UNDERSTAND our POSITION & PRIVILEGES as GOD’s CHILDREN
December 22 Bible Reading: 1 John Chapters 1-3
"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. Beloved, now we are children of God; and 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 is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." (1 John 3:1-3)
After changing his narrative of God as the Light to God as our Heavenly Father, Apostle John explains what is necessary for us as children to have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. In fact, John is amazed thinking about God’s love that regenerates a sinful person who receives Him by faith and gives him/her the privilege of being His child. "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13)
We need to pause and take a look at God’s precious love that has admitted us into the family of God. His love could have saved us without making us His children. But the manner of God’s love is revealed in the fact that He has made us His children who are equipped with all the privileges of this position. We are now His children by virtue of being born of Him (2:29).
However, this world does not recognize us as God’s children just like the world did not recognize our Lord Jesus either when He was here on this earth. "He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him" (John 1:10-11). Our relationship to Jesus as His children will make the world react towards us in the same manner as they did towards Jesus Christ (John 15:18).
What we can look forward to is that when Jesus returns to this earth (2:28), we shall be totally transformed into His likeness, and this process has already begun in our lives: "…we all…are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18). Though we do not know all the specifics of our future existence, we do know that we will have a body like Christ. "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body" (Phil. 3:20-21). The prospect of being transformed (glorified) into the likeness of Christ should motivate us to live righteously!
We can distill two important truths from this passage: we do not reach our final state of glory until Christ is revealed (v. 2); and the anticipation of this grand event should produce in us a desire for personal purity (v. 3). "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8). As we anticipate seeing and knowing Jesus Christ fully one day, we should purify ourselves with His blood every day (1 John 1:9).
Let us look forward to seeing Christ soon, and make a difference by how we live every day. This eager expectation should motivate us to keep our hearts from sinful distractions and make us more like Jesus every moment. We should be more ready to forgive, seek forgiveness and share God’s unconditional love with others. Let us understand our position and privileges as God’s children, and strive to be pure so that we can readily receive Christ when He returns!