorite kind of cookie and gives one to the child. The kid has at least three choices: to eat it immediately, to set it aside for later, or to go out and share it with his or her friends. Again, which action would we most admire the child for choosing, and why?

Our response to these scenarios and others we can imagine for ourselves tells us something about the kind of children that we wish that we ourselves had been. I think that we would say that we would like to have children who are more adventuresome, generous, and alive, kids who look up to Mom and Dad and imitate them, especially in their most loving and straightforward behaviors. These children will learn to take risks if there is a sufficient reason and to live with loss and pain, but they will not let that inhibit them: they know that you don’t win every game you play. And is that the kind of people that we would like to be ourselves?

In fact we are those children, learning from the Father at whatever age God has given us and in every one of his gifts, in everything that God offers us from joy to sorrow, from the day’s weather to chance encounters.

We are those who have the choice of who we will be and whether we will make the most of our opportunities; that was not possible for us in the womb. I see now that I made some wrong choices in my past: there are times that I wish I had said a word at a certain moment, or kept my mouth shut. I wish I would have listened more to what others tried to tell me and would have apologized more often. I wish that I had spent more time just being with the people who were important to me, and I wish that I had told them that and thanked them for the ways that they had blessed me. And I have discovered that I really don’t want to say “I wish I had . . .” or even “I knew I should have. . .”

This power of choice is the most noteworthy difference between our life in the womb and our life on earth. Everything else is relatively the same or similar, although on a different scale and in a more elaborate fashion: our bodies grow, we develop some personality, and we move ahead not only in our skills but also in the sorts of gifts we have and use. Thanks to all the holy men and women of the past and to God’s action in and through them, we do have at least a rudimentary awareness of the next world, who God (our true Parent) is, and where we are bound. And Jesus, of course is absolutely primary in giving us that revelation of the truth about our selves and the actual world that we live in, beyond just the physical world.

Since our life in the womb, which ended in that seeming death which was our birth, is roughly analogous to our life here on earth, which will end in another sort of death which is also actually a birth, we might work with this paradigm in various personal and imaginative ways to discover some things about our lives, past, present, and future. Now we choose our “toys” and our activities, whether they will be repetitive and boring or challenging and life-giving. We choose the talents and other gifts that we wish to especially emphasize as we determine who we will be. We even choose the “parents” we will meet after our next death/birth—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—and what kind of a person we will be in that next stage of our lives.

Let me offer some additional images for developing this. Our Father sits, watching us while we sleep (as well as at all other times)—not in judgment, not even for our protection, but in joy and pride in who we are and what we will become in his love. I can see the Father delighting in us and, figuratively speaking, right down on the floor playing with us and our “toys.” I see him with all possible toys right to hand, offering us toy after toy to play with and to learn from, and I see him doing it constantly. Even at our current level of maturity, this is almost the only way he can “converse” with us or interact with us. In his humble love he calls us to life and maturity, to knowing, trusting, loving, and imitating him. The Father teaches us through our gifts, and in our using them properly we first become co-creators of ourselves and then caretakers of his Garden, establishing his firstborn Son’s Kingdom here.

Our Older Brother himself watches over us and models for us just what a child of God is and does. He is not a prophet, speaking for God; he is God—a perfect revelation of the Father, yet speaking in the most human manner—God coming ever closer to us. Jesus the man, unlike the Father, speaks to us at our own level, far more clearly, and yet we still fail to grasp the depth and breadth of what he has told us in words and in his acts.

Jesus took our humanity to himself so thoroughly that this God became human, to the point that by all rights it is no longer “our” humanity but his, and so his life is itself a concrete and practical model for us as to what our Father seeks from and for us. The maturity he invites us to is not just human, physical, moral, or spiritual, but living as the complete person, seamlessly whole, that God created us to be in his presence forever. And the Father’s words at the Baptism of Jesus (in my own translation) apply to us as well as to Jesus: “You are my beloved child. I support you in all that you do” (cf. Mt 3:17; Mk 1:11; Lk 3:22).

The Spirit is still different from the Father and the Son, acting more or less like a tutor, doing constant one-on-one work with us to help us make wise and fruitful choices. The Spirit inspires and guides, leading us to make the most of our time, to live that opportunity which is our life as fully as we can in growing towards God.

Putting ourselves completely in the hands of the Trinity will let them recreate us to be like them, completely other-centered out of love. We will then live in hope, our eyes fixed on the Father in love and trust, carefully watching how Jesus was so human that we might imitate him as best we can, and listening eagerly to the Spirit to help us make the very best choices.

Our life in the womb was without choice for us, and we remained completely unaware that there was more to existence than we knew. As we live in this new womb that is the world, awaiting our birth into eternal life, we have a much clearer idea of who we are and who our Divine Family is; for their part they eagerly look for our entry into that fullness of life. And we have the chance and the choice to reach out to them, to willingly and knowingly become more like them as we wait for them to call us home.

And there is no limit to the blessings that God can send you; he will make sure that you will always have all you need for yourselves in every possible circumstance and will have something to spare for all sorts of good works. (2 Cor 9:8)

Featured Image:  Juliaan de Vriendt (1842–1935) ; Suffer the Little Children to Come to Me;  courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Charles Kestermeier, SJ

Read more by Charles Kestermeier, SJ

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Who Does God Say I Am?

  • Categories: Spiritual Formation /

Silhouette of person on a hill - what is your identity in Christ?

Below is a list of biblical affirmations about our identity in Jesus Christ that is derived from a few selected passages in the New Testament. This is just a portion of the many truths about who we have become through faith in God’s Son, but it is a powerful inventory to review from time to time.

I am a child of God.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)

I am a branch of the true vine, and a conduit of Christ’s life.

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. . . . I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:1, 5)

I am a friend of Jesus.

No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)

I have been justified and redeemed.

. . . being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:24)

My old self was crucified with Christ, and I am no longer a slave to sin.

. . . knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin. (Romans 6:6)

I will not be condemned by God.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

I have been set free from the law of sin and death.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (Romans 8:2)

As a child of God, I am a fellow heir with Christ.

. . . and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:17)

I have been accepted by Christ.

Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. (Romans 15:7)

I have been called to be a saint.

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. (1 Corinthians 1:2; cf. Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2)

In Christ Jesus, I have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in me.

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? . . . Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19)

I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him.

But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

God leads me in the triumph and knowledge of Christ.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. (2 Corinthians 2:14)

The hardening of my mind has been removed in Christ.

But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:14)

I am a new creature in Christ.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I have become the righteousness of God in Christ.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

I have been made one with all who are in Christ Jesus.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

I am no longer a slave, but a child and an heir.

Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:7)

I have been set free in Christ.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God.

. . . just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. (Ephesians 1:4)

I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Christ.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. (Ephesians 1:7)

I have been predestined by God to obtain an inheritance.

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will. (Ephesians 1:10b–11)

I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise. (Ephesians 1:13)

Because of God’s mercy and love, I have been made alive with Christ.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). (Ephesians 2:4-5)

I am seated in the heavenly places with Christ.

. . . and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6)

I am God’s workmanship created to produce good works.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

I have been brought near to God by the blood of Christ.

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)

I am a member of Christ’s body and a partaker of His promise.

. . . the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Ephesians 3:6; see also 5:30)

I have boldness and confident access to God through faith in Christ.

. . . in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. (Ephesians 3:12)

My new self is righteous and holy.

. . . put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (Ephesians 4:24)

I was formerly darkness, but now I am light in the Lord.

. . . you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light. (Ephesians 5:8)

I am a citizen of heaven.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20)

The peace of God guards my heart and mind.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

God supplies all my needs.

