When God looks at you today, does He see an outsider or an insider? Do you have a heavenly Father who sees you as His child, or does the phrase “child of God" not apply to you due to your unbelief? Regardless of how the world sees you, who are you in the eyes of the Father?
You may have been born into this world with an earthly father, but the moment you are “born again” through faith in Christ you have a heavenly Father. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1).
In order for you to be a child of God in the eyes of the Father, you need to have a relationship with the Son of God. Jesus told some Jewish religious leaders one day: “You do not know me or my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (John 8:19).
Those who reject Christ are rejecting the Father and the Holy Spirit as well. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit always work together as the One true God. “No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:23).
God the Father sees you today in one of two ways: Either your sins are forgiven and covered by the blood of Jesus, or you are spiritually naked in His eyes and lacking the forgiveness of your sins.
In order for the Father to see you as His child, you need God's supernatural "new birth” to take place within your soul. (see John 3:1-8; 1 Peter 1:3-5) It is the only way to become an insider! This is true for both Jews and Gentiles. You see, “a man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly…No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly” (Romans 28-29). And this is why Jesus told a Pharisee named Nicodemus: “You must be born again” (John 3:7).
Perhaps you engage in all sorts of religious activities. But regardless of your religion, have you become a child of God? Are you redeemed, saved, justified and forgiven? Believers in Jesus have been born again.
“When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7).
Have you been saved in the eyes of the Father? You are either cleansed in His sight, or else you remain lost in your sin and under the Law. The Law condemns, whereas the Gospel saves. The commands of the Law explain what you must do to obey God, and we all fall short of the mark. (see Romans 3:23) The Gospel, on the other hand, reveals what God did to forgive your sins and save your soul. (see John 3:16)
Once you are in the family of God through faith in Christ, you will no longer be “under the Law.” The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law; rather, through the Law we become conscious of sin” (Romans 3:19-20).
For you to be seen as clean and holy in the eyes of the Father, you need what Paul described as “a righteousness from God.” Christ’s righteousness covers the sins of everyone who receives Him as Savior. Paul wrote, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from Law, has been made known…this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:21-22).
You cannot work your way into God’s family, but you can believe your way in. God “justifies the man who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). One day in Rome when Paul “was trying to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and the Prophets, some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe” (Acts 28:23-24).
Did you catch that? Others would not believe. They refused to come to Jesus and be saved. They refused to come to the Father through the Son. They refused to be seen as holy in the Father’s eyes through faith in Christ. Therefore, they remained lost in their sin, unforgiven and charging down the road to eternal separation from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Evangelist D.L. Moody (1837-1899) was the Billy Graham of his day. He said, “No man can resolve himself into Heaven.” But you can repent and believe your way in. The moment you turn from your sins and trust Christ as Savior, you will instantly enter the family of God and be given the free gift of everlasting life in Heaven. And you will immediately desire to begin serving the Lord and doing His will as a forgiven follower of Christ.
So, who are you in the eyes of the Father?
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.