That we should be called children of God

man-37977William J. Stewart | Texts To Pause & Ponder On

The Bible says God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). His love compels us to love Him in return (1 John 4:19), and it teaches us how to love others (1 John 3:16). I am not sure how many times the Bible speaks of God’s love for us, but it is a common theme throughout Scripture. His love has been expressed in many ways, from the provisions we enjoy day by day sustaining our lives to the gift of His Son through whom we have access to eternal life.

As you may have noted from the few statements above, 1 John has a lot to say about the love of God. In 1 John 3:1, we read,

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Our adoption as the children of God is the ultimate manifestation of God’s love for us. The NIV is more emphatic, calling to our mind “…what great love the Father has lavished on us…” How appropriate, for lavish means to “bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities upon” or to “cover some-thing thickly or liberally with.”1 God’s love is not sparsely sprinkled upon us, we are showered in it!

Friend, realize we do not deserve to be the children of God. In John 8:38-44, Jesus identified the Jewish leaders of His day as sons of Satan. They were not alone. In fact, the apostle Paul said we’ve all served Satan in the pursuit of the lusts of the flesh, and were dead in sin as a result (Ephesians 2:1-4). All have sinned (Ro-mans 3:23), thus all have made themselves children of the devil. The apostle John concurs, saying the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one  (5:19). You and I were no exception, but now, God be praised, we can have confidence for “we are of God” (5:19); we are the children of God.

John repeats in 3:2 the fact that we are children of God. It is a fact worth repeating. Building upon this blessed position we hold, the apostle writes,

…it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)

We know we will have a spiritual body in heaven (1 Cor 15:42-53), but what will it be like? We don’t know. we can’t know, until we are there. Nor do we need to know. What we need at the present time is to imitate the example of Christ. If we are to maintain the hope of being with Him in eternity, we need to be like Him in the here and now.

1 Google dictionary

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