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

I have been made complete in Christ.

. . . in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority. (Colossians 2:10)

I have been raised up with Christ.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1)

My life is hidden with Christ in God.

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)

Christ is my life, and I will be revealed with Him in glory.

When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)

I have been chosen of God, and I am holy and beloved.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

God loves me and has chosen me.

. . . knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you. (1 Thessalonians 1:4)

The more we embrace these truths from the Bible about who we have become in Christ, the more stable, grateful, and fully assured we will be in this world.

We invite you to watch this video, Who Does God Say That I Am? based on these identity statements from the Bible (Two Versions: (1) English only, (2) English + Spanish).

View our list of Prayers for Strength based on the Bible.

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Yvonne, I thank God for you. I belong to Jesus, too, and I think you are doing such a beautiful job with your blog and and ministry. You are anointed. God Bless you today for speaking out such simple truth!

Amen!please pray that are beautiful farm cat will come back to us! He did not show up for his breakfast! We are putting this in Gods hands! Thank you!cindy

Beautiful Post and THANK YOU.

Thank you for your post! I am glad I am not alone, I just realized that I was a child of God 5 years ago, 3 days after my 50th birthday. After growing up in the Catholic church I don’t remember it being stressed that we belong to God and that everything we are and HAVE belongs to him and that he will never fore sake us. I found this out at 50yrs 3days when I was shaken to the core. I felt my knees buckle and my head was spinning suddenly a wave of peace washed over me and an unbelievable clarity over the situation I was facing. God is LOVE,always with us and absolutely AMAZING!

So, does that mean you left the catholic church?

Hi Christy, although The Catholic Church taught me about God and I knew of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, yes I did leave the Catholic church. This was a Holy Spirit lead decision and a personal one for me.

I thank God for you.

Great word,! Amen, Be Blessed

Thank you for explaining the word of God.,it’s a Blessing to all that’s seeking God.

Yes, it is Shirley

Words so sweetly spoken to my heart! Yvonne, thank you for today’s message and encouragement. It was just what I needed. 🙂

He’s back! Thank you Lord!

So glad your cat came home! Those little pets can worry us to pieces!! ☺️

Thank you for this truth!! Amazing to be loved and be His child!

We are all children of God. That is the reason for the Cross. What separates Christians from non Christians is that we have been gifted by God with a knowledge of His Divinity, a recognition that he is the Holy Creator. Because of this our whole perspective changes and we give him the glory for all in our lives. Those who have not been given the gift of Salvation in this life are still His children, they just don’t know it yet! But He will save all because that is His Desire and He is totally and completely mighty to save.! He will not rest until all of the sheep have been found.

Hi Veronika. You are on the right track, about Salvation but we need to read and understand what God word says about being a child of God… God’s word does not teach that we are all His children. WE are all part of His creation. Here is an example from the book of John that show us that.

The Pharisees and Jesus were having an argument about who’s children they were. The Pharisees were claiming to be children of Abraham and Jesus was saying that if they were offspring (spiritual) of Abraham they would do the deeds of Abraham. In other words, they would believe Jesus. Because we see in Genesis that “Abram believed and it was accounted to Him as righteousness”.

The Pharisees continued to press this point and Jesus says… “Jesus said to them, If God were your Father you would love Me, for I proceed forth and have come from the Father, for I have not even come on My own initiative but He (God) sent Me. (He sent Jesus to die for our sins)

Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are from your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.” John 8:42-44 People cannot be the sons of the devil and of God, can they? No, of course not!

The book of Romans talking about how belief in Jesus transfers us from the bondage and family of Satan INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD BY ADOPTION…

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God (given at Salvation… non believers do not have the Spirit in them… BUT IT IS ALWAYS OFFERED TO THEM), THESE ARE THE SONS OF GOD. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of ADOPTION as sons by which we cry out, Abba (Hebrew for Daddy… intimate word) Father! The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.(occurring when we accept Christ as Savior) Romans 8:14-16

And we see this very clearly in 1 John. There are so so many scriptures that address this because the theme of the book of 1 John is… THAT YOU MAY KNOW YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD.

“By this the children of of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness (only can be done through Jesus Christ)is not of God nor the one who does not love his brother (agape love: God’s love).” 1 John 3:10.

It is important to KNOW and UNDERSTAND what the Word of God says… and believe it.

The great news is that Salvation and the ability to be adopted into the the family of God is a free gift. Offered lavishly TO EVERYONE by a loving God that longs to be our Father! The cross made it possible for us to restore a relationship with God that He had purposed from before the beginning of the world, but we lost through original sin!

I hope this helps! Blessings and love to you today!

Thank you so much for sharing such basic truth but yet profound. Now I know I didn’t arrive at your blog by accident but it is indeed God’s will for us to become His children and more so know Him who is from the beginning.

Thanks so much! May The Lord drive out the wicked nations before you and increase your land.

Ella, thank you! God bless you.

So glad to see the faith of the family of God explained. Thank you.

Thank you Yvonne! Another gift from such an excellent teacher! I’m sure your words today will bless many people as they have reminded each of His truth for His believers! Amen and Rejoice!

Yes Yvonne, I too once was not a child of God, I too knew I was born of God but there was no real connection. He carried me through so mighty rough years, at the time I did not know that I was being taught that I didn’t have to have those rough times, that He would be there for me to lean on and know that it is He that I am leaning on to see me through the rest of my life. Your words brought all of this out of me today, yesterday I was shown 1John’s true meaning and now today you speak of it too – blessings – blessings all around. Thank you Jesus for this woman – child of God. God bless you Yovonne and all who read your inspiring words.

I enjoy your Sunday morning teachings. They are my Sunday school. Thank you and bless you.

I am native american and have been living in sin for awhile. I feel like i never turned off my fire regardless of my circumstances. I always checked in with my father God / Jesus etc. Some people would mock me say thank you jesus and i had some scary phenomena due to who i am as a person dabbling in two worlds and being my own self hypocrite internal i have lived pure and holy not as perfect as Jesus but i did what was right in societys eyes but was too honest. I had some domestic abuse because of addiction and i had everything i wanted but because of sin that caused division and everything the 2 boys god blessed with got taken from me and i been unable to get back on the path because of myself and my wonton cravings but he put another child of God in my path that i seriously wanted to get right with from the start but we been unable too. So i pray for God to release the strongholds of the enemy and if its meant to be bounce back as persvered rejuvenated childen of god break us out of our own bondage we so freely choose and help us to make the best choice for ourselves and help us not to look back. Pray for lives and resroration of relationship with my sons. Amen

Bambi, I am so sorry that your life seems so hard. To belong to Jesus and have the Holy Spirit in your like means accepting His gift of dying on the cross for YOU! He took our place. Because of our sin we deserve death. That is why we all die. However when we die we will never have to face eternity in hell or worse, the final judgement of Jesus when all non- believers spend eternity in the lake of fire. Jesus loves us and wants us to be with Him. He gives us a choice. We can believe He is God and has died to save us, surrender our lives to Him and let Him be the LORD of our life, or turn away from Him and go our own way. The path we take has eternal consequences. It sounds like you have some pretty serious strongholds in your life. Find a Bible believing church! Tell them you need help! And accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. You will never be good enough to go to heaven on your own. Believe me I tried that! This thinking is wrong! I just prayed for you and will continue as God lays your on my mind. God bless you!

Thank you for my Sunday School lesson today., Yvonne – I need this so badly. My husband has just been daignosed with a horrible cancer and I know God has led us here to these wonderful perfectly correct doctors for a reason. We are His children. He will not foresake us. You affirmed that for me today.

Bless you and your husband Diane! I’m praying for your and your husband! May God manifest Himself big in your lives!

First Cindy so glad your kitty is back home safe and sound…Again Yvonne what a great message…I think we sometimes make it harder to understand what the Lord wants of us…if we just remember we are a small child to him and never ment to fully understand everything…this would help us to accept how simple it is to follow Christ…

Thank you for these words! So very thankful that I’m a child of God! 🙂 ~Rhonda

Thank you for such a simple explanation of this amazing truth! I was also born of God years ago, but I did not realize how much He really loves me, loves us, until some time later – a fact that has made all the difference in my life! I am still leaning and still learning to lean on His great great love! Thank you for this wonderful post!

As I pondered what you said, I thought of 1 Corinthians 15 – a chapter jammed with scriptural jewels. In verses 1-4 Paul declares the gospel “by which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” The importance of Christ’s resurrection can be found in verses 12-26 of 1 Corinthians 15 also. Just wanted to add this to what you’ve already said. Blessings, Janet

Janet, so glad u addressed that death, burial and resurrection are all three important for salvation.

This is so good. It is so refreshing for a blogger to blog about Christ and His Word. I love your blog and you have become a real friend

Thanks, friend!!!

Oh, the joys of knowing Christ as our personal Lord and Savior!!! I cannot imagine my life without HIM. Thanks for always being so full of truth and being such a witness. Happy week!

This was a blessing to read today!

This is such a good example to tell my 2nd graders that I teach in Sunday School. We are his creations – until we believe and accept Christ in our heart – then we are his child, A simple way for them to understand. It is up to each one of us to make that choice. Thanks for your Sunday devotions.

Thank you for the explanations and the experiences posted.

Thank you for sharing!

Thank you, Yvonne for your post. It is so important for those who have accepted Christ into their lives don’t just leave it there. We must continue to seek out how God wants us to live by studying the Scriptures. A Child of God with an unopened bible is not growing and is missing the blessings God has for us. Keep up the Lord’s work.

AMEN….I love your Sunday blog. Witnessing for GOD is what GOD wants all of us to do. When you are GODS child you live every minute putting GOD first In your sayings and actions. GOD IS LOVE. The Holy Spirit guides you……not SATAN

Again you have written about such an important part of scripture and one that is often misunderstood. Thank you for being faithful to share the gospel with your readers and explaining scripture with scripture. This part of your response above is a great summary! ” The great news is that Salvation and the ability to be adopted into the the family of God is a free gift. Offered lavishly TO EVERYONE by a loving God that longs to be our Father! The cross made it possible for us to restore a relationship with God that He had purposed from before the beginning of the world, but we lost through original sin!”

You are such a blessing to me & to others! Never stop teaching and sharing your faith! It is so needed! Also many thanks for your daily blog & Facebook posts, I so look forward to them!! Sending heartfelt cheer to you, our Jesus Girl! If you haven’t seen the new Proverbs 31 Ministry app for First5 do so. It is wonderful & blessing me & others!

Thank you so much for your faith posts. Always such encouragement! I, too, love Jesus, and as believers we are to encourage and build each other up! So thank you for your sweet posts and reminders!!

I am his and i know it. Oh what a joy huh !! Bless you and all here . xx

We (HIS Children) are born twice to die once. Praise HIS name!

In the last portion of your teaching, you said “God’s idea of love and our idea of love may not be the same”. Can you go into more detail on that, please?

God, I believe, has been working in my life. I’m once again going to church regularly, reading the Bible, and praying for more than I had in past years. God has given me “signs”, if you will, that I think He is letting me know He is with me and hearing my prayers. That has made me want to stay strong in Him.

Still, it has been a struggle for me each day to accept everything. I believe Jesus was born of a virgin. I believe He died for the sins of all mankind. I believe He was raised from the dead on the third day, and that He ascended into Heaven where He is today. I’m like the man in Mark 9:24 whose daughter has died. He asks Jesus to heal his unbelief. Even though he knows and believes Jesus can do it, there’s still something holding him back in that belief.

DEAR FREIND, most people would love to have your faith! I have prayed that same Mark 9:24 prayer over and over. Believing is not about “feeling” at all! It’s knowing. It’s a choice. It’s a choice to put your faith and life in what you know to be true (from the Bible). Our feelings can be so so fickle and cannot be trusted. We need to believe, not in OUR power to believe but BELIEVE in the power of Jesus! Don’t worry… Jesus says that the faith of a mustard seed can move mountains. And you have much more faith than that.

Here’s something else… God is Incomprehensible… meaning that God is so much MORE than us that we can never comprehend or understand Him fully. This is part of His character, or who He is! He is GOD after all. But, by the revelation of the Holy Spirit we can know God pretty well. Amazing! We can’t possibly know the thoughts of God and who He fully is, but we can see who He is and How much He loves us through Jesus! Jesus said, “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father.” Again, AMAZING!

As far as love… here’s a post that might help…

May God show himself BIG in your life sweet friend! xo

A very important message expressed so well. I pray that the Lord will use this to draw many and that many will become His child. Thank you, it is encouraging to us all living in Him

Thank you for sharing the simplicity of the gospel. So thankful he bestows on us that “agape” love and he’s continually relentless in showing that. His love never fails. It was such a blessing to read your post today.

Yvonne, faith and knowledge of Jesus’s words as you explained it today was so very moving. God has chosen you and your ministry here at Stonegable because you can explain his word in such a simple understanding way. Yes my friend you have been chosen by God please keep up the great work. I so look forward to each Sunday mornings bible study. God Bless.

Thank you for using your blog to share the most important message any of us will ever hear. Lovingly put, beautifully said, and most of all TRUE.

I am a child of god and I do know that Gods love is not like our love you r suppose to love Gods people and Gods peoples are suppose to love you if they really know God I don’t understand why I’m only experiencing Gods love it’s like I’m a outcast to my family they don’t want to be bother with me but they say they know God and love him and I have no friends I feel so rejected by every one even in the church and it hurts I haven’t done anything to these people but try to love them like god wants me to y do god allow these things to happen I have God but I feel in a very dark place and it’s been like that every since I was young now I’m tried of trying I do want him to show up in a big way and I really need help now I don’t know what to do !!

Sweet Lolita! God loves you more than you could ever know! Please go to a leader in your church! They are there to help you. I am praying for you!

Peace, love and grace to all those in Christ Jesus our Lord

I just want to say I believe you say that well, peace be with you

You have referenced wrongly for this verse:

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.”

It’s 1 John 5:1, NOT James 5:1

Thanks for the correction, Sally!

Thank you so much for this post, I’m reading it this morning, Monday and it was answer to a question I’d presented to God in prayer. He always answers me quickly and he did this morning through your post. I don’t always leave a comment but I love your blog it’s always fill of beauty and interest.

Keep reading. 1 John 5:2-3 ties in obedience. No, I don’t believe in “works righteousness,” but if we only search our hearts, we may convince ourselves that we “really believe” when our lifestyle says otherwise. Our hearts can mislead us (and even condemn us, as John has mentioned earlier in the same letter). We are not saved by our works, but we can have confidence if we are living a life striving for obedience that we actually do believe. Who would obey a God they didn’t actually believe?

I all agree with those words written above. The best comfort in this life is having a close relationship with God. Our relationship with God won’t ever be directly as long as our relationship with others isn’t right. Thanks!

The Bible says in Romans 10 vs 10 says you have to confess it with your mouth, only then are you catapulted into salvation. Its not enough to believe but you have to say it!

It’s also not enough to believe, but you must submit to Jesus your Lord! Thanks so much for that wonderful thought of being catapulted into salvation! WOW !

