Our Relationship is Permanent; Our Behavior is Variable
Every child of God should be well acquainted with these two distinct truths, for they are of the utmost importance for our spiritual understanding and happiness.
Our love is ofttimes low,
Our joy still ebbs and flows;
But peace with Him remains the same,
No change Jehovah knows.
We change-He changes not;
Our Christ can never die
His love, not ours, the resting-place,
We on His truth rely.
As to my relationship, having been born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13), I am a child of God, I have eternal life, I am “in Christ” and a member of His body (1 Cor. 12:13). I am no longer in Adam, but a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
Yea in the fullness of His grace
God put me in the children’s place.
Safe in Christ the weakest child
Stands in all God’s favor.
Yet Lord, alas! what weakness within myself I find,
No infant’s changing pleasure is like my wandering mind.
As to my behavior, I should no longer live unto myself (2 Cor. 5:15) and in fleshly lusts (1 Pet. 4:2). Since I have become a child of light, I should walk as a child of light (Eph. 5:8). “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works” (Titus 3:8). “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,” and everything that magnifies Christ (Gal. 5:22; Isa. 26:12; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:13; Heb. 13:21).
Good behavior is never the means of keeping saved; it is the evidence that one has been saved.
Our relationship to God as His children is unchangeable. Natural birth constitutes you a child of your parents. The relationship is an eternal one. Good conduct cannot strengthen it, nor failure weaken it. That which is born of God abides forever (1 John 3:9). Once you are God’s child, you cannot cease to be His child: To “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12; Gal. 3:26; 1 John 3:2).
(Based on a pamphlet by Walter Scott.)