NOT EVERY Christian is a child of God, but every child of God is a Christian. The world calls the Disciples of Christ Christians, but God calls them children. The disciples call themselves brethren or saints. Following Jesus of Nazareth for His provisions does not necessarily make a person an adopted child of God, but a religious person.
However, a person, who follows Jesus Christ to know and grow in Him and mainly hopes in obtaining eternal salvation through His resurrection, is a child of God in the sight of God. Such a person is sealed with the Spirit of God. The presence of the Spirit of God in the life of a person draws the distinction between a child of God and a religious person (Romans 8:9).
To be a child of God goes beyond a mere confession of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You actually need to be saturated and grounded in the Word of God. You need to be full of the Word and the Spirit of God. The Lord Jesus said no one can come to Him and be hungry and thirsty. The Word of God satisfies our hunger and the Spirit of God satisfies our thirst spiritually.
In this article, I specifically want to exhort you to be full of the Word. The apostle Paul taught that if any true believer of Christ could teach, admonish another, sing or do anything, he or she must first be full of the Word of Christ. The Word of Christ is the Word of God. A person full of the Word of Christ is full of Christ because Christ and the Word are one. The Bible says the Word was God, who became flesh and dwelt among men (John 1:1, 14).
Thus Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). But how can the Word of Christ richly dwell in a child of God? To achieve this, two things must be done.
First, the literate believer must make adequate time privately to read and study the Bible, and second, the illiterate believer must also make time to privately hear and study the Word of God. These ought to be done in addition to the regular teachings you receive from your pastors. You must remember that the Bible was not written for only pastors, but also for all children of God for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
However, it appears there are many children of God who do not know how to read the Bible and hear the Word of God when preached or taught. One truth we must bear in mind is that the Bible is not like one of the text books we use in the classroom. It is a library of 66 books written by men under the inspiration of God. The Bible appears to be an old book yet always new, refreshing and enlightening.
Considering its uniqueness, the Bible must be read with a special approach. Many people pick up the Bible to read, but soon feel sleepy; others do not understand or apply its contents. Understand that things of God must be done by the Spirit of God. When you read the Bible by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you receive illumination and understanding. We must read our Bible prayerfully, slowly, repeatedly, attentively and meditatively.
Similarly, when we decide to hear the Word, we must be guided to hear it quickly. The apostle James instructs us to be quick to hear, but slow to speak (James 1:19). And the attitude of the hearers of the teachings of the Lord Jesus should teach us a great lesson. The Bible says, “Early in the morning he (Jesus) came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them” (John 8:2). Clearly, all the people came to Jesus because they were eager to hear His Word.
Moreover, we must always be prepared to hear the Word of God in a receptive mood of heart. Our Saviour Jesus Christ instructs us to pay attention to what we hear (Mark 4:24). This means as a child of God, you must be ready, willing and interested in hearing God's Word. You must love and yearn for it. And then also, you must hear the Word of God repeatedly.
It is not proper for a child of God to hear the teaching of God's Word once in a week. If you desire to grow up spiritually and prosper, then you must make a deliberate effort to hear the Word daily. God's instruction to Joshua not to have the Law depart from his mouth was a call to have it read to the hearing of the congregation of Israel so that they all should meditate on it day and night (Joshua 1: 8). It is when you hear the Word daily that you can properly meditate on it day and night.
Now, at this juncture, it is necessary for me to share with you the five steps you can take to be grounded in the Word of God. You must hear the Word with your ear (Ezekiel 3:10), meditate on the Word with your mind (Psalm 1:2), receive it in your heart (Ezekiel 3:10), act on the Word, i.e. do, obey or practice the Word (James 1: 22- 25) and finally bear fruit with the Word (Mark 4:20).
Actually, making time to study God's Word as a child of God is not being purposeless and wasting resources. It is indeed, a great investment. This is another truth an unbeliever may consider as foolish. But we know that the innate desire to be full of God's Word proves that a person truly is a Disciple of Christ Jesus (John 8:31). The Word empowers us to detect error and set us free from sin (John 8:32-34), it grows us up spiritually (1 Peter 2:2), equips us for ministry and enables us pray according to the will of God.
In Psalm 19: 7-11, we learn that God's Word is perfect and has the power to revive the soul; it makes foolish people wise, rejoices the heart and enlightens the eyes. God's Word endures forever; it is righteous altogether. Moreover, by the Word, God's servants are warned and trained in righteousness; in keeping them there is great reward. Therefore, be full of God's Word!
By James Quansah
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