As children of God, we are now heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). This means that we have a new identity and a new destiny. Our identity is no longer defined by our past, our accomplishments, or our failures. Instead, it is defined by our relationship with God as our dear and caring Father who watches over and protects us. He carries us as His precious infants.
“The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.” (Deut. 1:30–31)
Our identity as children of God motivates our love for God. How could we help but love the One who chooses us, carries us, cares for us, loves us? Our love for God is manifested in our obedience to His commands. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). This love is not a burdensome task but a natural response to the love that God has shown us as our Father. William Cowper penned it perfectly in his hymn “Love Constraining to Obedience”:
“What shall I do,” was then the word,
“That I may worthier grow?”
“What shall I render to the Lord?”
Is my enquiry now.
To see the Law by Christ fulfilled,
And hear his pard’ning voice;
Changes a slave into a child,
And duty into choice.
We are more than children of God individually. We are children of God corporately, part of a family whom we have the privilege of loving. Our love for other Christians is not just a feeling but an action. It is expressed in our willingness to serve, forgive, and bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2). We also prioritize fellowship with other believers, knowing that we are part of the same family and that we need each other’s support and encouragement. These are now our brothers and sisters. We have the same Father.
Our identity as children of God is a profound reality that is manifested in our love for God and other Christians. As we grow in our understanding of this identity, we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds and the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 12:2). May we always remember who we are in Christ and live out our identity as children of God in every aspect of our lives. May we live in the reality that we are truly children of God, “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17).