They say, "Like father, like son" or "like mother, like daughter." If you are a child of God, can you say that about your relationship with your Heavenly Father? Do your spiritual qualities illustrate that you are your Father's child?
Yahweh God's Word informs us that whoever "doesn't do righteousness is not of God" because God is righteous (1 John 3:10, WEB). All "unrighteousness is sin," and one who is born of God does not and cannot commit sin because God's seed "remains in him." (1 John 5:17, 3:9) This means that a true child of God does not live a lifestyle of sin. Instead, through the help of divine power implanted in them, God's child lives righteously by mirroring the spiritual qualities of their Father in heaven.
Does your righteousness reflect the righteousness of your Father? Let us see some of the traits of Yahweh's righteousness and a few of their associated commandments:
Yahweh loves righteousness and justice, which are the foundation of His throne (Psalm 33:5, 89:14). Justice is fairness, and the truthful administration of what each person deserves without partiality or prejudice, whether it be at one's home, workplace, or at the court of law.
God's commandments on justice: "Keep far from a false charge, and don't kill the innocent and righteous: for I will not justify the wicked." (Exodus 23:7)
"You shall not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits." (Exodus 23:6)
"You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; neither shall you testify in court to side with a multitude to pervert justice." (Exodus 23:2)
Yahweh shows "loving kindness to thousands of those who love [Him] and keep [His] commandments." (Exodus 20:6) He "doesn't retain his anger forever, because he delights in loving kindness." (Micah 7:18) "Loving kindness" is translated from the Hebrew word "chesed," which has no equivalent English translation. Chesed means love, kindness, grace, goodness, and mercy, all wrapped in one.
To know Yahweh is to know love, for "God is love." (1 John 4:8). The children of God are to "love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God. He who doesn't love doesn't know God, for God is love. By this God’s love was revealed in us, that God has sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, if God loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God remains in us, and his love has been perfected in us." (1 John 4:7-12)
God's commandments on love, kindness, and mercy: "He who shows mercy, [let him do so] with cheerfulness." (Romans 12:8)
"Let love be without hypocrisy. In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate one to another; in honor preferring one another." (Romans 12:9-10)
"Repay no one evil for evil. Don't seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God’s wrath. For it is written, 'Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.' Therefore 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing so, you will heap coals of fire on his head.' Don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:17, 19-21)
"Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not give false testimony,' 'You shall not covet,' and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love doesn't harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law." (Romans 13:8-10)
"As you would like people to do to you, do exactly so to them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive back as much. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful." (Luke 6:31-36)
"Finally, be all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brothers, tenderhearted, courteous, not rendering evil for evil, or insult for insult; but instead blessing; knowing that to this were you called, that you may inherit a blessing." (1 Peter 3:8-9)
As a "God of truth," it is impossible for Yahweh to tell lies (Isaiah 65:16; Titus 1:2). Truthfulness should be expressed in both words and deeds, not simply in the avoidance of speaking lies.
God's commandments on truthfulness: "Therefore putting away falsehood, speak truth each one with his neighbor." (Ephesians 4:25)
"Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need." (Ephesians 4:28)
"Never carry two sets of weights, a heavier one and a lighter one. Never have two kinds of measures in your house, a larger one and a smaller one. Use accurate and honest weights and measures. Then you will live for a long time in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. Everyone who uses dishonest weights and measures is disgusting to the Lord." (Deuteronomy 25:13-16, GW)
"[Put away] all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisies, envies, and all evil speaking." (1 Peter 2:1, WEB)
As Yahweh never gets tired or needs to rest, He is constantly working, even on the Sabbath, His sanctified day of rest (John 5:17). While humans are designed to rest, we are to work with diligence whenever we do labor.
God's commandments on diligence: "Give diligence to present yourself approved by God, a workman who doesn't need to be ashamed, properly handling the Word of Truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
"I command you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom: preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching. [Be] sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry." (2 Timothy 4:1-2, 5)
"If anyone will not work, neither let him eat. For we hear of some who walk among you in rebellion, who don't work at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are that way, we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)
"If anyone serves, let it be as of the strength which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen." (1 Peter 4:11)
Yahweh does all of His works in faithfulness; His faithfulness "reaches to the skies" and "endures forever." (Psalm 33:4, 36:4, 117:2) Faithfulness is loyalty and reliability. One who is faithful can be trusted and depended upon by others.
