Believer, you are a child of God! That is an awesome and wonderful thing. Verse 1 reads,
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
The world loves to talk about the brotherhood of man. They like to call us all God’s children and speak about all paths leading to the light. But we know that it isn’t true. The world isn’t talking about The One True Living God, The Holy One, Creator, I Am. They are talking about a god of their imagination, who in the end is actually Satan, the prince of the power of the air. And they don’t even know it.
They look at us, the genuine Children of God and they see us as liars and hypocrites because we reject the false brotherhood of man with our narrow-mindedness. They do not want to hear the truth that there is only one way to the Father and that is Christ. They can’t recognize the truth because they don’t know the Father. They live in the ignorance of lies, blinded to the truth by the father of lies.
What is it to be a child of God? It is a privilege! It shows God’s abundant vast steadfast and eternal love which is poured over us and into us. In order to adopt us as His children, God gave us the gift of His only begotten Son, Jesus. (John 3:16). That is love. It is faith in Jesus that allows us to be God’s children. Galatians 3:26 says,
“for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”
And we are not His children solely in name. Although, that is awesome enough. We are His children at our core. Sons share the nature of their father. He gave us His essence, His Spirit. And we have been made like Him. We have already been made like Him although we don’t see it completely manifested yet, one day we will. Verse 2 says it this way,
“Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”
How marvelous is that? We are God’s children now and we are promised that one day our transformation will be complete. When Jesus returns we will be made perfect and complete like Him. We will see Him as He is. Our sin nature and even our physical bodies will be gone and we will be like God. Our transformation to be like Jesus will be whole. 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 describes that completion.
“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”
That is the promise we have. We are God’s children. As we follow Jesus, we become more like Him each day. We share God’s nature. We have His Spirit. We have eternal life, not just someday when the trumpet sounds, but now. His Spirit is in us, eternal life is in us. We long to be like Christ and His Spirit makes it so. Holding on to that promise makes us different. We want to resemble our Father! Verse 3 reads,
“And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
God is Holy! In Him is no darkness and no sin. As His children we strive to be like Him. We don’t want to keep sinning and keep looking like who we were when we were children of disobedience and wrath. Ephesians 4:21-24 explains it like this.
“assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Children of God do not keep sinning living their old lives and looking like the world. We make a practice of obeying God, tangibly loving others, bringing people the gospel of Peace with God so they can be His children too, and striving each day to be more like Him. If you keep living your old life of sin, you are lying to yourself and living like your father, the devil. Verses 4-7 read,
“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.”
God didn’t give up His only begotten Son so you could keep on sinning. He gave up His Son to destroy sin and make a way for you to experience an abundant relationship with Him. You cannot keep walking in darkness and sin if you have His essence, His heart, His nature, the Spirit of God inside you. Verses 8-9 say,
“Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”
The world is deluded by the father of lies, they are children of disobedience. They want to believe in the story that their father has told them. All paths do not lead to light. There is only one way to God and that is Jesus Christ.
You are either a child of God through Christ or a child of the father of lies. You are either a child of the King of kings or a child of the prince of the power of the air. The proof is in the pudding. Verse 10 reads,
“By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”