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Home The Light Articles from 2006 Obedient Children

Obedient Children

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by Frank Garner
We place great emphasis on the family as a God-created structure. The family that functions in accord with the Word of God wears God's armor as protection from the wiles of Satan in this "crooked and perverse world." Maintain­ing the integrity of the family unit should be a paramount concern in each Chris­tian's life.
One important ingredient in the prop­erly functioning family is obedient chil­dren. In the earthly realm, children are exhorted to hear and obey their father. Children are commanded to "honor thy father..." (Exodus 20:20). Proverb 1:8 urges children to "hear the instruction of thy father." Children who hear their father's instructions are called wise (Proverb 13:1). And, wise children make their father glad (Proverb 10:1).
We understand there is a parallel between the physical, earthly family and the spiritual, eternal family of God. The Bible uses this parallel to give us insight into the relationship between God, the Father, and His children.
God is "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Ephesians 4:6). Christians are God's children through Christ. Let us notice a few verses that describe this family-saving relationship.
Mark 3:31-35 records a scene where Jesus described those He considered family. "For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother." Those who do the will of God are the family of Christ. They are the children of God by this relationship with Christ. Doing the will of God is a requisite for being in the family of Christ or the family of God. As brothers and sisters are part of the family so is the father. They are one family. Likewise, the family of Christ the Son is the family of God the Father. They are one and the same family.
The implied opposite of Christ's state­ment in Mark 3 is that those who do not do the will of God are not the family of Christ. He did not consider them broth­ers and sisters. Many will cry out against this conclusion. However, other holy scriptures confirm it as true. "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God..." (1 John 3:10). This is one reason Peter exhorts us to be "obedient children" (1 Peter 1:14).
]esus the Christ has a special place in the family of God. He is the Father's only begotten Son. He is the firstborn, the perfect sacrifice, the Saviour. Jesus is our example, and we, as siblings, should follow him. "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps" (1 Peter 2:21).
One of Christ's examples for us is obedience to the will of the Father. "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suf­fered; And being made perfect, he be­came the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him..." (Hebrews 5:8-9). It is clear. Jesus, the first born, is an obedient Son to the Father of all. By following his example of obedience to the will of the Father, we too can be God's children.
The perfect older brother (Christ) set the example. He led the way. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.. .For as many as are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:1 & 14). If we will be led by the Spirit of God, if we will walk after the Spirit, if we will do the will of God, we are God's children. "And if children, then heirs: heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17).
There is a popular ecumenical philos­ophy espoused by many that states everyone is a child of God. This universalism is a way to embrace all who be­lieve in something out there beyond what we perceive. The philosophy is expressed in such statements as "We are all created by the same God." "We may have different perspectives, cultures, and doctrines, but we all believe in the same God." Such beliefs are attractive to men, but they are clearly contradictory to the Word.
The apostle Paul tells us that the glorious Father-child relationship, the family of God, is created only in Jesus Christ. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:26-27). The power to become sons of God is given to those who receive Christ and believe on his name (John 1:12).
To summarize, the Bible says we have been given the power to become sons of God by receiving Christ and believing on his name. It says we are the children of God by faith in Christ. Christ says we are his brothers and sisters if we do the will of the Father, i.e., if we are obedient children as Jesus is an obedient son.
What a beautiful thing. The love of God has been extended as a loving fa­ther. We can be "born again" into His redeemed family. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: (1 John 3:1). As obedient children we can look forward to this glorious promise. "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son" (Revelations 21:7).
 -P0 Box 861, Princeton, TX 75407


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