Assurances for All Who Become God’s Children — Luke 15
The New Testament tells us how to become a child of God. In Galatians 3:26, Paul wrote, “for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.” Therefore, we can remind ourselves and tell others the good news that through faith in Jesus Christ, you can become a child of God. John confirmed this fact in John 1:12, “But to all who received him [Jesus], who believed in his name [Jesus], he [Jesus] gave power to become children of God.”
The Bible tells us who and what we are as children of God. When we become one of God’s adopted children, we become a child of light instead of remaining a child of darkness. In 1 Thessalonians 5:5, Paul described true Christians in these words: “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.” As children of God, we let our light shine. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus taught, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
Having become a child of God, the Bible tells us how we can have some daily assurances that we are a child of God. Looking at these assurances from God’s side we can remind ourselves of Romans 8:14-17: Paul wrote, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.”
Looking at daily assurances that we are a child of God from our side, the children of God pray to their Heavenly Father: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9). God’s children live or walk in the truth. John wrote in his letters: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4), and “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments” (1 John 5:2). As children of God we will not be perfect in this life, for we look forward to being glorified with Christ Jesus our Lord, but as children of God we know the direction of our lives. We are trying to follow Jesus and obey our Heavenly Father rather follow after the ways of this world: that’s what good children do.
With these assurances as our background, Luke 15 gives more assurances that we are children of God, assurances for all who become God’s children. Without considering all the details of these three parables of Jesus, please notice how Jesus and God the Father care when (or if) one of God’s beloved children gets lost and what they do for their children either lost or safely living within God's family.
First, remember all the sheep belonged to the shepherd, and when the lost sheep accidentally wandered off, the shepherd searched until he found it and then he carried it home. As a true child of God, we sometimes accidentally wander off and get lost. As a true child of God (remember how a person can become a child of God), we belong to Jesus, and we can have great assurance from reminding ourselves that as a child of God if we accidentally wander off Jesus will do all that is necessary to bring us back to His home.
Second, we do not know how the lost coin got lost, some things are mysteries beyond our understanding, but we do know the widow searched for that coin until she found it. If we are a child of God and if we get lost in some mysterious way (or in any way), Jesus will do all He needs to do to find us; furthermore, there will be great rejoicing in heaven when He does find us, for we are His possession.
Third, if we are a true child of God, and if we get lost because we have chosen to leave our Heavenly Father and squander our spiritual inheritance, it may appear to us and others that God the Father and Jesus are doing nothing. By continuing to walk in the darkness, our lives will get worse and worse and we will suffer more and more. But if this way of lostness ever happens to us or others, remember these truths and share them.
First, if you are a true child of God, from the Bible you know enough about God the Father and Jesus Christ (who is NOT the elder brother in Jesus’ parable!) to know what God is like and that He would welcome you back with open arms if you returned to Him. But knowing this fact you must not use it as an excuse for delaying your return to God your Father and Jesus your Savior.
Second, if you are a true child of God, the Holy Spirit is within you, but your behavior and lostness are grieving the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 4:30, Paul warned true Christians, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.” However, remember the assurances and encouragements the Bible gives true Christians. In Romans 8:26-28, we read, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” In addition, Jesus is praying for you! In Romans 8:34, Paul wrote: “Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.“ Your Heavenly Father is waiting for you to return to Him, and Jesus your Savior and the Holy Spirit your Helper, and true Christians are praying for you too!
Remember all these assurances and teach others these assurances, for God loves all His true children! If a true child of God gets lost in any way by wandering off, in some mysterious way, or by open rebellion and wishing God were dead, God will do whatever is needed to find them and bring them back into His family again. But remember, all these assurances are no reason for any rebellious son or daughter to delay their return to God, for those who delay will only suffer more and longer.
To learn more about these three parables from Luke 15, read How to Find God Again: Taking the Path to God's Open Heart -- The Story of the Prodigal Son, the Lost Sheep and the Widow’s Lost Coin by C.H. Spurgeon
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