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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Faithful to Christ OCTOBER 30


Beloved, now are we the sons of God. 1 John 3:2.

The Christian is a son of God both by creation and by redemption, by the first birth and by the second. God is our heavenly Father. To say that only as we return to Him are we sons of God is not entirely correct. We may be rebel sons, disobedient sons. Our Father never relinquishes His claim upon us.

We have a Father who continually seeks to reveal His love to us, even though we may not always recognize or confess it. The unregenerate man does not cease to have a Father in heaven who loves him. At this point we must not confuse believers with unbelievers as though there were no difference between them. There is a great difference. The believer lives in Christ. God is his very life. Not so for the unbeliever. Christ died for all, but not all are being saved. One must believe that God is his Father. Forgiveness is ours. Righteousness is ours in Christ. Peace and love are ours. There is no change in the heart of God. But there must be a change in us.

Paul speaks of the unregenerate as "children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3). Our heavenly Father loves those who do not love Him. But Fatherhood is not the same to the unbeliever as it is to those who permit God to be their Father in truth. As born-again Christians we are no longer children committed to the devil.

Christ made this clear in His dealing with the Pharisees who planned to kill Him. "Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me. ... Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do" (John 8:42-44).

God is our true Father. The devil is not. But we may choose whom we will to be our father. God will not force us to live within His family. A man may refuse to belong to his true family, but the continual cry of God is, "My son, give me thine heart." Every day we need to explore how we can express our full sonship by letting God be to us what He truly is—our heavenly Father. Our heritage as Christians is to recognize that "now are we the sons of God," and to live that way.

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