Children of God (written January 2000)
1John 3:1-23 (1John 3:1-11, 16-23)
Dear people, in the passage, John tells about something amazing. God’s love to His children. Yes, I said children, children of God. Because of God’s love, His children shall be like Him. God’s children will one day see Him as He is. Amazing! So amazing! To be like God. Not like God in His power and Glory, for these belong to God alone. But like God in His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Just think. True joy, true peace, true kindness, true gentleness and true control over our sin. How some of us long for these.
The passage goes on. Those who hope in this promise of God purify themselves. Purify themselves? What does that mean? I think John though you would ask this. He goes on.
John tells us of something dark, of something not pure. He tells us of sin. The Bible tells us that all of us have sinned. “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” All of us, who truly try not to sin on their own, know they need help. They desire and try to stop but they keep on returning to sin. If they continue in sin thy remain under the wrath of God. They know that they need help. The apostle John also knew that we need this help. So, John continues to tell us more. He gives us hope.
He tells of the One who was manifested or made know. He is the One in whom there is no sin. He is the One who came to take away the sin of the world. Do you know Him? He is Jesus Christ. Jesus is God. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is both God and a man at the same time. Being a true man, He was the first man, since Adam and Eve led mankind into sin, who never sinned. Being truly God, He was able to live a perfect life. He did not have to die for His own sins. He had none of His own. He took the sins of His children upon Himself on the cross, bearing the curse of God’s wrath that sin deserves. He turned God’s anger away. He paid the price God requires for sin. This is the help we need. The only help that will work. For, we, being sinners are not able to pay the price that our sin requires. Jesus, through his death on the cross, did all the purifying. There is nothing else needed.
Our passage told that those who hope in Jesus purify themselves. If Jesus is the only one who make us clean in God’s eyes, what does it mean to purify ones self?
John tells us of two kinds of people. People who sin and people who do not sin. By sin, he does not mean each sinful action or thought that all people struggle with. John himself said in chapter one, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and th truth is not in us.” By people who sin, John means, those who live in sin, those who live in selfishness, those who live in hatred or anger, those who live in jealousy or envy, those who live in live in drunkenness or adultery, and the like. Those who live in sin, don’t hate their sin and they don’t confess it to God. They don’t try to turn from their sin and do what is right. By people who do not sin, John refers to those who hate their sin, and with God’s help turn away from sin to do what is right. These are those who are learning to love others, to be patience and kind, those who are learning goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and are learning to have self control over their lustful desires.
There are only two kinds of people. Those who do not sin, who live for God, and those who sin, who live for themselves and for the devil. Jesus tells us the same. He says, “Whoever is not for me is against me.” There only two kinds of people, children of God and those of the devil. There are only two kinds of people, those who have passed from death to life; and those who remain dead in their sin.
What an awful thing to remain dead in your sin, to continue to live in selfishness, hatred, anger, jealousy, envy, drunkenness, adultery and the like. If you are afraid this is you, there is hope for you. Jesus says, “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. If this is you then you should join with the righteous and purify yourself by following Gods’ commandment. His command is that you believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another. We know what it is to love, because Jesus laid down his life for us. We also ought to lay down our lives for each other. That is we ought to be willing to give up our own wants and desires and even our things to help others. We need the Lord’s help to love Him and to love others. The Lord came to help us. God the Father sent his only begotten Son that who ever believes in Him will have eternal life. Love God and one another. Amen!
For direct quotes from scripture I used
The New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.