2012-07-22 - The Righteous Child of God
The Epistles of John ~ Part 49 ~ 1 John 3
What a blessing it is to be a believer. John is amazed at the great love of God. This love is shown not only through the gift of salvation, but by believers being His children. For a Jew, as John was, the concept of being a child of God was overwhelming. Previously, there had been no personal relationship between God and the individual Hebrew. But through the work of Christ on the cross, God has become our Father. Jesus referred to this when he said:
"This, then, is how you should pray: "`Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name'" (Matthew 6:9).
The child of God has direct access to the Father through prayer. It means we are no longer slaves to sin. In dependency on the Holy Spirit, we can chose to be obedient. And finally, we can look forward to an eternity in the presence of God.
However, there are struggles in the life of the believer. Some come from living in a fallen world. Because the world hates God, it will hate His children. As Jesus put it:
" Remember the words I spoke to you: `No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also" (John 15:20).
Nevertheless, God's love is great. We have never fully experienced that love. However, someday we will be like Him. John doesn't understand all the implications of this, and neither do we. Some suggest correctly that we can look at the resurrected Christ. This will give us a clue (see Luke 24). Like Christ seen in His resurrected body, one day we will be perfect. This truth should cause all believers to say,
"Amen. Come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20).
The quality of our daily walk does make a difference. In response to the marvelous love of God, we are to live a pure life. We should desire to live worthily of Him. Those who are truly God's children respond to Him in love. Love of God is obedience.
"Whoever has my (Jesus') commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him" (John 14:21).
To be continued.