Taking After Our Father

There is a certain familial resemblance between parents and their children. In I John 5:18 speaks of those who are born of God, and he encourages to follow a pattern of life that emulates His character. I John 2:1 opens with an encouragement to avoid sin. A parent wishes his or her child to follow the pattern set, and children inherit and learn certain behaviors and characteristics from that parent.

Being Children of God

The concept of being children of God is an important one in the scriptures. Back in II Samuel 7:12-16, Solomon is referred to in the immediate context, but this relationship is also placed between Christ and God. Psalms 2:7 continues this theme in a song of resurrections, and the Hebrew author quotes this psalm in Hebrews 1:5 in explaining Jesus’ role in God’s larger plan. The Son comes to fulfill the Father’s will.

In Galatians 3:24-28 explains our opportunity to be baptized into that relationship which overrides any other identity we might have. Then, in Galatians 4:6-7 calls us heirs of God in Christ as His children. (See also Romans 8:12-15.) He is now our Father – with the closeness and the privileges that are inherent in that relationship.

John 14:7 records Jesus saying that seeing Him is akin to seeing the Father. Our expression might be “like father like son.” When we become Christians – children of God – those around us should see His qualities in us. We now represent our family and our Father. Galatians 5:24-25 tells us to put away worldly conduct and walk in the spirit.

As a parent, God expects us to follow His expectations. Holiness and love are good starting points in following that pattern. I Peter 1 references the book of Leviticus in verse 16, telling us that we should emulate God’s holiness. In verses 13-15, Peter instructs us to mold ourselves into an image of God’s character.  I John 2:29 instructs us that living righteously is a sign of being born of God. Furthermore, I John 4:7-10 tells us of God’s love and how He sacrificed for us despite our rejection of Him. The love we demonstrate toward others should replicate this. He did not wait for us to meet His expectations before He demonstrated His love.


God cares for us as a parent, and any parent wants the child to return that love. God’s capacity for love is great, and He desires to share that love in nurturing us and providing for our spiritual needs. He has invested in us and purchased in in adoption. It is our responsibility, then, to do our best to live up to the expectations of that Father who gave up so much for us.

lesson by Tim Smelser