Our catechism poses a very natural question for those who call themselves children of God. Why is Jesus referred to and confessed as “the only begotten Son” since we, too, are children of God? The Word of God leaves no doubt as to the unique relationship that Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, has with God the Father. The testimony is great that Jesus is very God of very God. We have seen in the last two Lord’s Days the importance of Jesus as our Savior and Jesus as the Anointed One. He is our Prophet, Priest, and King. We are reminded that there is no other name under heaven and earth whereby we can be saved but the name of Jesus. But once we are saved are we not also to be considered as sons of God?
Yes we are. The difference is this: Jesus is the Son of God and, through Him, we become children of God. Notice the difference: Jesus is we become. By our very nature we are like orphans. We are without God. The Bible tells us that we are conceived and born in sin. God, however, draws us unto Himself by His marvelous grace.
While we were still dead in our trespasses and sins, God illustrated His love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We must clearly understand that it is not because of anything that we say or do that God shows His favor upon us. It all His marvelous grace that moves Him to bring us into His family.
God adopts miserable, dead in their trespasses and sins, people like you and me, for Christ’s sake. It is for the sake of Him who is the only begotten Son that we are made sons and daughters. That Son, Jesus Christ, gave Himself on the cross of Calvary a ransom for our souls so that we might be adopted into the family of God. That wonderful Son left His home in glory, took upon Himself human flesh and dwelt among us.
We responded to this wonderful miracle of the second Person of the Trinity dwelling with us by rejecting Him. We beat Him. We spit upon Him. In the end we placed Him upon a cross and watched Him die a most cruel death. We simply could not stand to listen to what He had to say.
That, however, was not the end of the story. This same Jesus, whom we crucified, rose again from the dead. He now sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. To Him is given all power and all authority.
Instead of seeking revenge for the horrible things that we did to Him, Jesus poured out His love upon us. He gave us the Comforter so that we could understand that through His death on the cross we can now be called children of God. Those who believe in Him as the Son of God anointed to be our Prophet, Priest, and King taste the joy of forgiveness and experience peace with God. We are made children of God, adopted into His family through Christ.
Rev. Wybren H. Oord is the pastor of the Covenant United Reformed Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He also serves as Editor of The Outlook.