I am not a child of God as I am not indwelled by the Holy Spirit. I thought I was a believer all my life but I am actually not one. Confined now to the destiny that I would probably be sent to Hell. I hope God will bring me back to Him as I fear I am under God’s holy wrath.

Do not fear and do not be without hope, Jesus is your Savior! Believe in Him and let Him be the Lord of your life! If you believe and bow your knee and obey Jesus (bible) you will have heaven as your home. Please read this… I am praying for you!

Thank you for all your blogs, they are very helpful and informative.

Thanks again

You are so welcome, Mary! I’m so glad you are part of our wonderful StoneGable family.

You will know also by your obedience to God.

Thank you for your blog I Think Jesus Christ and God for everything the Holy Spirit and all the angels I hope God hears my prayer I love you with all brothers and sisters and I hope one day I will see you all in heaven

I thank God for your input in being a child of God, you know this is what’s lacking in our world today. His should endure through each generation as his word say. His truth is being watered down by man’s greed, this is why there is so much violence in the world and know he has already predicted it in his word that man would become weaker and wiser in the last days,but thank God in him lies our hope that he is more that he that is in the world. He also say if my people meaning his children would humble ourselves and pray that he would heal the land. Thanks for allowing me to read and understand what a God child means and will inherit if I stay true to my Lord. May God continue to bless and keep you and your fam

To be a child of God is so special, He has adopted us into His family To be a son of my earthly father was great, but to be a child of God is even better ! He will never disown me but encourages me to be a faithful child ! And someday I will see Him face to face !

This is a powerful message God bless you I’m an Evangelist from Sierra Leone The message has teach me lots of things Consine God

God Bless you, John! Keep doing God’s work!

Thanks alot God bless you

Great message, my spirit just caught up with this message. God continue to bless you with much revelation

How wonderful Enyinnda!

Thank you for explaining about being a child of God ??

Thank you for this blog and for being willing to be vocal about your belief in God, what salvation means, and explaining it is free to all who believe. Enjoy your other blogs but look forward to these Sunday posts so much, so encouraging in the world we live in today. These posts may be the “only Bible some have ever read”. May God bless you. Keep posting these wonderful messages.

Thank you so much Judy! I often think that too. As long as God blesses me with life and this blog I will continue to post a hopeful God-centered post on Sunday.

Your writing was so very good I had to look you up child of God and my sibling in God and Christ. We will meet one day, and the beauty is, I will know you and you will know me. Thank you for writing this as a guide to the world.

Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings ? WE HAVE VICTORY Because Jesus Died on the cross Risen from the Dead and Ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God. Will return one day to gather all those who are Saved. THANK YOU JESUS !!!

Amen… On that view, I want to thank him for the love HE* has shown to us in all situations

Yes I will run into the LORD JEHOVAH WORD The message was touch and I gained more knowledge on it

This changed my life. Once I went to secular college and started partaking in drugs and alcohol my life changed forever. I let go of the church and embraced the sweet succulent love of the emperor below. Satan changed me. I began stealing money from my grandma, to buy homo erotica content on the world wide web. I thought I was gay. If the lord has told me anything though, its that being gay is a sin and I knew that I couldn’t be a sinner forever. Even though I crave that sweet sweet sack, I knew this was the only way to be a child of god, so I dedicated my life to it. After years of trying, I finally think that I am a child of god again. This article was very encouraging.

Jorda, you do not have to do anything to be a child of God. You just have to believe that Jesus saved you from your sins. Please read 1 Cor 15:1-4 That is the gospel. I’m so sorry you are struggling with sin. Sin is sin no matter what it is. Christians struggles with sin! It’s part of our fallen world. God bless you Jorda. Run to Jesus and let Him carry your burdens.

Leave a comment… I have always love GOD, and believe in the only begotten son of GOD (MESIAH) but with the i’m facing & passing through, i pray CHRIST would know me and not deny me. Because i have done terrible things even though i feel theres a spirit behind all have commited,(e.g) aborminable act, fornication, adultery, sourcerer, whoremonger, liar, fearful, and i do not go to church again because i’m told not to. And above all it seems like my soul has been captured, like i’m living another spirit life. And i’m still believing i’m a child of GOD because i still speak the word of GOD. And in my word of GOD its written we can not use another soul to gain the kingdom of GOD except for one’s soul. And thats what makes me believe and have faith in GOD the more, I rest my comment.

Find a church and tell the elders. They will be able to help you, dear one! Please read this

Obviously He is the truth, the way and the truth

God bless you for this ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

And God bless you too

That was straight forward and direct I love that, thank you very much brings much clarity.

God bless you Feliz

Yes, I would like to be called a child of God

An Amazing place and powerful revelation of the Holy Spirit


If you believe that Jesus died for your sins, and you have made Him Lord of your life, than you absolutely will run in to His arms and hug him!I will too!

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Who am i: how to help your kids discover their identity .

by Ally Evans

If your kid seems a little disconnected, sad, quiet, over the top with silliness, insecure, or rebellious, it probably comes down to answering one question: “Who am I?” 

We all sometimes struggle with our identity, but it’s especially prevalent in our kids. They’re asking questions like, Who am I? What makes me special or unique? What value do I bring? Do I have any influence? What was I made for? 

These are big questions, but they usually emerge as early as second or third grade—only to become more challenging through middle school and high school. Kids often find the answers to those questions in culture, in other people’s opinions of them, and through the people they compare themselves to—which can sometimes leave them feeling unworthy or more unsure. 

On the quest to answer these big questions, kids strive to become good at something or valuable to someone—the straight-A student, the gymnast, the artist, the football player, the quarterback’s girlfriend, or the teacher’s pet—searching for meaning. Although it’s wonderful to excel at a sport or in academics, finding worth in an activity or a person is dangerous.

Our identity is not found in who we are but in Whose we are.

Instead, when a child begins their relationship with Christ, they can start to see themselves the way God sees them—as a child of God. Then they can start to realize that our identity is not found in who we are but in Whose we are. 

1 John 4:4 NLT says:

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

That truth is critical for our kids to know. The power of the Holy Spirit within them is actually stronger than the voices of others.

Some of our kids have had negative labels placed on them by peers, teachers, coaches and maybe even their parents inadvertently. Whether through direct comments or the way they are treated, kids “hear” that they don’t measure up. For example, a coach says, “Speed it up. What, are you a turtle?” Friends say, “Only really pretty, skinny girls get picked for homecoming.” A teacher only rewards kids with straight As with cookies on Fridays. A parent says, “Oh, I love her to pieces, but she’s definitely my lazy one.” Over time, these labels shape a child’s personal identity.

As parents, when we see our child feeling insecure, hurt, unsure of themselves, or disconnected, we want to swoop in and tell them how wonderful they are. We want to assure them that they are loved and valuable. We want to shower them with authentic compliments and point out all the best things about them. And we should do that. We are the greatest influence in our kid’s lives. Our words matter. By all means, don’t stop encouraging your children and loving them with that kind of truth. However, as painful as it sounds, how your kids view themselves and their worth has to be bigger than something we tell or show them. They won’t always be with us, and they have to own their identity for themselves.

So what else can we possibly do?

Here are three things you can do to help your child when they struggle with identity.

1. Seek. God is the ultimate source of truth, so encourage them by seeking God together, or depending on their age, give them space to seek God on their own. See the list below of great Bible Plans and resources we recommend to seek God together and discover the answer to “Who am I?” Through Scripture and prayer, you can help them write out what God says. Help them identify the gifts God has given to them. Are they compassionate, funny, relational, a good listener, creative, a helper, ambitious, responsible, strong, or wise? Remind them you are always there to point them back to truth, but ultimately, what God says is most important .

