“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love Him” (1Corinthians 2:9 NIV).
For nearly 2,000 years the religion of Christ has striven for acceptance in the world. It has succeeded in integrating itself into the world, but it has also produced an effect of focusing upon the natural process and order of things — understandably, since God is both the originator, as well as, the continuous providential director of all things (Acts 17:28). Though all things concerning our natural existence are far from being answered, we have lost touch with the supernaturalness of our circumstances. God gave the earth to humankind for our benefit and blessing, that we might have “dominion [Hebrew, radah, rule]” over “all the earth” (Genesis 1:26 KJV). Jehovah, the Everlasting God, “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8 NIV), with our Original Parents, not only communed with Adam and Eve, but directed them to extend the influence of His Divine Council beyond the Garden of Eden to the uttermost parts of the earth. It was His Divine Council because we know that even in the creation of man, God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26 NIV). “God [Hebrew, elohim, singular] has taken His place in the Divine Council; in the midst of the gods [Hebrew, elohim, plural] He holds judgment” (Psalm 82:1 ESV).
Christian means relating to Christ (Greek, Christos, the Messiah), or Christ like. It is used only three times in the New Testament (NT), and only after the resurrection of Christ. The “disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26 NIV). Previously and primarily, a follower of Jesus was identified simply as a “disciple” of Christ, which is a learner or pupil of Christ. The important thing is the character and behavior of the Christian comes from close association with Christ. A biblical demonstration of this is found in our earliest NT history of the Church. “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13 NIV).
Supernatural, according to the dictionary, means above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:1-3 NIV). The very concept of an Uncreated Creator, a Most High God, a Triune God, an Invisible God, manifesting Himself in human flesh as the Unique Son of God defies our natural sense of understanding. “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 NIV).
Before proceeding further, let us establish the supernaturalness of the Scriptures. Scripture is supernatural because it is God breathed. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2Timothy 3:16-17 NIV). Unlike any writing of man, Scripture is uniquely alive. “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:12-13 KJV). Notice also, Scripture knows everything, because God knows everything. Of course, whatever fact or understanding not declared in the Word of God, remains hidden unless the Holy Spirit opens our understanding through investigation outside of Scripture. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV). Scripture does not contradict itself because God does not contradict Himself. “If He called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35 KJV). Scripture is divinely preserved. “Forever, O LORD, Your word is firmly fixed in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89 ESV).
The very idea accompanying the word “god” speaks of a divine, otherworldly, supernatural being; but, we must carefully use that word “god” (OT Hebrew, elohim; NT Greek, theos) as Scripture does. “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many)” (1Corinthians 8:5 KJV). Make no mistake, the “Lord God Almighty” (Revelation 21:22) ALONE is omnipotent (all powerful, Matthew 28:18), omniscient (all knowing, John 21:17), omnipresent (present everywhere, Matthew 28:20), eternal (always has been and forever will be, Revelation 22:13), immutable (unchanging, Malachi 3:6), and holy (unique otherness, Leviticus 11:45). In fact, we can safely say, “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun [Israel], who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in His excellency on the sky” (Deuteronomy 33:26 KJV).
The identity of the God of Scriptures is given in the Torah (first five books of the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Pentateuch, which are Genesis through Deuteronomy). “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by My name JEHOVAH was I not known to them” (Exodus 6:3 KJV). YHWH, Yahweh, Jehovah, or LORD are the most familiar names of God in the OT. Elohim is more of a generic designation for Yahweh, since it can be applied to other non-earthly beings, such as angels. “All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols — worship Him, all you gods [Hebrew, elohim, translated as ‘angels’ in the Septuagint]! For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods [elohim]” (Psalm 97:7, 9 NIV). Even the prophet Samuel, after his death, was identified as an elohim. “I see a god [Hebrew, elohim] coming up out of the earth… An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe. And Saul knew that it was Samuel” (1Samuel 28:13,14 ESV).
In the NT, Jesus Christ identified the “Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV) as the God with whom He fulfilled the Law. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17 NIV). Jesus made plain His identity as the God of the Torah, when He said, “Know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father” (John 10:38 NIV). He had already previously angered the unbelieving Jews. “Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are? Jesus replied, If I glorify Myself, My glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies Me. Though you do not know Him, I know Him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know Him and obey His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad. You are not yet fifty years old, they said to Him, and you have seen Abraham! Very truly I tell you, Jesus answered, before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:53-58 NIV). If He is not Yahweh, He would be a liar to make such a claim.
What is the supernatural meaning of disciples being called “children of God” (John 1:12 NIV)? It is significant that anyone can be called a child of God, because previously only angels were given that designation in the OT. In the Book of Job, we see a picture of Yahweh’s Divine Council at the creation of humankind. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. While the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4, 7 NIV). It is significant that only a direct creation of God, such as an angel could be called a son or child of God, because we are told, “There was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them” (Job 1:6 ESV). Remember, Satan was among the highest of angels. “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked” (Ezekiel 28:13,14 ESV). So, Satan was once called a supernatural son of God. Quite an honor that we should be called “children of God”! “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him” (1John 3:1 NIV).
Who are those who have the supernatural privilege of being the “children of God”? FIRST, those that receive Him. “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 NIV). SECOND, those who have received His Spirit. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38 NIV). THIRD, those who are being led by the Spirit. “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God” (Romans 8:14 NIV). FOURTH, those who are clothed with Christ. “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27 NIV). FIFTH, those who separate from sin. “Therefore, Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2Corinthians 6:17-18 NIV). SIXTH, the righteous who live by faith receive the promised Spirit. “God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6 NIV). SEVENTH, for Israel in particular, you have been specifically chosen by Yahweh. “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, they will be called children of the living God” (Hosea 1:10 NIV).
What privileges do we have because of that supernatural honor of being called a “child of God”? FIRST, eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only [unique] Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV). SECOND, angelic ministry and protection. “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14 NIV). THIRD, daily physical sustenance (food). “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11 NIV). FOURTH, clothing. “I needed clothes and you clothed me” (Matthew 25:36 NIV). FIFTH, friendship. “I was a stranger and you invited me in” (Matthew 25:35 NIV). SIXTH, help in sickness. “I was sick and you looked after me” (Matthew 25:36 NIV). SEVENTH, all of our Heavenly Father’s promises for physical and spiritual life. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2Peter 1:3-4 NIV).
God has supernaturally given us everything. What more could He have given us than His own Son? “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all — how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32 NIV).
Call upon God. He will answer. “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV).