Scripture uses various metaphors to describe the Christian’s relationship with God. God is the Creator; we are creatures. He is the Vine; we are the branches. He is the King; we are His subjects. He is the Shepherd; we are His sheep. He is the Potter; we are the clay. He is the Physician; we are the sickly ones. He is our Captain; we are soldiers of the cross. Each of these metaphors conveys a truth that is valuable for understanding ourselves and God.
In Ephesians 5:1, Paul reminds us of sonship. We are “beloved children.” Father and beloved child is one of the most precious metaphors for our relationship with God. When Jesus teaches us to pray, He says, “Our Father,” not “our Captain,” not “our King” or not even “our Shepherd,” but “our Father.”
We are His children by adoption. The privilege of being a beloved child of the Almighty God is amazing. To be healed is wonderful. To be forgiven is glorious. To be a believer is marvelous. But to be a child of God, a beloved child; there is intimacy in that metaphor.
Think of the privileges of being a beloved child of God:
A child is always accepted in the family. A boss can fire an employee, but you cannot fire your child. Parents love their children with eagerness and endurance. A parent can always find qualities in his beloved child that no one else is able to see. As God’s child you are accepted. There is no condemnation in Christ. Christ has given you a new record. He is not deciding day by day whether to accept you. That transaction was already accomplished in the life and death of Jesus Christ.
A child has unfettered access to his parent. He can come into his parents’ room in the middle of the night and awaken them with a report of a bad dream. An employee never has that kind of access to the boss. Even the best boss in the world does not want you to awaken him in the middle of the night with your personal problems. But a dearly loved child has access. We can come to our Father day or night. We have immediate, personal access to the God of the universe.
God is a refuge for and protector of His beloved children. Just as a parent naturally desires to protect and shelter his child, God is our refuge and protector. He is never overbearing, but He is always present. In the valley of the shadow of death, in the presence of our enemies. God is our refuge, our protector and our provider.
God’s beloved children are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. We can live with the confidence and poise of people who inherit eternal blessings from the largess of our Father.
We are beloved children of God in Christ. What a privilege.