Response to Reader’s Comment – Are All People Children of God??? (Part 2 of 3)

Thank you very much KaraLee for the thought-provoking comment on the post Are All People Children of God???  (Part 2).  See post and comment at http://wp.me/p5nZpi-pI.

Before I respond to KaraLee’s comment, I like to offer a brief description qualifying my study and explanation of Scripture.

I understand all Scripture to be…

  • inspired by God, All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. – 2 Timothy 3:16
  • written by human authors
  • written within a historical setting

Therefore, applying exegesis (critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of Scripture) in my opinion, requires understanding the usage of language in sentences and paragraphs,  examining verses/words/sentences within their context,  and seeking to understand the passages within their cultural setting.

KaraLee had so many great comments that I’d like to address them individually.  KaraLee’s comments will be highlighted in orange, my responses will be in black.

Thanks for the food for thought! I thought of a lot of stuff- hope it makes sense!          

I personally believe that our Heavenly Father literally created our spirits before we came to live on this earth and that our mortal parents are the facilities that house our eternal spirits (Hebrews 12:9).

Hebrews 12:9 – Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?

  1. If we look at the context of Hebrews 12:9, see the passage, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+12:1-12, we’ll notice that this passage is not addressing pre-birth spiritual existence of people.

2.  The writer of Hebrews is addressing discipline in this passage.  He is referencing the similarity between a human father’s discipline and God’s discipline, as an expression of love.

3.  You’ll even notice that the word discipline is used 10 times within these 12 verses.

4.  God is described as the Father of our Spirits in v.12:9, but no where in this verse, other verses in the Bible, or within the context of this passage, was I able to find support that God created people’s spirits before they were born.

5. The only passage referring to pre-birth, and God, can be found in Psalm 139:13-16,

13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.

The entire passage can be found – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139

Which is why I think our Father in Heaven is so invested in our return to Him.

I wouldn’t want to lose any of my children.

Along with this statement is the assumption that you are your children’s mother.  Your children are children of KaraLee. But the Scriptures say that we are not automatically children of God. We are created by God. And it’s not until we, as individuals, believe Him and accept Him, that He gave the right to become children of God.John 1:12

I do think all are children of God.

Here’s how the Scriptures define a child of God –

To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.  –  John 1:12

An opportunity, a right, not an automatic or a given that ALL people are children of God.

In this next passage, Jesus says that not all people’s father is God.

Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me!  For you are the children of your father the devil… ” –  John 8:42-44

Whether people accept or recognize Him doesn’t mean He forgets them.

I agree with this statement, but it has nothing to do with a person’s status in “God’s family”.  Rather, it reminds us of the Biblical fact that God is love – 1 John 4:8, and that it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones (anyone – my add) should perish. – Matthew 18:14

Scripture confirms that…

  1. God gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. – Matt. 5:45
  2. God is being patient for our sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.  – 2 Peter 3:9
  3. Jesus also is clear that ALL people will not recognize Him as Lord. In John 10, Jesus uses the parable of the sheep and the gate, saying… I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. – John 10:9,14,26-28
  4. And in Matt 7:22-23 Jesus says, On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name. But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws. 

I wouldn’t disown my child if they decided to go against me. I do think that people can be called ” a child of God” in a deeper sense if they are His disciples or followers.

It’s not so much a matter of “in a deeper sense”, but it is the only way to be considered a “child of God”.  And that is, if you are His follower.  You are either a child of God, or you’re not.

But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.John 1:12

And Jesus says in Matthew 7:21 – Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

As far as the scriptures referring to “adoption” I feel like it is a matter of semantics.

I disagree with this comment.  The word adoption holds much more weight than it is given credit for.  It has a specific meaning.  According to Webster Dictionary’s definition, semantics means that words have the same effect.  There’s no real difference.

However, the word adopt is defined in Dictionary.com  –  to take and rear (the child of other parents) as one’s own child, specifically by a formal legal act.

The child of other parents, is a BIG distinction that makes God’s use of the word adoption in the Scriptures significant, and certainly not a matter of semantics.

I will be getting into adoption more in the next post.

We are already his literal creation, but we have to work at coming unto Him or being His “Chosen” people or ” people who choose God”.

This comment seems to me to be an oxymoron.

On the one hand, we’re God’s creation, which I agree with – For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. –  Colossians 1:16

Yet, on the other hand, we have to work at being His “Chosen” people.  So if ALL people are children of God, as your children are children of KaraLee, do we/them have to earn our parent’s love?  Earn our place as a son or daughter in the family?

