By Ernest O'Neill

What Does it Mean to Become a Child of God?

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

That is what it means to become a child of God. It is an admission that everything has to be changed in my life. Not just the things that I see wrong, but everything. It is an admission that I'm willing to let everything be changed. Real repentance is stating that everything has to be destroyed and the whole thing has to be created anew. That is what presenting your body as a living sacrifice is, and that is what God requires, loved ones. He doesn't want our efforts or our endless attempts at cooperation, not all our trying, but just a recognition that He destroyed us and remade us in His Son, and that we have to mirror that and reflect that by presenting ourselves as people who have been destroyed, who only deserve to be destroyed. "Lord, you raise up in me whatever you want." That is what God requires of us.

It is a bit like a man who owned an old shack on the edge of town that a developer wanted to buy. The man thought the shack was worth maybe $2,000 at the most. The developer said, "I'll offer you $25,000 for it." The man was overwhelmed. It was arranged that in a month's time he would move out and the developer would take the place. The man began to think to himself, "This is ridiculous, giving $25,000 for this place. It is not worth it. I had better take some of the money and at least make it look reasonable." So he went down to the hardware store to buy new windows and began to work on the shack. He began to paint it up and all that kind of thing, so that in a month's time the shack was really a transformation as far as he was concerned. The developer came that day and the guy couldn't make out what he was doing with the massive bulldozer. He said to him, "Look, isn't the house beautiful?" and the developer said, "Yes, it is. Thank you. Here is your $25,000." The guy said, "What are you going to do with it?" and he said, "I'm going to bulldoze it right off the site. I just want the site, I don't need the house."

That is it. God doesn't need your house; He doesn't need your life. I think you are lovely and I think we are all great, but really, it is nothing to God. God doesn't want it. God has already determined, "There is nothing I can do with you as you are, I have to destroy you, bulldoze you right off the site and start again." That is what conversion is. That is what faith in Christ's death is. That is what being baptized in Jesus is. It is a total and absolute admission, "Lord, I agree with your diagnosis of the problem. My heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and there is only one way to fix me up. That is to do what you did in Noah's day, just destroy me absolutely, start again and make me what You want me to be." That is that God wants from us.