SONS

Now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be —1 John 3:2

This is one of those Bible doctrines that falls into the unfathomable category. Just think about Who we are talking about being sons of, we are speaking of the Creator of all things Himself. He has brought us into His very own family, into a fellowship that the Heavenly Father and the uncreated Son of God have enjoyed from eternity. The ramifications are unthinkable. We were once enemies of God, children of darkness, until God’s only Son became one of us. He purchased us with His own blood and the results; He has sent the Spirit of Sonship into our hearts. This is more than just a legal adoption, He has come to live inside of us making us essentially one with HIm. This is too good to be true. Here is how A. B. Simpson sees this verse.

“We are the sons of God. We are not merely called such or even legally declared so, but we actually are sons of God by receiving the life and nature of God. And so we are the very brethren of our Lord, not only in His human nature, but still more so in His divine relationship. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call [us] brethren. He gives us that which entitles us to that right, and makes us worthy of it. He does not introduce us into a position for which we are uneducated and unfitted, but He gives us a nature worthy of our glorious standing; and as He shall look upon us in our complete and glorious exaltation-reflecting His own likeness and shining in His Father’s glory-He shall have no cause to be ashamed of us. Even now He is pleased to acknowledge us before the universe and call us brethren in the sight of all earth and heaven. Oh, how this dignifies the humblest saint of God! How little we need mind the misunderstanding of the world if He is not ashamed to call [us] brethren.”

What is the privilege of being family? It is access, fellowship with God. Jesus described this in His final prayer, He prayed that we could enjoy the intimacy with the Father that He had enjoyed from eternity. This is our inheritance, fellowship with God. This is why Jesus came, this is what He purchased with His own blood.

WHAT KIND OF LOVE IS THIS ?

cathal-mac-an-bheatha-208192.jpg

1John 3:1 See what great love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God — and so we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

This is a wonderful verse. John seems to be in a place of amazement as he ponders the love of God. It’s as if he is saying “what kind of love is this?” He was closer than any other human to this supernatural love while Christ was here on earth. He even referred to himself as “the one whom the Lord loved”. He was not only part of the inner circle, He was the Lord’s best friend on earth. John is reflecting again on the beauty of this love and he seems to be saying this love is from another country; today we would say it was from another world. Actually the original language that John wrote in said exactly that, this love is from another country. Here is how Wuest describes it.

“John is calling upon all the saints to wonder at the particular kind of love God has bestowed upon them. “What manner of” is potapēn, “from what country, race or tribe?” The word speaks of something foreign. The translation could read, “Behold, what foreign kind of love the Father has bestowed upon us.” The love of God is foreign to the human race. It is not found naturally in humanity. When it exists there, it is in a saved individual, and by reason of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Smith suggests, “from what far realm? What unearthly love, … how otherworldly.”

The love of God has no attachments, He loves us simply because He chooses to. It’s not because we are smart, handsome or beautiful, talented, or hard working. He loves us because that is His nature. His love attracts us, convicts us, justifies us, sanctifies us, satisfies us, and empowers us. The love of God makes us worshippers, friends, students of His word, passionate for lost souls, merciful to the poor, compassionate for the hurting; in effect the love of God transforms us to become like Jesus.

Now this is the amazing part, all of these things happen as a result of allowing the Lord to love us. His love is charged with supernatural power and transforms everything that it touches. If His love has captured you, then just allow Him to come closer. Its in these encounters that we are changed by love.

CHRISTMAS VICTORY

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

1 JOHN 3:8

Sometimes it seems like our lives will never change. We say we serve an all powerful God Who loves us and can do anything but in our day to day experience there are many frustrations that never seem to change. If we are honest, we would have to admit we really don’t see much of anything in our experience moving forward. It is so easy to become complacent but Christmas holds a promise of breaking out of our current circumstances. Like today’s verse promises, Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. So this Christmas I am going to go to the Lord with expectancy, expectant that He will bring me into a new place of blessing in the coming year. Here are some thoughts from John Piper on this very topic.

“…the coming of the Son of God into the world is so much more than a historical fact. It was a message of hope sent by God to teenagers and single parents and crabby husbands and sullen wives and overweight women and impotent men and disabled neighbors and people with same-sex attraction and preachers and lovers—and you.

And since the Son of God lived, died, rose, reigns, and is coming again, God’s message through him is more than a historical fact. It is a Christmas gift to you from the voice of the living God.