God's commandments on faithfulness: "You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14)
"[It] is required of stewards, that they be found faithful." (1 Corinthians 4:2)
"If anyone doesn't take care of his own relatives, especially his immediate family, he has denied the Christian faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Timothy 5:8, GW)
Those who love Yahweh's law "have great peace. Nothing causes them to stumble" because Yahweh is a "God of peace." (Psalm 119:165; Romans 15:33, WEB) Godly peace is translated from the Hebrew word "shalom," which also does not have an equivalent English translation. Shalom is a rich word that encompasses tranquility, wellness, favor, completeness, soundness, and harmony. Essentially, it describes a state of complete serene wellbeing that can only be granted by Yahweh and experienced by His children who live by His laws and who have been justified through faith in Christ (Romans 5:1).
God's commandments on peace: "Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7, GW)
"Depart from evil, and do good. seek peace, and pursue it." (Psalm 34:14, WEB)
"If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men." (Romans 12:18)
Self-Control, Gentleness, and Patience
Yahweh is "a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth, keeping loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and disobedience and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty." (Exodus 34:6-7) To be patient toward others, one needs to be self-controlled and gentle, mild and meek.
God's commandments on self-control, gentleness, and patience: "[The] end of all things is near. Therefore be of sound mind, self-controlled, and sober in prayer." (1 Peter 4:7)
"The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but be gentle towards all, able to teach, patient, in gentleness correcting those who oppose him: perhaps God may give them repentance leading to a full knowledge of the truth, and they may recover themselves out of the devil’s snare, having been taken captive by him to his will." (2 Timothy 2:24-26)
"We exhort you, brothers, admonish the disorderly, encourage the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient toward all." (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
My friends, God our Father has shown us what is good. Now the question is: "What does Yahweh require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8) Do you meet the requirements of God, and thereby can be called a child of God?
If not, then study Yahweh's qualities in the Bible, ask Him to conform you to His glorious image, and cultivate the virtues He bestows upon you, so you can be the child He intends you to be!
As the apostle Peter said, "Make every effort to add integrity to your faith; and to integrity add knowledge; to knowledge add self-control; to self-control add endurance; to endurance add godliness; to godliness add Christian affection; and to Christian affection add love. If you have these qualities and they are increasing, it demonstrates that your knowledge about our Lord Jesus Christ is living and productive. If these qualities aren't present in your life, you’re shortsighted and have forgotten that you were cleansed from your past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, use more effort to make God’s calling and choosing of you secure.
"If you keep doing this, you will never fall away. Then you will also be given the wealth of entering into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:5-11, GW) Amen!
Dr. Shirley Cheng (b. 1983) is a blind and physically disabled award-winning author with twenty-seven book awards, proclaimer of Yahweh God's good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, Bible teacher, founder of www.Ultra-Ability.com Ministry, summa cum laude graduate with Doctor of Divinity, motivational speaker, poet; and author of nine books (including "Do You Love Jehovah?"), contributor to twenty-five, and an editor of one. Shirley has had severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since infancy. Owing to years of hospitalization, she received no education until age eleven. Back then, she knew only her ABCs and very simple English; other than that, her book knowledge was non-existent. However, after only about 180 days of special education in elementary school, she mastered grade level and entered a regular sixth grade class in middle school. Unfortunately, Shirley lost her eyesight at the age of seventeen. After a successful eye surgery, she hopes to earn multiple science doctorates from Harvard University. http://www.ShirleyCheng.com
Do you have questions about the Bible? Something you don't understand? Do you need a bit of guidance in developing a relationship with Yahweh? Then Shirley would like to help you! Please contact her via her site at http://www.shirleycheng.com and she would be more than glad to do her best to answer your questions! Never hesitate to ask questions, for no question about the Bible is ever too small or stupid.