I don’t believe we have to work at being “chosen” by God. God wants us all to be part of His family.  ALL people have been given a choice, freewill, to accept God’s provision to be reunited with Him. And, Because of His grace declared righteous, having confidence that we will inherit eternal life. – Titus 3:7

That provision was His Son, Jesus, who became an acceptable sacrifice, for ALL the sins of ALL people.  It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. – 1 Peter 1:19

For God loved the world so much that He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

This is what differentiates Christ-followers from all other religions or spiritual groups. God came to us. God pursues US. We don’t have to “do” to get God to notice us, and choose us.

Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

Because Adam and Eve’s left the Garden of Eden, they also left being so close to the presence of God.

Adam and Eve didn’t leave the Garden on their own accord. God banished them from the Garden, Genesis 3:24.

Their choice to disobey God, to sin, by eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, made it impossible for them to be in presence of a Holy God.

So in a sense we all have all been separated from our Father in heaven and need to gain knowledge of good and evil and follow or adopt Heavenly Father’s good ways.( Isaiah 56:3-8); (genesis 3:22-24)

Yes, ALL people have been separated from God.

For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. – Romans 5:15

And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. – Romans 5:16

Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.  God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.  So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 5:18-21

It’s not a matter of gaining knowledge.  It is a matter of repenting of our evil ways, turning to God, and following His ways vs. the world’s ways.  Only then can we come back into God’s Holy Presence.

 

Thank you again, KaraLee, for your comments 🙂

————————-

Are ALL People Children of God???  –  (Part 1)   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-pm

Are ALL People Children of God???  –  (Part 2)   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-pI

Are ALL People Children of God???  –  (Part 3 of 3)   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-rg

 

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“Coffee Anyone?”, asks God

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous…              Psalm 139:13-14

As I read my Bible this morning, I came across a verse in the Book of Luke that caused me to pause. When this happens, it reminds me of a record player when the needle gets stuck in a groove and keep repeating the same words or melody over and over and over.

record player 2

It’s at this point that I have a choice to make.  Ignore the prompting to reread, and move on, or stop to reread and ponder.

question

When it comes to Bible reading “they” say, “you have to cover “X” amount of chapters, verses, etc., and stick to your Bible reading plan.  If you don’t, you’ll never finish reading the Gospels, or the Psalms, or the Old Testament, etc.  And you’ll certainly never finish reading the entire Bible.”           It’s at this point that I ask myself, who’s “they” anyway??

I approach reading the Bible a bit differently.  To me reading the Bible is similar to talking with someone on the phone, texting, or meeting for coffee.  It’s all about the relationship.  It’s not a one-way conversation, it’s the sharing back and forth of feelings, facts, experiences, hopes, etc., between two people.  How silly it would be if I met someone for coffee and whipped out my “thoughts” list, and started rattling it off?  And then, when I was finished reading my list, I’d get up and walk out the door?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          list           friends coffee            walking-clipart-e1380249111426

When you see the above scenario in writing, it seems ludicrous.  Who would ever ask to meet a friend for coffee and read off a list?  Not to mention walking out without saying goodbye, or thanks for listening.  Yet, how often have we, myself included, interacted this way with God?

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat with a friend, started on one topic, and ended up touching of several others before the first cup of coffee was finished.  Or when a comment said in passing, turned out to be discussed in-depth.  When I meet up with friends I don’t have a checklist.  I’m getting together with them to catch up, and share what’s been going on in our lives.  If we just talk about what happened today, and never get to last week or next week, who cares.  This is what we needed, or wanted, to talk about now.

For me, this is the kind of relationship I have with God.  So when I’m reading the Bible and get the feeling I should pause and reread.  I pause and reread because I know that God has something to share with me.  I ask Him, “what are you trying to show me?  What do you want me to learn, to take with me today, to share with others, to change?”   I also thank God for encouraging me in a particular area, where I am on the “wise path”, and  thanking Him for all the blessings and provisions He gives me day in and day out.  I read with anticipation, eagerness, and appreciation that the Creator of everything wants to talk with me.  That He cares about me, and He loves our time together.

2 Timothy 3:16 says, All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  Sometimes God gives us a warning, sometimes encouragement, and other times redirection to get us back on track.

As Hebrews 4:12 says, The word of God is living and active…  God wants to talk to us.  He wants to help us with our daily struggles.  He wants to bring us back to the safety of the “wise path”.

I once heard a pastor at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa say, “it’s not how often or how much of the Bible you read, but that you live out what you’ve read.  Don’t just read the Bible to finish it, read the Bible to change.”                                                                                                                             

                             Matthew 5:13-16      light_salt

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