Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
No one in this world has total autonomy. Some act like they are independent of all governing authorities and the rule of law, but they’re not. Everyone in this world is subject to higher powers.
The governmental power of the United States has bestowed rights upon citizens through the Constitution. These rights are actually freedoms protected by laws. For example: freedoms of religion, speech, the press, lawful assembly, and to bear arms.
Each freedom is accompanied by restrictions or boundaries that must be respected. You have the freedom of speech, but you don’t have the freedom for hate speech. You have the right to bear arms, but you do not have the right to stand on your front lawn and use your neighbor’s windows for target practice. In other words, with freedom comes responsibility.
We have the right to own property, but much to the chagrin of some of my neighbors, we do not have the right to do anything we want with our property.
The highest of all governing powers is God. And the greatest right He has given is “the right to become children of God.” We exercise that right when we receive Christ by believing in Him.
It’s important to note you are under no obligation to become a child of God. However, there is no higher privilege or honor than to be born again (John 3:3) and adopted into God’s forever family. (Ephesian’s 1:5)
Our role in the attainment of salvation is to believe. God does the rest. “…he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
Your parents or grandparents faith in the Lord is not imputed to you. Heaven is a choice that only you can make. You are saved by faith, but not the faith of someone else. That’s what’s meant by “children born not of natural descent.”
No performance on your part will be sufficient to earn God’s favor. Salvation is not by your will or work, but solely from God’s grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9) It is not of “human decision.”
And if you are married to a child of God, it doesn’t mean you too are a Christian. (Not by “husband’s will.”) The two of you may be one in the eyes of God, but your eternal relationship to the Lord is based on your individual decision to receive and believe in Christ.
At the beginning of this devotional, I mentioned autonomy, which is the freedom to govern yourself. No one has it, accept God. He is the supreme authority and power.
As the supreme authority He is also the lawgiver and the judge. All of us are sinners (Romans 3:23) and have violated His laws. And the punishment for sin is death, eternal separation from God. (Romans 6:23)
No one can escape or is exempt from the rule of the Lord. Even those who refuse to receive and believe must submit to His authority.
Please read Psalm 139. In it you will see how intimately God knows you. The psalmist declares, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (v7)
You can say you don’t belong to God, but you cannot escape His authority.
Are you one who has received and believed? Then you are a child of God destined for glory in His heaven with Christ.
And if you have never received Him, do it today. (Romans 10:9)
We have been granted many precious rights by man’s authority. But none can compare to the greatest right of them all, “the right to become children of God.”
For more on this topic, check out this article: Jesus Saves and Keeps You Saved
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.