Humans: Children of God 

…  the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:38) 

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The genealogy of Luke 3 connects Christ and really all of humanity to Adam who is called the son of God. It tells us that we humans have a natural relationship to God our Father. The physical and spiritual worlds, the divine and human worlds are thus one reality.  

As humans we also have relationships which are by choice, including our relationship to God. Faith is one such way by which we are in a relationship with God as our Father. 

… just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. (Galatians 2:6-7) 

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We are children of God by our being descendants of Adam and also through faith we are children of Abraham, God’s chosen people. 

Orthodox theologian Georges Barrois writes: 

Adam, fashioned out of red clay, the adamah – hence his surname – and made into a living creature through God breathing the breath of life into his nostrils (Genesis 2:7). Adam will never lose his connection with the earth from which he came and to which he shall return (Genesis 3:19). . . .  

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We find in the first three chapters of Genesis the rationale of man’s destiny. It is suggested, in the colorful narratives on creation, that man, in the person of Adam, the father of the race, had been endowed with everything he needed to enter the role assigned to him by the Creator, and to grow, physically and spiritually, so that God’s own features would become recognizable in his human icon. Here is how St Irenaeus, commenting the text of Genesis, expresses this: 

‘It behooved man, after he was born, to grow: growing, he would come of age; being of age, he would multiply; having multiplied, he would grow strong; being strong, he would be glorified; glorified, he would see his master, for God himself shall be seen of man; now the vision confers incorruption, and incorruption brings one close to God. 

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Irenaeus’ climatic reasoning follows the chronological order, which is particularly germane to our thinking: thus do we refer to Christ, following St Paul, as the ‘second Adam,’ who came to consummate the work undertaken at creation. This is the final objective in the light of which we are called to honor the very charter of our existence as creatures, since ‘Christ, the Logos of God, our Lord, out of overflowing love, has made us what we are, that he may dispose us to be that which he is’ (Irenaeus). In this consists our salvation, which must be understood primarily as deification (theosis), a participation in the very life of God, in the measure of our receptivity and of our response.  (THE FACE OF CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, pp 58-59) 

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Christ came into the world to restore our relationship with God which had been broken by sin. Salvation means participating in this restored relationship with God our Father. 

‘You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you’ [Saint Augustine]. Humans were made for fellowship with God: this is the first and primary affirmation in the Christian doctrine of the human person. But humans, made for fellowship with God, everywhere repudiate that fellowship: this is the second fact which all Christian anthropology takes into account. Humans were made for fellowship with God: in the language of the Church, God created Adam according to His image and likeness, and set him in Paradise. Humans everywhere repudiate that fellowship: in the language of the church, Adam fell, and his fall – his ‘original sin’ – has affected all humankind. (Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, THE ORTHODOX CHURCH, p 212) 

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Our sins separated us from our Creator in whose image we were made. The Gospel proclaims that God intends to continue a good relationship with us. We are still children of Adam through creation and children of Abraham through faith. We all have a natural relationship with God but not all choose to live in this relationship of love. 

In truth, God is the glory of humanity, but humanity is the vessel of God’s working, of all His wisdom and power. (St Irenaeus, AGAINST HERESIES Book 3, p 96)