The Bible teaches in John 1:12, "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." To become a child of God, Scripture clearly states you must receive Jesus and believe in His name.
How can we receive Jesus? By faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 teach, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Receiving Jesus is not something we achieve; it is something we accept.
Romans 10:9 also helps provide information to explain how to believe in Jesus and become a child of God: "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Believing in Jesus includes accepting Him as Lord and believing Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
Other passages in Scripture make it clear that all who believe in Jesus by faith are children of God. Philippians 2:15 says we are to live as "children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world." First John 3:1 answers why God has called us His children: "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are." It is His love that has given us the opportunity to live as His children.
Many people struggle with the idea of God as our loving Father and living as His children because their own childhood experience is not or was not positive. Yet unlike a human parent who is imperfect and can let us down or hurt us, our heavenly Father is perfect, loving, and good. He has provided the opportunity for eternal life, forgiveness of sins, and new life here on earth if we will only believe in Him and become His child.
Have you become a child of God? If you have not or are uncertain, you can decide right now to place your faith in Jesus Christ. There is no special prayer you must pray to do so. Remember, becoming a child of God is about accepting God's gift, not earning salvation through works. However, the following prayer is one you can use to tell God that you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior:
"Dear God, I realize I am a sinner and could never reach heaven by my own good deeds. I want to become part of your family, and you have provided a way for me to become your child. Right now I place my faith in Jesus Christ as God's Son who died for my sins and rose from the dead to give me eternal life. Please forgive me of my sins and help me to live for you. Thank you for accepting me and giving me eternal life."
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