2. Dwell . It is so important as believers that we surround ourselves with other Christ followers. Getting your child in a small group in LifeKids or at Switch every week is critical. Here they will have another adult speaking truth over them and a solid group of friends who will encourage them. If you are part of our Church Online community, be intentional to have Christian friends around your children and choose an adult mentor to be another voice speaking God’s Word over them.

3. Tell. Verbalizing truth about themselves and sharing their own story helps kids solidify their Christ-centered identity in their hearts. Equally as important, using all of the gifts God has given them in a way that honors God “tells” the story of Jesus in their lives as well. We want to encourage this generation to share the goodness of Jesus in how they live and love others.

This month in LifeKids, Loop, and Switch, kids are learning all about these principles. Here are some more helpful resources for you:

Resources and Discussion Questions for Talking to Your Kid About Identity at Any Age

Here are some quick links to free resources about character for your kids at each developmental level. You can also try these discussion starters to begin a conversation with your kid about identity. 

For Your Preschoolers (Or Verbal Toddlers—It’s Never Too Early to Start!)

  • Start this Bible Plan together.
  • Go on the Bible Adventure called “In the Beginning” together with your little ones. Each time they watch it, they’ll pick up new things.
  • As you work through this topic together, try asking some of these questions:
  • Who made everything in nature?
  • What’s the most amazing creation God made?
  • How can you remind people that God made them to be amazing?

For Your Elementary Kids

  • Start this Bible Plan about identity.
  • Watch the “The Truth About Me” Konnect HQ episodes with your child.
  • As you work through this topic together, use these questions as a jumping-off place:
  • What are some good ways to find out the truth about who you are?
  • When we follow Jesus, what does God see: our sins or His love for us?
  • What can you do this week to remind yourself that God loves you? What can you do to let others know God loves them, too?

For Your Preteens

  • Start this Bible Plan about identity with your preteen. If they have their own Bible App account, invite them to join you in a Plan with Friends .
  • Watch these great episodes of The Loop Show about identity.
  • As you work through this topic together, ask the questions below:
  • Have you ever felt ordinary, or not special? What did that feel like? How did you react?
  • Read Ephesians 5:8 NLT . According to this verse, how are we supposed to live? How are we changed?
  • What does it mean to “reflect God like a mirror”? If God is invisible, how do we reflect Him?

For Your Teenagers

  • Encourage your teen to start a Bible Plan with their friends . Here are a few plans they could try: Identity , Potential , 8 Habits of an Influential Person , and Dangerously Influential .
  • Ask your teen if they’ve seen the Switch episodes about identity. 
  • Talk to your teen about what identity is all about. Try asking the questions below:
  • Do you believe you have the potential to make a difference? What things in your life hold you back from living up to your potential? What helps you believe that?
  • Read Ephesians 2:10 NLT . Any initial thoughts? When you read this verse, what does it make you think about? What parts of that verse do you agree with? What parts are a little harder to believe? What makes you think that?
  • What is one good thing that you can do this week that would help someone else? How are you going to do that?

Our friends at Axis have loads of additional great information on this topic in their Identity Conversation Guide . Check it out!

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Who am I Essays

who am i as a child of god essay

These Who am I Essays are written by the readers of Devotional Reflections from the Bible, and are based on the teen devotional, Who am I?

Who am I Essays Who am I? by Kate from Florida

I walk through the halls, seeing all the different cliques our culture has formed. I wonder, Who am I? Am I part of the gothic croud who finds no meaning in life? Am I a cheerleader who thinks they have more to offer than anyone else? Am I the athletic type that plays sports with the guys? I have found that I am so more than that. I am a professing believer. I am one of God's children. As I roam the world, facing challenges everyday in life, I remember that God is there no matter what. Even if that kid is being really irritating, or that cute boy doesn't like me, I know that doesn't matter. All that matters is that we are professing believers every day in life. So I no longer wonder. I know, for a fact, that I am God's child and noone can take that away! Thank you, Kate, for sending your essay to my Who am I Essays page. You so truthfully express what every Christian teen faces in the culture in which we live today. You are so very right! All that matters is that we are professing believers every day in life. May God grow you and make you more and more like Christ. No one can take that away! God Bless You, Linda

Who am I Essays Who am I? by Lola from the United Kingdom

I am a girl. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a friend. I am a student. I am a Christian. I sense God, every time I read the Bible, or pray, I sense God is with me. He answers my prayers, He tells me what to do. I can either choose to obey, or go with my own way. What I desire most is to always obey. Even when its hard, I know I have to listen to that voice in the back of my head that tells me to do something else. I only hear that voice if I listen closely, if I open my heart and let God help me. He's all loving and He's always willing to help; the hard thing is to let Him, to let him have His way, and know what is better. This is often shown in the area of purity. I love a boy, he loves me. But I also love God. Do I show my love to the boy by having sex with him, and disobey God to have my way? Or do I say "God, I want to go Your way. You have a better plan for me." It sometimes feels like the temptation is so strong, you literally have to leave the room to obey, but God promises that any temptation He puts to us will never be too hard to resist. He's right...if you ask God for help, if you give God all you have, nothing will ever be too strong to resist, and you will be at the centre of Gods will. Give God all you have, let God have all His ways, pray, sing, rejoice in His presence, and you will find your way, you will find Gods way, you will find yourself. But if you hold onto your life, have your way, you will get your life... and loose it. Thank you, Lola, for sending your essay to my Who am I Essays page. You do a wonderful job of expressing the great struggle we have to be obedient to the Lord, especially in a world that teaches us to live for ourselves. I love you ending - how sad, but true. Those who choose to live their life for the world will one day lose their life. May God give you the strength to continue to live for His glory. God Bless You, Linda

Who am I Essays Who am I? by Madison from Georgia

Who am I? I am a thirteen year old girl who is a Christian. I am a child of the Lord and will always be. I believe in the Lord and every thing about Him and everything He has done for us. For instance, I believe He loves each and everyone of us and that He will always be there for us. Do you believe? Who am I? I am a girl who stays focused in Christ and His love her each and everyone of us. I will always know Him as my Lord and Savior and hope you do too. Who am I? Am I a child of Christ? Am I the one and only? Well, yes and no. I am a child of Christ but I'm definitely not the one and only; there are many, many more! He loves each and every one of us and I hope each and every one of us know that. Thank you, Madison, for submitting you essay to my Who am I Essays page. What a vibrant testimony of your love for the Lord. Many times we feel, as Christians, that we are the only one, but you have correctly reminded us that there are many, many more! Thanks for sharing with us!

God Bless You, Linda

Who am I Essays Who am I? by Alex from Pennsylvania Who am I? Am I a lonely forgotten child waiting for something to come save me? Or, am I a child who is found but doesn't want to be saved?.

Who am I? Am I a person walking blindly on a road of pain and suffering trying to find the right path, the path of Christ that is good?

Who am I? The question that goes through my head day and night. I keep searching for the answer. But, then I found peace in knowing that God knows who I am. And that is who I am, A Child Of God trying to follow him and doing what's right.

I find peace in that answer.

Thank you, Alex, for submitting your essay to my Who am I Essays page. I find peace in that answer as well. That really is all that matters, is it not? Thanks for sharing with us!

Who am I Essays I Am a Teen by Jeremiah from Pennsylvania

I am a teen, and I love to play basketball. My favorite team in NBA is the Seventy-sixers. I go to karate twice a week, to learn self discipline and how to defend myself. I also like to read scary story books. I go to the youth group at church on Friday evenings, to learn more about God. I always workout and like to play with pets. I am blessed to have a good home.

