This is undoubtedly a familiar, consoling, strengthening and comforting verse for many Christians. It reassures us yet again that we are children of God I Jesus Christ. We tend to think of God as loving father, one who we admire, respect, try to emulate and love unconditionally. This is the very basis of our belief as Christians. Yet, it is interesting to consider the background and setting of this particular verse before we write it off as easy. This may be best accomplished by studying parallel commentaries by theologians.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains: For ye are all the children of God, all who bear the Christian name, the converts from among the Jews and Gentiles alike; (see John 1:12). The idea here is, that they are no longer under tutors and governors; they are no longer subject to the direction and will of the paedagogus; they are arrived at age, and are admitted to the privileges of sons; see (Galatians 4:1). The language here is derived from the fact that, until the son arrived at age, he was in many respects not different from a servant. He was under laws and restraints; and subject to the will of another. When of age, he entered on the privileges of heirship, and was free to act for himself. Thus, under the Law, people were under restraints, and subject to heavy exactions. Under the gospel, they are free, and admitted to the privileges of the sons of God.
Gill’s Exposition of the Bible adds even more depth and perspective: For ye are all the children of God, not by nature, as Christ is the Son of God, for he is the only begotten of the Father, and in such sense as neither angels nor men are the sons of God. God the Father has predestinated his chosen ones to the adoption of children, and has secured and laid up this blessing for them in the covenant of grace; Christ by redemption has made way for their reception and enjoyment of it; the Spirit of God, in consequence of their sonship. They are sons grown up into the faith of Christ, and are led and taught by the Spirit of God, as they are that are the children of God by faith and are growing up into him, untill they come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of him.
For those who might want to compare even more commentaries on this passage, they can be found by following the links above. One thing we can easily understand is that through our baptism, we have become children of God through our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. May we allow the love of God to live within us, radiate through us, and continually surround us. And may we never lose sight of the true wonders of the sacrament of holy baptism.
You might also like to read:
- Broad Brook Bible Study Examiner, Grace Dooley
- Evangelical Examiner, Jake Jones
- Atlanta Christian Living Examiner, Taylor Powell
- Atlanta Bible Study Examiner, Donna Sundblad
- Kentucky Bible Study Examiner, Timothy Edwards
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series
If you enjoyed this article, you can find more at Sharon's Columbia Biblical Studies Examiner homepage.