But as many as received him, to them …
CHILDREN OF GOD
Full assurance of faith and joy of salvation is when we know for certain about our salvation. Certainty and assurance helps us to enjoy Christian Life as we were meant to enjoy it and function as how Christians should.
The joy of the Lord is your strength. Assurance is the ultimate need - way to holiness, true activity of the Christian church.
Believing in His name does not mean giving a mere intellectual assent to a number of propositions concerning Him - it is the faith of reliance - the element of trust. Not just believing some right doctrines. Faith of reliance - Real looking to Him individually and in a known and specific manner and a reliance upon Him. If we truly have the faith of reliance - God gave us a privilege - becoming children of God!
Salvation does not only mean that we are forgiven or that we are justified before God. Of course that is true. We are guilty and condemned and we need forgiveness and justification and that does happen to all who believe on Him but that does not stop at that. Many of us stop at that. Neither does it stop at sanctification. Not just guilt but also power of sin overcome. But our salvation means that our whole status and standing before God changes. It may be that we may be forgiven but not go beyond. We may keep getting better daily through the Holy Spirit.. but but the greatest thing about salvation - is us becoming sons of God!
What exactly does this mean?
2 preliminary matters:
POWER to become children of God - Some say you get a possibility and some sort of power when you receive Christ. That is erroneous.
POWER = Authority - right, privilege, honour
Being reckoned worthy of becoming children of God.
To those who believe on Him - placed in the position
This is what happens in reality to those who believe.
What comes first - believing or becoming children of God.
Synchronous. Birth comes first if we are pushed a lot to say what comes first. Because the natural man cannot comprehend the things of God. You were dead in trespasses and sins.
BECOME - Jesus is not said that He became Son of God. He always was. He became flesh! We become children of God because by nature - we are not. By nature - we are children of wrath. A very definite and very real change happens to us.. it does not say - he is called a child of God. No no. It says - become a child of God. It is not just position and status - but it is the nature - there is a real becoming - the children of God. This involves a very real birth.
Children of God - In nature. Not just merely a title. A mere title doesn’t change anything. It leaves the person unchanged. There is a real transformation - that the child bears in him something of God - bears in Him the nature and likeness of God. The child born of parents has vital natural properties as that of the parent. Partakers of the divine nature. We become more and more like God. 1 John - loving others - partaking of the divine nature of God. - Do good to those who hate you just as your Father does it.