Thank you for submitting your essay to my Who am I Essays page. I really liked this essay, Jeremiah; you show that Christians are real people. We like many of the same things non-Christians do. This is important to understand because our Christianity should not be a separate entity, but is the foundation of everything we do.

Who am I Essays I Am a New Creation by Barbie from California 2 Corinthians 5:17 (Amplified Bible) 17Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

Satan has no new schemes up his sleeve. He knows he is a beaten foe, so the only recourse he can think of is to pit our own flaws and failings against us to make us feel inadequate in God's plan. If he can cause us to doubt that we can be used of God than he has won a huge battle. I love the scene in the Lion King when Simba is grown to a young adult and he is having a conversation with the Rafiki in the field. Simba is looking back at the mistakes of his past and feeling so much guilt and Rafiki smakes him on the head with his stick. Simba says, "that hurt!" Rafiki says, "I know, but it's in the past." Your past is just that, THE PAST. It has no hold on you. You are a new creation in Christ. Old things, lives, mistakes, hurts, in the past and is to be no more of who you are now. Celebrate the new you in Christ, He has wonderful plans for you and all the help available for the asking. Thank you, Barbie for submitting your essay to my Who am I Essays page. What a wonderful reminder to let the past stay in the past, and press on to the future. I am ready to celebrate! Very nicely done, Linda

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“I am a child of God, and he has sent me here” (Hymn 301). “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love him” (Young Women Theme). From primary and throughout our lives, we sing and learn of being children of God. Because this knowledge is so ingrained in us, we often assume it is something everyone believes. In fact, the doctrine of being the literal spirit children of God is a unique Latter-day Saint doctrine that is not shared with the rest of the religious world. Not only is it unique, but it is foundational to all that we believe about God and man and the entire Plan of Salvation. How we came to know this beautiful truth, and why others choose to reject it, is an important concept for Latter-day Saints to understand.

Who the Creeds Say We Are

One major reason why the Christian world rejects the doctrine of being literal spirit children of God is because of how their creeds define God. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has explained,

“In the year A.D. 325 the Roman emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea to address—among other things—the growing issue of God’s alleged ‘trinity in unity.’ What emerged from the heated contentions of churchmen, philosophers, and ecclesiastical dignitaries came to be known (after another 125 years and three more major councils) as the Nicene Creed, with later reformulations such as the Athanasian Creed. These various evolutions and iterations of creeds—and others to come over the centuries—declared the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to be abstract, absolute, transcendent, immanent, consubstantial, coeternal, and unknowable, without body, parts, or passions and dwelling outside space and time.

“In such creeds all three members are separate persons, but they are a single being, the oft-noted ‘mystery of the trinity.’ They are three distinct persons, yet not three Gods but one. All three persons are incomprehensible, yet it is one God who is incomprehensible. We agree with our critics on at least that point—that such a formulation for divinity is truly incomprehensible” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, Nov. 2007, emphasis added).

Most Latter-day Saints understand that this view of God is strikingly different from our own belief in a personal God who has a physical body (D&C 130:22), but many do not understand the full implications. As defined by the Christian creeds, God is not just a spirit personage without a physical body (like how we view the Holy Ghost), but he is without form at all. The common phrase is that he is “without body, parts, and passions” (Westminster Confession of Faith). This implies that God is a formless spirit essence that does not look like man at all. We are not literally created in the image of such a God. As a result, he is not and can not be our literal Heavenly Father because he is literally nothing like us.

As one LDS historian has explained, “Since the fifth century, Christian orthodoxy had imposed an almost impassable gulf between the Creator and His creations. Humankind, Christians came to believe, was created from nothing. God was not a craftsman who refashioned existing materials but wholly different and apart from His creation—mysterious and unknowable. The Bible’s parent-child description of God’s relationship to us was understood largely as a metaphor instead of a literal kinship. To suggest otherwise, in the estimation of most Christian thinkers, blasphemously lessened God or dangerously elevated humankind” (McBride, Revelations in Context, p. 192).

From this we can see that a major problem with the creeds is not just that it defines God as having no physical body, but that it separates man from God by defining him as not really being our Heavenly Father. Fatherhood is central to all that God is and all that he has revealed about himself. Indeed, “it is significant that of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration” God “has asked us to address Him as Father” (Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, see June 2002 Ensign). As our first Article of Faith states, “we believe in God the Eternal Father ” (emphasis added). To redefine God as a spirit essence without body, parts, and passions is to deny God his Fatherhood and distance him from what he holds most dear—his children.

By denying the true Fatherhood of God, the creeds also rob us of our birthright as the sons and daughters of God. For if God is not really our Heavenly Father then have no right to aspire to ever become like Him. Because this simple notion is what the whole Plan of Salvation is based on, this one false doctrine has done more to destroy man’s understanding of God’s Plan than any other ever devised. Surely, this is one reason why God appeared in person to Joseph Smith, so that he could reveal to mankind who he really is and by implication who we really are. Is it any wonder that on that occasion God declared that “all their creeds were an abomination in his sight?” (JS-H 1:19)

Who we Really are

Although revelations in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Pearl of Great Price all refer to mankind as the children of God, these statements only hint at the full and literal meaning of this term. The first time this doctrine was revealed plainly in this dispensation was in Doctrine and Covenants section 93. After Christ revealed that he had a premortal life “in the beginning with God” as the “Firstborn,” he then revealed that we “were also in the beginning with the Father” as “spirits” (D&C 93:21,23). This simple announcement, reveals that before we came to this earth we had a premortal spirit existence in heaven as the literal spirit children of God.

Although that is a basic doctrine we have heard our whole lives, this verse is where it was first revealed. Implied in it is that if Christ was the firstborn then we were also begotten and born and raised as God’s literal spirit children. This was confirmed by an official statement from the First Presidency who explained, “The doctrine of the pre-existence,—revealed so plainly, particularly in latter days, pours a wonderful flood of light upon the otherwise mysterious problem of man’s origin. It shows that man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth” (President Joseph F. Smith, 1909 First Presidency, Origin of Man).

The doctrine is clear. We were literally begotten and born as spirit children of God and raised in eternity by our Heavenly Father and Mother. The Family Proclamation confirms and further elaborates on this truth by stating that “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose” (“The  Family : A Proclamation to the World,”  Liahona,  Oct. 2004, 49;  Ensign,  Nov. 1995, 102).

The revelation of D&C 93 continues to explain that our spirits were not created out of nothing, as many have supposed, but that they were made of “intelligence” which “was not created or made, neither indeed can be” (DC 93:29). Although there is much speculation about what this eternal intelligence is, the Church’s official definition simply describes it as the “spirit element that existed before we were begotten as spirit children” (Intelligence, Guide to the Scriptures). Apparently, this “spirit matter” (D&C 131:7) is a divine substance (D&C 93:36), and it is of this material that our spirits were made when we were born as the spirit children of God.

As a result, Abraham calls spirit children of God “the intelligences that were organized before the world was … for he stood among those that were spirits” (Abr 3:22-23 emphasis added; “Intelligences” in this verse is officially defined as “spirit children of God” in Guide to the Scriptures and as “personal spirits” by the First Presidency in 1916, see April 2002 Ensign. See also Abr. 3 footnote 22a “Man, a spirit child of Heavenly Father”).

Although there was a moment in eternity when we were born the spirit children of God, we are still properly called eternal beings. As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained, “We are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny” (President Uchtdorf, May 2014 Ensign).

