I received the following comment from Bethany regarding yesterday's post in which I challenged her statement that all men are God's children.
"Obviously, I would disagree in a sense. I do see saying that we do not accept our lineage if we do not accept Christ, but whatever our choice may be, we are all a product of the Creator, and therefore His children.... 'For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.' (Acts 17:28). But even as you disagree with me on this, we can agree that Christ atoned for us all, and we are therefore all worth something to Him."
"Offspring" appears twelve times in the Bible, nine in the Old Testament and three in the New Testament. The Hebrew word translated "offspring" is יָצָא (tse'etsa') and it is always used in reference to the children of man (Job 5:25; 21:8; 27:14; 31:8; Isa. 22:24; 44:3; 48:19; 61:9; 65:23).
The Greek word is γένος (genos) which is related to the idea of one's beginning or genesis (gen-, geno-, prefix meaning "to become or produce." It is the basis for the science term "genus" meaning a "species" or "kind." It is found in Acts 17:28-29 and Revelation 22:16. The verse Bethany quoted (Acts 17:28), taken by itself without regard to what the rest of what God's Word says, could be understood to support her position. However, His Word of God does not contradict itself, so one needs to compare Scripture with Scripture to determine what is being said.
In Genesis 1:26-27, God said that mankind would be created in His image and likeness. After the Fall of Adam, man is said to still be made in the image of God, but is no longer in His likeness. The Psalmist wrote, "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness" (Ps. 17:15). The prophet Isaiah wrote, "To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto Him?" (Isa. 40:18). 1 John 3:2 says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." Born-again believers in Christ are the children of God; because of our faith in Him, we are God's adopted children (Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5).
Unfortunately, those who have not accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior are the children of someone else. Acts 13:10 "And said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, [thou] child of the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" Can a man have two fathers?