You can know if you’re child of God if you frequently examine yourself, have a proper attitude towards sin, engage in personal Bible study, and self-government.
I received an email from a reader who struggled with that question. Turns out he wasn’t a child of God, but I wanted to share my responses and how the Bible answers this question.
First of all, if you’re asking questions like that, it’s a good sign that you are a child of God. Sinners or religious church folks don’t really think about that question. They assume they’re in the family of God and they hate when their position in Christ is even questioned.
Their assumptions of citizenship are based off of these false beliefs:
- Because they actively attend a local church.
- Because they no longer commit certain sins.
- Because some great “move(s) of God” have happened in their life.
- Because they recited a “sinners prayer” and/or was baptized.
All these are not sufficient evidences of being a child of God.
True believers, on the other hand, have an internal instinct to examine themselves from time to time. It’s really the Holy Spirit prompting them, and the scriptures back this up:
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith (2 Cor 13:5)
Some people start asking this question after they find themselves falling into sin too often. Which is totally understandable. One may think, why am I in sin even though I claim to be in Christ? I’ll tackle that question later on.
First, I want to point out that because we live in the last days and the “fallen away” is already taking place (1 Timothy 4:1), many of these so-called “Christian churches” have been compromised from the beginning. And while many of these assemblies are used by God to birth legitimate children of his own, most of these congregations are of the devil pastored by jezebel spirits. These churches do more harm than good.
What I’m saying is: many folks were not given a proper foundation in Christ. I personally was an active member in the institutional church for seven years, across three different denominations, and not once was the true gospel of Christ shared with me. I actually learned about it from an external ministry online.
While I attended countless hours of bible study and obtained knowledge of different verses, I was never really able to tap into the power behind them. In other words, they didn’t really work in my life. It wasn’t until I slowly started leaving “church” and studying on my own that the scriptures began to enlighten me.
Before that, I was preoccupied with church work: church maintenance, ministry website updates, choir rehearsal, men’s meetings, single ladies, youth ministry and so forth. All this did was occupy my time and give me the impression that I was serving the Lord, but I wasn’t serving the Lord. I was serving the false gods of the building: the ministry leaders, the pastors and their families. I was actively helping to maintain my own spiritual bondage through maintaining a man’s business venture he called “ministry.”
While I was being preoccupied with work, I was being ripped off financially through tithing, my gifts and talents were being exploited, and I was being polluted with all kinds of sin through bad fellowship within the church.
Therefore, many people who think they’re followers of Christ may have never been born again because of these false churches. Now that’s cause for great concern! Church activity fooled us. Church lied to us to keep us away from the true God.
Why would Satan show you the key to walking in the power of God and abstaining from all sin? He wouldn’t, and many of these churches today are Satan’s churches which is why we struggle with sin and don’t really grow.
Not all churches are corrupt, but many are. Therefore it’s important to examine ourselves once we leave or while we’re still attending, because we may have been fooled into thinking we know God when we don’t. With that said, let’s find out how to know if we’re a children of God or not.
How we can know
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts (1 John 1:5-10 NLT).
If we’re actively pursuing righteousness in of our life we are children of God. If we’re holding on to darkness in our lives we are not children of God. If we sin and harbor that sin from God—never confessing it, we are not children of God. But if we confess our sins, and don’t hide them—looking to be free from it, we are children of God. The whole reason Jesus died was because of sin—he hates it—so why would a child of God want to hold on to sin? A person like that is not a child of God.
A proper hatred for sin
It’s your attitude towards sin that signifies if you’re a child of God or not. If you continue to dabble in it with no conviction, you’re a child of Satan. If you struggle with it and hate it, you’re probably a child of the Most High God.
But let’s not continue to struggle with this sin. God’s knows our hearts, he knows if we really want the victory or not; and he’ll give it to us. I say this because some people try to mask their love of sin by calling it a struggle.
However, if you find a sinful desires still exists in your heart, ask God to help you hate it, and commit to rejecting it. Through God’s grace, you will overcome that sin. Titus 2:11-12 says:
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
So what this says is you should be growing in holiness and righteousness and God’s grace gives you the power to do so. We shouldn’t be in the same sin we were in 10 years ago. If we are, there’s something wrong with us. We either are not applying God’s grace, or we’re children of darkness who love that particular sin.
Manipulating people is sin, lying is sin, stealing is sin, pride is sin, arrogance is sin, selfishness is sin, adultery is sin, fornication is sin, impatience is sin, porn is sin, perversion and disorder is sin, idolatry is sin. We know these are sins but are we allowing God to show us if and how these things are active in our lives?
Personal study of God’s word
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
The above scripture is often used for bible teachers and evangelists, but this applies to us all. We need to be studying the word of God to see if our lives are approved by God. You don’t want to be ashamed on that day when you stand before him, do you?
So this is another way to tell if we’re children of God: actively studying the scriptures with our soul on display allowing God to point out things that are not of him. God’s view of right and wrong is what it’s all about. We ought to be actively asking the question
does my character align with the character of Christ?
People who don’t actively study the scriptures while examining their own hearts are not in the bible to be changed. They’re usually there to puff themselves up with knowledge. But it’s not about how much you know, it’s about how much you look like Jesus.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29)
Then there are people who find a way to avoid personal bible study altogether. Deep down it’s a turnoff for them. These people are probably not children of God because children love the words of their father (even if they hurt sometimes).
Children of God govern themselves
What this means is that they don’t have to be corrected by other brothers and sisters so much because they’re already being corrected by the Spirit directly. A person who has to be told they’re in error too often is a person that doesn’t listen to the Spirit of God, or may not be a child of God at all.
It’s an act of love when the Spirit of God sends someone to correct another, but that person could’ve avoided rebuke from another brother or sister if he or she kept their ears close to the voice of the Holy Spirit and obeyed.
So, we can know if you’re a child of God in four ways:
- Frequent self-examination
- The proper attitude towards sin
- Personal study of God’s word