Paternity Test

“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God (Romans 8:19).”

Maria Pilar Abel Martinez was born in 1956 and was told at an early age that she was the daughter of the famous painter Salvador Dali. She has lived her entire life believing that her life was the result of an affair between her mother and Dali and she had convinced others of this. (1) In fact, earlier this year she convinced a judge in Madrid to exhume Dali’s body so that DNA tests could be performed and prove her rightful inheritance to her father’s estate which had been left to the Spanish state upon the surrealist artist’s death in 1989.

However, when the DNA tests results were returned recently it revealed that there was no link between Martinez and Dali. He was not her father after all and she has lived her entire life believing in a delusion. Jesus tells of the final judgement and how many had lived their life believing that they were Christians only to learn that Jesus never knew them (Matthew 7:21-23). What a shock to learn that something one believed so deeply was not true.

Some of the Jews in Jesus’ day were no different, believing that they were sons of God because they were descendants of Abraham (John 8:33,39,41). But Jesus informed them that spiritual paternity is not determined by one’s DNA but by how one governs their lives. Because their actions were directed by the same characteristics of Satan, the Lord told them that they were sons of the devil (John 8:39-44).

If people can be misled about being sons of God, how can we be sure God is our Father? The New Testament provides a surefire paternity test for all.

It begins with the new birth (John 3:3-5). Jesus said, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (v.3).” That which is born of flesh is flesh and flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50). None can enter His house unless they have been born of the Spirit. Have you been born again of the water and the Spirit (Acts 2:38)?

Secondly, we can know if we are His children if we are led by His Spirit and not our fleshly appetites and thinking (Romans 8:14). Which governs the thoughts of your heart and motivates your actions? This is a true test to determine if you are in His family (Galatians 4:6).

Thirdly, do you accept correction from your Father (Hebrews 12:7)? Some deceive themselves into believing they have a deal with God and that He will accept their willfulness in some areas of their live; as they do not accept correction nor acknowledge that they are in need of any. When David sinned he always endured God’s correction (2 Samuel 12:10, 24:14). As a good Father, God chastens His children.

Fourth, the children of God are confirmed by their faith in His Son (Galatians 3:26-28). There is no other way to God except by faith in Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).

Lastly, we confirm that God is our Father by loving Jesus. The Lord said, “If God were your Father, you would love Me (John 8:42).” He also said that loving Him meant keeping His commandments (John 14:15), ALL of His commandments (Matthew 28:20, John 15:14). If you follow Jesus’ teaching you are His brother.

The results are in. If you are a child of God no one can ever challenge your place in His family nor contest the rich inheritance to which you are entitled (Romans 8:17, 1 Peter 1:3-5).

“Nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection (Luke 20:36).”


Billy Alexander is a member of the church of Christ in Jersey Village in Houston, TX. He and his wife Gwen both work at Hewlett-Packard where they met and have worked more than 25 years each. Billy enjoys teaching Bible several times each week at Jersey Village and Memorial church of Christ. Since 2008, his weekly article "Equipping the Saints" as run in the Jersey Village bulletin.