Children of God?

I have recently said in a sermon something like the following:  “we are not all the children of God…we are all God’s creation, but actually the Bible says that those who have not repented are by nature the children of wrath.”

I was challenged however in my own reading recently when Paul speaks on Mars Hill to the same people he will tell to “repent, because God has fixed a day when He will judge the world in righteousness…”  He says the following:

Acts 17:28 – for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’

Ut oh, what then does this say about my initial theory?  I thought the following blog made some good points:

Paul, Zues and Aratus
Since I was specifically asked about Acts 17, I did some research. Paul quotes a Greek Poet by the name of Aratus. The verse Paul quotes is from the poem titled Phaenomena

Let us begin with Zeus, whom we mortals never leave unspoken.
For every street, every market-place is full of Zeus.
Even the sea and the harbour are full of this deity.
Everywhere everyone is indebted to Zeus.
For we are indeed his offspring…

The point of the poem and the point Paul is making is that God created everything (something the Greeks agreed with). Paul goes on to say that if God is the creator, then why do we as created beings think we can created God in stone? Paul too is using the word “offspring” as a metaphor.

I think there is a very common misconception by the church and the world in general that “we’re all God’s children.”  This is said with a desire to unite us rather than divide us, celebrate our diversity yet respect our differences, and all the rest.  Sadly however, this is not true Biblically.  If for a moment you could only think of the account of the fall of mankind in Eden.  Where did man’s close relationship leave off?:

Genesis 3:24 – So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

Though God has worked through a series of covenants and ultametly through the work of His Son, man is required to repent and turn back to God.  The gospel is what calls man back to God, thus why it is called “the word of reconciliation.”  Unless man repents, they are still walking away from the Garden and towards Gehenna. 

 So in light of the son/Father relationship with God and mankind, would not it be dependent on that return? 

Romans 8:13 – for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

There are other places we could look at, but I’ll let you bring them up in discussion.

What do you think?  Are we “all God’s children”?

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