From this we learn several reasons why we are appropriately called “eternal beings,” including that our spirits are made of eternal material, we are the children of Eternal Parents, and we will live for all eternity. Another reason we are eternal is that we were born as spirits in premortal eternity and from our limited mortal perspective it as if we have always existed. Indeed, it is as if we had no beginning because we “existed before” the beginning of this earth and “shall exist after” the end of the earth, we are therefore properly called “eternal” in scriptural language (Abr. 3:18).

What We Can Become

The doctrine that we are the literal spirit children of God is an ennobling and inspiring truth that leads us to recognize our divine potential. As one former BYU religion professor explained, “To know what God is is to know what man is and what he can become. The loss of this knowledge goes far to explain the present plight of humanity. Man, like water, cannot rise higher than his beginnings. If an ever increasing number of men and women are choosing to wallow in the mire of carnality we must not forget that they are taught that the human race was spawned in the mire. We have little desire to reach for the stars if we do not believe we came from the stars .” (Rodney Turner, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 2, The Pearl of Great Price , 45 emphasis added).

When we realize we came from heaven as the spirit children of God, it instills in us a desire to return to heaven and become like our Heavenly Parents. It is not by coincidence that the same revelation that first teaches us that we are the spirit children of God, also reveals that the highest form of worship is not simply to praise God or even pray to him, it is to become like our Heavenly Father, just as Jesus Christ did.

The Lord explained, “I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness. For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.” (D&C 93:19-20).

This simple basic truth, that we are the spirit children of God with the capacity to become like Him is central to the Plan of Salvation. When our Savior Jesus Christ invites us to follow him, this is where he is trying to lead us—to become like God, just as he did! As amazing as such a prospect may seem to us now, it is possible precisely because we are the children of God.

As the First Presidency once explained, “Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a God ( Messages of the First Presidency , 4:206). May we always remember the profound power found in that simple truth—I am a child of God.

Steven Moore November 5, 2017

I am so grateful for the understanding of who I am, why I am here and my eternal potential. Mark, the article is well written, thank you. There is a concern I have. I feel we should avoid comparing. "Us" versus "them" does not build bridges, but barriers. Alma taught " will ye persist in supposing that ye are better one than another; yea, will ye persist in the persecution of your brethren" We are not better. We have learned truth that we rejoice in sharing, We can share truth without condemning a lack of understanding, My hope is, articles, like this one, would present truths we learned, how we learned it and the value it has in our lives. As soon as we compare, we create a competitive tone; it hard to teach when the message feels confrontational. Truth can build bridges, it should not build walls.

Earl Chantrill October 29, 2017

I have heard non-LDS Christians singing "I Am a Child of God" as if it were a part of their own theology. I think that lay Christians generally are more ready to accept this idea than are their ministers or other theological leaders.

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“Lesson Five: I Am a Child of God,” Family Home Evening Resource Book (1997), 20

“Lesson Five: I Am a Child of God,” Family Home Evening Resource Book , 20

Lesson Five

I Am a Child of God

Have we not all one father? [ Malachi 2:10 ]

Help family members realize what it means to be children of God.


From our earthly parents we have inherited our physical characteristics. We have also inherited qualities of nobility, goodness, and eternal worth from our Heavenly Father. Think of the potential of your children. Think of what it could mean to them to really sense their potential. Do you really believe that you are a child of God? Does that knowledge make a difference in your daily life?


Have two items that have obvious similarities and differences, such as a combination of two of the following: a small rock, a small ball, an orange, or an apple.

Bring a family picture with the parents and all the children, including grandparents if possible, or several pictures of family members, so that everyone is represented.

On a sheet of paper, write “Our Heavenly Father.”

Have a chalkboard or poster to write on and some chalk or a marker.

Have a card or poster for each family member.

For younger children, bring a picture of each family member as a baby.


“O My Father” ( Hymns, no. 292 ).

“I Am a Child of God” ( Hymns, no. 301 ; Children’s Songbook, p. 2 ).


Who are you.

Hold a small rock in your hand, and ask your children:

What is this?

Hold an orange in your other hand.

Ask your family to name as many ways as they can in which these two objects are different. Then ask them to identify how they are similar.

Hold up the family portrait or the separate pictures of family members, and ask:

Who are these people? Who is this?

In what ways are the members of our family different from each other? (Facial characteristics, size, age, talents, and any other ways family members might mention.)

In what ways are members of our family alike? (Color of hair, eyes, freckles, interests, hopes, desires to learn, or whatever your family members identify.)

Point out that we inherited some of these characteristics from our parents.

In what way is our family different from other families? (Looks, house we live in, goals, number of family members.)

In what ways are we like the people in other families? (We enjoy playing, smiling, crying, praying.)

Hold up the paper on which you have written “Our Heavenly Father.”

How are we related to our Heavenly Father? (We are his actual children in the spirit.)

We Belong to Two Families

Place the family portrait(s) beside the piece of paper just discussed. Explain to the family that just as they are members of an earthly family, they are also members of a heavenly family.

Point out that one way we are like each other and like the members of all other families on the earth is that we are all children of God.

Recite the words to the song “I Am a Child of God” ( Hymns, no. 301 ; Children’s Songbook, p. 2 ). After each verse ask a child in the family to tell you what words or ideas in the verse they liked best. (See the facing chart as an example.)

Reviewing the song this way can help your children understand and respond to the words. Listen to their thoughts, and use them later in the lesson.

You might comment, for example, on your own desire to be a kind parent or how one of our needs is to know the truth about God and about blessings that have come by doing his will.

Explain to your children that they will always be members of your family and that you will always be their father and mother. Nothing can change that. The same is true of God’s family. He will always be our Father. We will always be his children. But to return to him we must live his commandments. That’s what the chorus in “I Am a Child of God” means when it states,

“Teach me all that I must do

To live with him someday.”

What We Inherit from God

Remind your family that just as we are similar to our earthly parents, we are, as children of God, similar to him. As we can grow up to be like our earthly parents, so we can also grow spiritually to be like our Heavenly Father. (See chapter 2 , “Our Heavenly Family,” Gospel Principles [31110], pp. 11–15.) Draw the following chart on a chalkboard or poster, and ask your children for words that describe what our Heavenly Father is like. Some examples are below:

Your family list may not be exactly like the one illustrated.

Under the heading “His children can be,” write the same qualities you list in the left column. Ask for examples of these very qualities that have been observed in family members during the past week.

Our Worth and Our Potential

Explain to your children that because they are God’s children, they are worth very much.

What is it about us which Heavenly Father would love so much? (First of all, he loves us because we are his spirit children; we are his family. Secondly, he loves us because of what we are capable of doing and becoming.)

Remind your children that their worth, like their family membership, is unquestionable.

What if someone were to tell you that you are not a child of God?

After listening to their answers, reinforce the fact that regardless of what others may say, they are still children of Heavenly Father. Point to the list that you made as you ask the following question:

What if someone were to tell you that you could not develop these qualities?

After they have answered, read and discuss this statement by Lorenzo Snow: “We are the offspring of God, born with the same faculties and powers as He possesses, capable of enlargement through the experience that we are now passing through in our second estate” ( Millennial Star, 3 Dec. 1894, p. 772). Be sure each person knows what the phrase “second estate” means.

Give some practical examples to apply these ideas. For example, when they feel discouraged, encourage your children to look in a mirror and say such things as, “I am a child of God. I can learn and grow. I can be kind to others. I can succeed.”

Have each family member make a small card or poster with the following on it to place by his bed:

I am a child of God, and I can become more ____________.

Explain that each morning before prayer the family member looks at the card and identifies a godly quality he could develop to fill in the missing word, such as loving, forgiving, educated, or accomplished. He should use whatever quality he may feel he needs to develop at the time. Encourage family members to seek the Lord’s help in being true to their capacity to become like him. In the evening, they should ponder the chances they had during the day to work on their potential. Challenge each person to examine the experiences he has had each day and share with his Heavenly Father what he, as one of God’s children, has learned from them.


