“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:3-10)
Adoption is a marvelous thing. In adoption, suddenly, someone who was in no way related to you becomes your parent or child. In this passage, we are told that God has predestined some to be adopted as his sons. In a broader sense, any time someone not related to us is taken into our family, it is considered adoption. The word “sons” in this passage is itself essential, since, in the time this was written, only males could be the full heirs of a parent’s inheritance. Now, some people have claimed that “we are all God’s children.” We may all be creations of God, but if we were all children of God, then this passage looses much meaning. You cannot be adopted by a parent if you are already their child. This argument would also discount John 1:12-13, which tells us “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” If all mankind were children of God, then all mankind would obviously believe in Christ, according to this statement. However, it doesn’t say that. It says the contrary, that those who believe in the name of Christ have the right to BECOME children of God. So it is those who believe who are children of God. These are those whom he has adopted. And these are the ones he has chosen. Yes, in his love and for his glory, he chose us to be adopted as his children – indeed, his sons – before the foundation of the world.
The claim that everyone is a child of God is a lie. Not only is it a lie, it is a heresy, for in those words denies the special love that God has for the Church in his election of her members to be saved through his Son and adopted as his children.