John 1:12, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

To be a child of God means to be born again and adopted by the Father into His family. Sad but true, many people think that everyone is a child of God because they are His creation, but that is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible is very clear in the New Testament that unless we’re born again we are by default children of the devil.

Take for example, when Jesus was correcting the Jewish leaders of His day for their hypocrisy. They believed they were entitled to special privileges because they were Abraham’s descendants, however, Jesus said the following to them in John 8:44, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.”

Likewise, because everyone is born a sinner as a result of Adam’s fall, no one can receive adoption into God’s family until they are born of the Spirit. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” A.C. Dixon wrote, “When we have accepted Jesus Christ, we have become akin to the Father; having become real children of God, we then have the spirit of sonship by which we can come into His presence and make known our wants in a familiar way.”

Everyone must be born again in his or her spirit by the Holy Spirit to become a “child of God.”

That is why John in today’s passage said that only those who “receive Him [Jesus]” and “believe in His name” are given the “right/privilege” to become “children of God.” Paul also said in Romans 8:16, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Therefore, the children of God, who are both born and adopted by the Spirit, have the privilege of calling God their “Abba,” Aramaic for “Father.” Furthermore, in Romans 8:15 Paul wrote, “The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Do you want to be God’s child? Then place your faith in Jesus, repent of your sins and be born again into God’s family!


Are you a genuine child of God?


  1. Be born again if you haven’t already.
  2. Praise God today for the privilege of being His adopted child.
  3. Live as an obedient child of God according to 1 Peter 1:14-16.

One Year Reading Plan

Nehemiah 1:1-3:14, 1 Corinthians 7:1-24, Psalm 31:19-24, & Proverbs 21:4. Click here to read online.