You’ve heard their names before; Adam and Eve. They lived with God in the Garden of Eden. Everything about life in this garden was good. The best thing about it was that they enjoyed a beautiful relationship with God. Can you sense the dreaded “until”?
…the devil visited Adam and Eve. You can read the full account in Genesis 3. As a brief summary, the serpent deceived Eve (and in turn, Adam) so that they both disobeyed God. This was the first human sin.
God is holy, meaning that nothing with sin can stand in His presence. So God banished Adam and Eve from the garden. Sin destroyed their beautiful relationship with Him. As the human population grew, sin was passed on from parent to child to this very day.
Wait… what does any of this have to do with the title of this blog post? At this point in the recount, the entire human population is as far from being children of God as anyone can get.
Here’s the twist: God loved us anyway.
He wanted to restore to the human race the beautiful relationship that He had with Adam and Eve thousands of years ago. Actually, He wanted to do better. He wanted us to become His children by divine adoption.
But our sin was a huge obstacle. How could God adopt us if we couldn’t even stand in His presence because of it? He’s just and fair, meaning that He won’t ignore wrong.
Our sins needed to be punished appropriately. The punishment? Hell… for eternity. Eternity as in never ending. We can’t simply pay the punishment and then go through with the adoption since we would never reach the end of our punishment.
So God asked His Son, Jesus Christ, to take our punishment on our behalf.
That way, our sins would be dealt with, and divine adoption would be made possible. Guess what? Jesus obeyed! He died the death of a sinner and endured the punishment of Hell. But being God himself, Jesus had the power to overcome Hell. He rose back to life after just three days, even though we would be there for eternity.
The punishment was paid and divine adoption was indeed made possible. What Jesus did was a gift to mankind.
But it’s not a default.
For this extraordinary gift to apply to any given person, he or she must receive Jesus. This means to believe in what He did for them and to accept the gift for themselves.
Yet to all who did receive him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
– John 1:12
Today, for each person who receives Jesus, the three days of punishment that He went through in Hell pays for that person’s sins personally. They’re adopted into God’s family.
So let me ask you the question again:
Are you a child of God?