And So We Are

And so we are… WHAT?

I’m glad you asked.

1 John 3:1 (ESV) tells us this:

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And so we are.”

A declaration

And so we are.

It’s interesting to me that some versions leave this section of the verse out—two examples being the King James Version (KJV) and New King James (NKJV).

When it comes to Bible translations, I personally don’t gravitate to just one because, depending on the verse, some translations help me understand and apply what I’m reading better than others. If you prefer one version over the rest, I am not here to convince you otherwise! Even if you like the KJV or NKJV, please know, I’m not about to criticize either one.

The point I want to make is that I’ve heard this verse for as long as I can remember—in fact, I first learned it as a song in Sunday School at church—but the words “and so we are” were never part of the version I knew. It wasn’t till just recently I read the verse in the English Standard Version, and those four words jumped out at me.

And. So. We. Are.

It’s not a question. It’s a declaration of truth!

I love that the ESV includes this small but powerful statement of assurance that God loves us so intensely—like a good father loves his children—that we are, in fact, His children. That is something to celebrate!

How much God loves us

Let’s look at one of the most well known verses in the Bible to “see what kind of love the Father has given to us.”

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 (ESV)

God the Father’s love for every single person on this earth is so big that He sent Jesus—His only child—to suffer and die for us. By believing that Jesus’ death and resurrection covers the punishment for our sins, our souls are guaranteed a forever life with God in heaven.

No sin is too big to separate us from God’s love. Trust me. I ran from God at one point in my life, and He never stopped showing me this “kind of love.” (More on my story below.)

So, what does it mean to be a child of God?

Well, there are LOTS of verses in the Bible that speak to this topic. Too many for me to cover them all here, but I will go over a few.

Children of God believe in Christ

First, let’s go back to the end of John 3:16 and the matter of believing. Belief is essential to being a child of God.

Galatians 3:26 (NLT) tells us, “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

And John 1:12 (ESV) states, “But to all who did receive him [Christ], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

So, while God wants us all to be His children, we still have a choice to join His family. That choice is accepting Christ. If you’ve done that, you are a child of God. If you haven’t, the offer still stands and God still loves you all the same.

Children of God have the Holy Spirit

14 “The true children of God are those who let God’s Spirit lead them. 15 The Spirit that we received is not a spirit that makes us slaves again and causes us to fear. The Spirit that we have makes us God’s chosen children. And with that Spirit we cry out, “ Abba, Father.” 16 And the Spirit himself speaks to our spirits and makes us sure that we are God’s children. 17 If we are God’s children, we will get the blessings God has for his people. He will give us all that he has given Christ. But we must suffer like Christ suffered. Then we will be able to share his glory.”

Romans 8:14-17 (ERV)

Okay. There’s a lot to unpack here. So, let’s dive in.

  • Verse 14: Once you put your trust in Christ’s sacrifice and God’s forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit becomes your daily guide.
  • Verse 15: Children of God are no longer controlled by sin. That doesn’t mean you won’t sin, but sin no longer has the power of death over you—because children of God have eternal life.
  • Verse 16: The Holy Spirit gives you assurance that you do belong to God—to combat any lies of the devil that might tell you otherwise.
  • Verse 17:
    • As a child of God, you will be blessed to the same level as Jesus himself. Yes, it’s right there in Romans! The NIV version puts it this way: We are “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.”
    • But, there’s a catch. Part of being God’s child and a brother or sister of Christ is that we will suffer for our faith. Now, it’s unlikely that most of us will ever experience the excruciating death that Jesus endured, yet holding true to Christian values that are opposite to what is popular and culturally acceptable will cause some to judge, ridicule, or even hate you.

But, as Jesus told his disciples, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” (John 15:18, NIV)

God calls His children to stand firm and not take the easy way to avoid suffering. If you’re a child of God, lean into the Holy Spirit for strength and guidance on living like Christ. And remember, perfection is impossible—even as a child of God.

That’s why God’s unconditional love includes forgiveness.

The Prodigal Son’s father

I’m reminded of the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32.

The father in the story is a beautiful example of God the Father and His love toward us, even when we turn away from that love. If you’re not familiar with this parable, the youngest son wants his inheritance now, while his father is still alive. The father gives him what he wants—just as God allows us to make our own decisions—and the son is reckless and “wastefully extravagant” (one definition of the word “prodigal”).

Eventually, the son runs out of money, and realizes that he made a huge mistake. He decides to return home, beg his father for forgiveness, and offer to become a hired servant instead of resuming his position as one of the sons of the household.

Yet, his father won’t allow it. No. He celebrates the son’s return in a big way and lovingly welcomes him back into the family.

The father’s love for the son is unconditional. It didn’t change when he rebelled. It won’t change in the future. The son remains a loved and cherished child of his father.

The same goes for us and God.

God the Father

God will never disown us. Never shun us. Never abandon us. His grace is bigger than any sin we’ve ever committed or have yet to commit. Bigger than all our sins combined.

And, just like a good father, He wants the best for our lives. Yours and mine.

When we stray from that best—by choosing to go our own way because it seems more self-gratifying in the moment or just plain easier—we hurt God’s heart. Like a parent watching their child make poor life choices, that is how God sees us.

Yet, we are still His children, through it all.

My own Prodigal Son story

If you’re new around here or never read it, I shared a LOT of my personal story here.

To sum it up, though I became a Christian at a young age, I struggled a LOT with striving and perfectionism. I tried to be good enough in my own strength. As you can imagine, that did not go as planned.

Instead, I developed a lengthy and severe eating disorder, committed adultry, divorced my husband, ran away from my life—and God—and lived my way for a while. Eventually, I hit that rock bottom, just like the Prodigal Son. I was a mess. I barely recognized myself or my life. And I knew that God my Father had so much better for me, even if I only got a small portion of what He wanted for my life.

That was better than the reality I faced without Him. So, I went back. I cried out to God to forgive me and show me how to live again—His way.

And, He did.

I can testify today that God’s love and forgiveness is so great and wide and deep, that nothing can keep you from being His beloved child, if you believe.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.”


1 John 3:1 (ESV)

Own that and declare that today, all my fellow children of God.

One thought on “And So We Are

  1. Pingback: How to Embrace Turning 40 – adventure and the girl

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