Thus says the Lord: the meaning of Christmas is that what is good and precious in your life need never be lost, and what is evil and undesirable in your life can be changed. The fears that the few good things that make you happy are slipping through your fingers, and the frustrations that the bad things you hate about yourself or your situation can’t be changed—these fears and these frustrations are what Christmas came to destroy.”

We are celebrating this Christmas, celebrating the fact that our lives are not stagnant. We don’t have to stay in the same condition of failure or lack or confusion drifting through life like the rest of the world who have no hope. We have a hope. Christ has come and He has destroyed the works of the devil. At Christmas, we celebrate the victory of His coming. He not only came, He is Immanuel, He is with us now and His victory is ours.

CHILDREN OF GOD

1John 3:1 ¶ See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

Sometimes I think us Christians become numb to the spiritual blessings that have become our heritage. For example, we are called children of God in the New Testament. Some folks think that all humans are children of God; that is just not the case. Until someone is born again they are actually called children of disobedience, children of darkness or even children of wrath. Jesus even told some of the religious leaders in Israel that the devil was their father. Only when someone experiences the blessing of the new birth are they called children of God.

What does it mean to be God’s child? It means that the Spirit of God has come to live in our hearts. His nature has become ours, we have literally taken on a new nature. We have the DNA of Christ throughout our being. The Fire Bible describes some of the incredible blessings we have received when we became God’s child. Check this out.

“The truth that God is our Father and we are his children is one of the greatest revelations in the NT.  Being a child of God—chosen and adopted through Christ as his very own—is among the highest honors and privileges of our salvation.  Being a child of God is the basis for our faith and trust in God and our hope of glory for the future. As God’s children, we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, which means that we have part in his eternal inheritance. God wants us to become increasingly aware that we are his children. This awareness comes through the presence of the Holy Spirit—the “Spirit of sonship”—within us. The Spirit allows us to call on God in a deep, personal and intimate way—“Abba, Father”—and he gives us the desire to be “led by the Spirit”.  Being a child of God means that, at times, we will be disciplined by the Father so that we can grow in spiritual maturity. God’s highest goal in making us his children is to save us forever  and to make us more like Jesus.”

Paul talks about a joyful expectancy that has come into our lives at the new birth. We are expecting the full manifestation of our sonship. As John said, “when He appears we will be like Him.” Those are some of the most exciting and sobering words I have ever heard. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we will see Him and will instantly be like Him. Come quickly Lord Jesus.

WHAT WE SHALL BE

WHAT WE SHALL BE

“Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been manifested, but we know that, when he is manifested, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as his is”
1 John 3:2

If you really think about it, this is quite a shocking promise. We will be like Him? Really? We will actually be like the glorified Christ? Actually, this is why He came. To restore us to fellowship with God and to bring redeemed mankind into the place of intimacy He has enjoyed with His Father from eternity. That is the ultimate plan of God. It has always been His plan. This is not plan B, some sort of response to the devil’s rebellion, this is the eternal plan of God, the redemption and glorification of fallen man. That great day is really indescribable. Have you thought of what you will be like? What will you look like? What kind of potential you will encompass? All I can see, it will be over and above anything we can begin to imagine in this life. F.F. Bruce had some interesting insight into today’s verse, here are some of his thoughts

“To share in the revealed glory of Christ is to attain his likeness. And what is this but the fullness of Christian sanctification? Here and now, according to the teaching of other Pauline letters, it is the province of the Holy Spirit within the people of Christ to reproduce his likeness increasingly in their lives, but the consummation of this sanctifying work awaits the day of Christ. Indeed, the presence and activity of the Spirit here and now is their guarantee of the heritage which is reserved for believers against the day. The day of revelation and glory will but bring to complete and public fruition something that is already true—that Christians have died with Christ and been raised with him, and in him are partakers of the age to come. When the day of revelation and glory will dawn Paul does not suggest. Its date is unknown; its advent is certain. This consummating act in the series of savings events is assured by those which have already been accomplished. Those whom God foreknew “he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might the firstborn among many brethren; and those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified: and those whom he justified he glorified” (Rom. 8:29—30).”

The supernatural work has already started in us, it will be brought to perfection on that great day. We will look differently, love differently, think differently; we will be a different kind of creature. We will be sons and daughters of the most high. In this world we are feeling the tension. We are sons now, but the fullness has not taken effect. We see and feel partly but the glorious day of fullness is drawing near. I can’t wait!!!