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"That ye may be sons of your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:45)
We are made sons of God by regeneration, through faith in the Son, but we are called to make our calling and election sure--to approve and vindicate our right to that sacred name. We can only do this by showing in word and act that the Divine life and principles animate us.
Jesus teaches that the life of God in the hearts of His children will show itself in pure and unaffected love. He says in effect, "God is good; God forgives; God bears with wrong and sin; God loves those who hate Him, blesses those who curse, bestows His favors on the false and unjust, suffers long and is kind; believes, hopes, bears all things. Therefore, if you are His children, do as He does, as I do; follow Me; live as I live; become as a bird, a lily, a little child; be pure, merciful, lowly, gentle, strong in righteousness--and you will be called the sons of God; yours will be the kingdom of heaven."
There were several things the Lord could not say fully in this opening statement. That obedience to His precepts would inevitably conduct them to a cross; that the strength for such a life could only be secured through the coming of the Comforter; that the progress of the Kingdom would be slow and arduous--these things were veiled and hidden for the time being.
But His main object was to teach that Christianity must be a life after the model of Gods. Christian disciple, are you living this life? It is not by a creed, a ritual, a profession, but it is by your living the life that your true nature is discerned, whether you are wheat or tare, child or hypocrite. Sometimes we are called to be as the sun, ripening souls by our genial love; at other times we refresh them as rain watering the grass.