As God is the Creator of Mankind, Are All Men the Children of God?

Genesis 1:26,27, Acts 17:26,28; Malachi 2:10

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them…And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth…for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us?

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): “All men,” we are told, “are God’s children, whatever be their creed or religion: all are finally to have a place in the Father’s house, ‘where there are many mansions.’”

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): What a muddle there is made in this world about the Fatherhood of God…We hear a great deal about the ‘universal fatherhood of God,’ but it is all nonsense―and that sort of fatherhood, of which I hear men talk, is the portion of those who blaspheme God and live in utter rebellion against Him.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): The fact that such verses have been grossly perverted by some holding erroneous views on “the universal fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man,” must not cause us to utterly repudiate them.

H. A. IRONSIDE (1876-1951): The concept of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, if understood correctly, is a Scriptural doctrine…There is a sense in which it is perfectly right to speak of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. There is another sense in which it is wrong.

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): In what sense is God a Father?

A. W. PINK: God is the Father of all men naturally, being their Creator.

THOMAS WATSON: But there is little comfort in this; for God is Father in the same way to the devils by creation; but He who made them will not save them.

C. H. SPURGEON: We take no delight in the ‘universal fatherhood’ which comes of creation—That is a poor thing and belongs as much to dogs and cats as it does to us, for they are as truly created by God as we are!—No, Beloved, it needs something beyond creation to constitute the relationship, and those who can say, “Our Father which art in Heaven,” are something more than God’s creatures—they have been adopted into His family.

H. A. IRONSIDE: The aspect of God’s universal fatherhood through creation is very different from the relationship within the family of God as revealed by our Lord and His apostles…This distinction needs to be kept in mind in our day of looseness and laxity. Men who rebel against the truth of the fall gladly call God their Father and see no need for the new birth. They link up saint and sinner in one great family.

ALEXANDER MacLAREN (1826-1910): The doctrine of the New Testament about the Fatherhood of God and the sonship of man does not in the slightest degree interfere with these three great truths, that all men, though the features of the common humanity may be almost battered out of recognition in them, are all children of God because He made them; that they are children of God because still there lives in them something of the likeness of the creative Father; and, blessed be His name! that they are all children of God because He loves and provides and cares for every one of them. But it is—

C. H. SPURGEON: I must disagree with the idea that mere creation brings God necessarily into the relationship of a Father with us.

ALEXANDER MacLAREN: But—it is also true that there is a higher relation than that to which the name “children of God” is more accurately given, and to which in the New Testament that name is confined.

H. A. IRONSIDE: It is perfectly true that one God is the Creator of all men, and God has made all of one blood…As created originally, Adam was the son of God. God was his Father by creation, but sin came in and man became alienated from God. All men are now born in sin. There is a universal brotherhood of man, but it is a brotherhood of sinners―“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23―and that is why men need to be born again in order that we may be brought into the family of God, that we may look up into His face and say, “Our Father which art in heaven.” Matthew 6:9. When people are born again, when they are regenerated, then they enter into a new relationship. They are in a new sense the children of God. God is their Father, and they that believe are all brethren in Christ.

THOMAS WATSON: What is that which makes God our Father? Faith. “You are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26. An unbeliever may call God his Creator—and his Judge—but not his Father. Faith legitimizes us—and makes us of the blood-royal of heaven. “You are the children of God by faith.”

C. H. SPURGEON: Now, as there is nothing like Scripture, let me read you a few texts:

As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14. The idea of a Divine Fatherhood extending over all mankind does not appear to have been recognized by the Apostle Paul, in this text, at any rate. Here the fatherhood is for some, not for all, and the text discriminates between “as many as are led by the Spirit of God,” and the rest of mankind who are under no such influence.

Let us mark a yet more positive passage, Romans 9:8—“The children of the flesh, these are not the children of God.” What then is to be said to this? “These are not the children of God.” If any man will contradict that flatly—well, be it so. I have no argument with which to convince the man who denies so strong and clear a witness…

As I have warned you before, abhor the doctrine of the universal fatherhood of God, for it is a lie and a deep deception! It stabs at the heart, first, of the Doctrine of the Adoption which is taught in Scripture, for how can God adopt men if they are already all His children? In the second place, it stabs at the heart of the Doctrine of Regeneration, which is certainly taught in the Word of God. Now it is by regeneration and faith that we become the children of God, but how can that be if we are already the children of God?

J. C. RYLE: Our Lord’s words should never be forgotten: “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” John 14:3. Mark carefully what an unanswerable argument this sentence supplies against the modern notion that it does not matter what a man believes—that all religions will lead men to heaven if they are sincere—that creeds and doctrines are of no importance—that heaven is a place for all mankind, whether heathen, Mahometan, or Christian—and that the Fatherhood of God is enough to save all at last, of all sects, kinds, and characters! God is a Father to none but to those who believe in Christ…The Fatherhood of God, out of Christ, is a mere idol of man’s invention, and incapable of comforting or saving.


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