What are the Responsibilities of A Child of God?

After being “born” into God’s Family and having a new identity as a Child of God, what are your new responsibilities?  The Apostle Peter, in his first letter, gives us some ideas.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith–being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things that have now been announced to you through those who brought you good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven…things into which angels long to look!

Therefore prepare your minds for action, discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’…You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

I Peter 1:3-16, and 2:9,10 NRSV

This is a long passage with awe inspiring statements of faith and hope. It deserves to be re-read and studied several times.

There are some things we need to learn about: the living hope, the resurrection, our inheritance, our protection, faith, salvation, how to handle suffering, what the prophets said, the good news, the Holy Spirit, angels and how to prepare our minds for action, self-discipline, God’s grace, how to resist unworthy desires, what it means to be “holy,” a priest, one of God’s people and how to tell about God’ merciful acts in getting us out Darkness and into Light!

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Roman brothers and sisters in God’s Family telling them what he believed was our ultimate, but reasonable, responsibility.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice (gift), holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable, spiritual service. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God–what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1,2 NRSV

Maybe this is the biggest stepping stone yet, our responsibility of spiritual service by giving our bodies to God to do his perfect will. In that process, we change our minds and values from those of the world at large to the values we learn from Jesus in the four Gospels of the New Testament of the Bible.

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