This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. 1 John 3, verse 10.
The devil has children? Satan is a fallen angel, a being created by God who was given the free will of a man. In that will, he chose to disobey. I have no idea if angels can reproduce. Some research into the matter shows divided thought. Some scholars believe Genesis 6 points to angels reproducing with early women. Other scholars say angels, as spiritual beings, can’t physically reproduce.
But it really doesn’t matter, does it? I mean, through faith we are are adopted as children of God. Is it any stretch that, through faith, Satan would have followers who are his adopted children? There are people who choose Satan and the dark arts of life; some of them are even upright citizens. Yet choose the prince of darkness they do and thus identify themselves as his sons and daughters. If we can be a follower of Jesus, then we surely can also be a follower of Lucifer.
Perhaps this is a more understandable way of absorbing the verse. When we willingly choose the sin, we choose adoption, identification, and all the ‘privileges’ of the sin. We take the name representing what we choose. Where love, peace, and contentment are fruits of adoption in Christ, shame, guilt, misery and damnation are natural outcroppings from being a member of Satan’s family. Christ adopted me as evidenced by His redemption of me and my faith in Him. So, too, could Satan adopt someone as evidenced by one’s faith in his works of sin and how those works bear fruit in dysfunction.
There’s another important thing to remember from that description: willingly. We are human and we sin, we make mistakes. All sin is willing, but the willingness that seems to be inferred in verse 10 is a willingness from the heart. When one sins yet feels genuine guilt and (hopefully) genuine repentance, then the verse doesn’t describe them. It’s when one willingly continues to choose the sin when a better choice, the Jesus choice, is available. That’s a choice from the heart as well. It’s a willing thing.
Yet even when that happens, Christ doesn’t give up on us. I mean, is it inconceivable that God would continue to work on us through misery? God allows us the free choice to choose even sin and He allows the consequences of it to play out in our world so that we might see our need to come back to Him. He’s our adopted Father with a love given from His holy heart. Would you rather be a child of darkness or a child of light?
Lord, create in me a clean heart and help me to cleave only to You.