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Divinity of Christ, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
11- We are the Sons of God
With Respect to Him Being the Son of God
In this proof we are met with an important point: (1) Are not human beings also called children of God? Yes, human beings were called sons of God, but in a different sense than Christ's Sonship to God. It is written in the Book of Genesis that "the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful" (Gen. 6:2). Here the sons of God mean the sons of Seth and his son Enosh, when "men began to call on the name of the Lord' (Gen. 4:26), while the daughters of men are the descendants of Cain.
That is why the Lord said in the Book of Isaiah the Prophet: "I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me" (Is. 1:2). It is also written in the same Book: "You, 0 Lord, are our Father; our Redeemer" (Is. 63:16), and: "But now, 0 Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our Potter, and all we are the work of Your hand' (Is. 64:8). This is a prophecy but it is said by human beings and does not at all mean sonship of the essence of God. The Lord said in the Book of Exodus: "Israel is My son, My firstborn" (Ex. 4:22), and in the Book of Proverbs: "My son, give Me your heart" (Prov. 23:26).
In the New Testament God is called 'our Father' in many situations, as we say in the Lord's Prayer: "Our Father in heaven" (Matt. 6:9). The phrases: 'your heavenly Father' and 'your Father who sees in secret' are numerous in the Gospels.
(2) However, the sonship of human beings to God is either through faith, or love, or adoption. With regard to faith, the Holy Bible says about Christ: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (Jn. 1: 12). The phrase 'children of God' here means the believers. St. John says in his first Epistle: "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" (1 Jn. 3:1) Therefore, it is an act of love from God to call us His children.
With regard to adoption it is written in the Epistle to the Romans: "But we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:23). It is known that whoever is called son and is not a real son, is son by adoption or son in a spiritual sense.
(3) Although we are children of God, we are still called servants, and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other pages. The Lord Jesus Christ says: "When you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do' " (Lk. 17: 10). All the virtuous were called servants; the Lord will say to him who fought the good fight and deserved the Kingdom of Heaven: "Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord" (Matt. 25:23). Despite our being children of God, we are all created beings and the created being is not to be called a God.
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