Children of God

 

*   (1 John 3:1-18 NIV)  How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! Adopted children are children of choice. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. God is a protective Father. {2} Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. To see God as He is requires that we be like Him and to be like Him we must be children of God fully born. {3} Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. We have the hope, we have the promise, the promise is certain, but our response requires help from Him that makes the promise. {4} Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. {5} But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. I am a liar but I don’t always lie. I am a thief but I don’t always steal. If I never lie again, if I never steal again the fact remains that I am a liar and a thief. There is nothing I can do about that. It is done. Yet in a very important way it can be said that I am not guilty because thank God my sins have been taken away.  And in him is no sin. {6} No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. When we are with God, when we are fully born in the kingdom of God we will be perfected. {7} Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. {8} He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. {9} No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. {10} This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Or as it says in another place, “By their fruits you shall know them. Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. {11} This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. {12} Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. To this very day many people are hated for their goodness. {13} Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. {14} We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. {15} Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. {16} This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. What is this all about? I think it covers a great deal. The founding fathers of America were willing to lay down their lives. Patrick Henry famously said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Our soldiers lay down their lives for their countrymen. But love isn’t always that intense. {17} If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? {18} Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. Like Father like Son like children of God. We are told, “God is love.” To be like Him we must be great lovers! True lovers! Lovers of God and lovers of truth and lovers of our brothers. I conclude by repeating verse 18. Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.