If possible, display a picture of each family member as a baby. Let the children try to find their own pictures and identify the others. Tell them about the circumstances surrounding their birth. You may wish to describe your feelings as a parent as you prepared for their coming to your home. Describe how you felt when you saw, held, and loved them for the first time. Then ask them to imagine how Heavenly Father must feel to see them growing and learning.

Share how a knowledge that you are a child of God has helped you to choose the right. A specific example of a righteous choice they would understand would be helpful. You could recall how you were tempted to be unkind and then remembered that you were a child of God and so did a kind thing instead. Use some example from your recent experience so that the child will see the point clearly.

Sing “I Am a Child of God” with your children. Then tell them what the words mean to you.

At bedtime, during different nights of the week, spend some time with each child to share with him your knowledge of his worth to you and to God. Give examples of how Heavenly Father and you have confidence in his ability to succeed in life.


Use the family picture, discussing similarities between family members and their earthly parents. Proceed from there to discuss the concept that all persons are children of God.

Do people sometimes teach or imply that we are something less than children of God?

Give examples and the implications of such beliefs on how one feels about oneself.

What difference would it make in how a person acted if he really believed he were a child of God?

Analyze the words of “I Am a Child of God,” and let your children tell what it means to them as young adults. Then make the chart on the chalkboard or poster about what Heavenly Father is and how we can become like him as suggested in the section “What We Inherit from God.”

As you discuss the idea of worth and potential, have your family members analyze Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 and Moses 1:39 together so that they will get a feeling of how important we are to our Heavenly Father as his children.

Making the personal poster for each family member to take to his room for consideration in daily prayer could be the most important part of this lesson for teenagers and adults. Explore in depth the development that could come from such an activity.


Heavenly father loves us without reservations.

Explain that God is the perfect parent. He loves each of us unconditionally. No matter what we do, he loves us. He can bless us when we obey his commandments, and he must deny us blessings when we do not. But he always loves us and wants us to grow to our full potential (see Moses 1:39 ).

Discuss with your family what that unconditional love means to them. Have the family read the parable of the prodigal son ( Luke 15:11–32 ).

Discuss the joy our Heavenly Father feels when we repent and try to return to him. Assure them that as they repent and go to their Heavenly Father in prayer, he will put his love into their hearts (see Moroni 7:48 ) and they will know that he loves them.

Each Person Is Heavenly Father’s Child

Seat the family in a circle. Place a bottle on its side in the center, and spin the bottle. When it stops, have all the others in the circle tell one thing that describes the person at whom the bottle points. (For example: “He is a boy.” “His name is Terry.” “He is ten years old.” “He laughs a lot.”) If no one else mentions it, add, “He is a child of Heavenly Father.” Repeat this until everyone in the circle has been described.

Point out that even though each person’s description may be different, he is a true child of God.

Then discuss whether Heavenly Father likes one person better than another for any reason, such as his disposition, age, or hair color. Read and discuss Acts 10:34–35 . Explain that every person is important to Heavenly Father because every person is his child.

Children Love and Respect Their Parents

Explain that we are always God’s spirit children and that he loves us. Explain that we can also become his children in a special way. Read Moses 6:65–7:1 . Then tell them that God will not stop being our Father, but we can turn away from being his children.

How? (By not respecting him and obeying his commandments.)

Discuss with your family how obedience makes us children of our Father in Heaven in a special sense.

Read Abraham 3:25 , and discuss what it means.


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    3) I am not a child of God because of my will but because of his will. John talks about "the will of the flesh" and "the will of man.". If I trust in Jesus, there is nothing I can think or will that makes me any more or less God's child. If I can only have a pure thought life, then God will love me. False.

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  4. Your Identity in Christ: How God Sees You

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  8. What does it mean to be a child of God?

    To be a child of God means our old sin nature is replaced with a nature that wants to please the Lord. We still sin ( 1 John 1:8 ), but we have "an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the righteous" ( 1 John 2:1 ). Being a child of God means our sins are paid for and our fellowship with God has been restored.

  9. What does the Bible say about me as a child of God?

    One of the greatest privileges of being a child of God is that we have direct access to Him through prayer. In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus says, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be ...

  10. Living as a Child of God

    by Charles Kestermeier, SJ May 16, 2016. While we are vaguely aware that each of us is a "child of God ," we might reflect on what it means for us to be specifically a " child of God. As Jesus said, "I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become as little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 18:3).

  11. Who Does God Say I Am?

    I am a child of God. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12) I am a branch of the true vine, and a conduit of Christ's life. I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. . . .

  12. How can I become a child of God?

    Answer. Becoming a child of God requires faith in Jesus Christ. "To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" ( John 1:12 ). "You must be born again". When visited by the religious leader Nicodemus, Jesus did not immediately assure him of heaven.

  13. How to Know for Sure You Are a Child of God

    Here is how we can know…. "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.". 1 John 5:1. What God is saying through the words of the "apostle whom Jesus loved" is this… that if you believe that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah of the Jews and that He came to planet ...

  14. What It REALLY Means to Be a Child of God

    The identity of child of God can NEVER, EVER be threatened or taken away from me. In fact, it is the only identity I've found that can't. The surer my foundation rests on this eternal truth—that I am a child of God—the less unstable my self-worth becomes. And the best news of all is that this identity can never be threatened by sin ...


    A CHILD OF GOD "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" - 1 John 3:1 DELIGHTED IN "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing."

  16. Who Am I?

    God presented His plan to us. God wanted us to come to earth to gain a physical body. Here, we face challenges and situations that help us learn and grow so we can become more like Him. Jesus was chosen as our Savior. God knew that we would make mistakes, so He chose Jesus to come to earth and suffer for our sins.

  17. Who Am I: How to Help Your Kids Discover Their Identity

    Here are three things you can do to help your child when they struggle with identity. 1. Seek. God is the ultimate source of truth, so encourage them by seeking God together, or depending on their age, give them space to seek God on their own. See the list below of great Bible Plans and resources we recommend to seek God together and discover ...

  18. I Am a Child of God

    1. January. I am a child of God, and He has a plan for me. "All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny" (proclamation, paragraph 2). 2.

  19. 15 Bible Verses Describing Who I am to God

    15 Bible Verses Describing Who I am to God. 1. Child of God. "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—" John 1:12. If you have made Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, it means you are now a child of God. Through Christ's sacrifice on the cross, you have become an ...

  20. Who am I Essays

    Who am I Essays. I Am a New Creation. by Barbie from California. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (Amplified Bible) 17Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

  21. I Am a Child of God: How this Simple Belief Sets Latter-day Saints

    By Mark A. Mathews · October 24, 2017. Sign up for Meridian's Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE. "I am a child of God, and he has sent me here" (Hymn 301). "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love him" (Young Women Theme). From primary and throughout our lives, we sing and learn of being children of God.

  22. Who Is A Strong Child Of God Essay

    This means that no matter what I do as long as I am in accordance with God's will, everything will turn out for the best in the end. God has promised to give me hope and a future and to bless my life. "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do, Ephesians 2:10" (NIV).

  23. Lesson Five: I Am a Child of God

    Verse. Child's Favorite Part. I am a child of God, And he has sent me here, Has given me an earthly home With parents kind and dear. Kind parents. I am a child of God, And so my needs are great; Help me to understand his words Before it grows too late. My needs. I am a child of God, Rich blessings are in store; If I but learn to do his will I'll live with him once more.