ARE YOU A MEMBER OF GOD’S FAMILY?

“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! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” I John 3:1

The kind of love that God has for believers is foreign to humans. This love, that we have trouble defining is lavished on us His children. As we accept Christ as our Savior, God gives birth to each of us and accepts us as His children. John is emphasizing that when God calls believers His children He means just that. Being God’s children we are not to live as the world lives. Knowing that we are God’s children should be all of the motivation we need to live as Christ lived. The world does not know who we are or who we represent.

I John 3:2–3 “Dear friends, we now 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. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”

John is telling us that believers will have a future but what it will be has not been revealed. We know it will be something inconceivably wonderful and more glorious than anything we can imagine. As Christians we have been born into God’s family and presently enjoy God’s kindness and blessings through Christ. In the future we shall be His glory. When Christians are raptured and meet Christ in the air, we shall become like Christ. Here are some of the things Scripture tells us: Our bodies and souls will be united and resurrected. (I Corinthians 15) These bodies will be made perfect, without sickness or disease. (Philippians 3:21) Our resurrected bodies will in some ways be different from our earthly bodies but others will recognize us.

Because Jesus lived without sin this means we will live morally and ethically free from the corruption of sin. We can only become pure through the Holy Spirit that resides within us. It is the hope that we have, that gives us confident expectations and anticipation of future blessings. As we meet Christ we shall be made completely perfect.

I John 3:4 “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,”

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. John defines purity and now defines sin. We are told that God demands purity and a life avoiding sin. A continual lack of purity demonstrates that we are not really a child of God. There is a difference between committing a sin and continuing in sin. Every Christian commits sin or “missing the mark” but they do not necessarily do so deliberately or continually knowing that it is wrong. Continual sin cannot coexist with the Holy Spirit. Lawlessness means opposing the laws of God. Continual sinning is opposing God’s standards and commands. Continually sinning is actively rebelling against God. Anyone not having a repentant heart and lives in opposition to God no matter what they may claim, is not a Christian. A Christian, who sins, confesses his or her sin and asks God for forgiveness if they are a true child of God. They then go on with life hopefully not making the same mistake.

I John 3:5-7 “But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.”

We know that Christ came that He might take away our sins and in Him there was no sin. To realize that Christ sacrificed so that our sins could be forgiven should be reason enough for us not to sin. Christ’s death and resurrection was necessary to replace the sacrificing of animals for the atonement of sins. Animal sacrifice could not take away the guilt and could not make a believer of God feel forgiven. Therefore, Christ came that sin in the life of a Christian could be abolished.

As Christians, we must renounce sin and never become complacent about sin in our lives. If we are Christ followers we must be totally opposed to sin. What are some of the sins that Christians commit? They can be impatience, worry, inappropriate anger, hate, jealousy, envy, lack of contentment or lust. Most Christians do not commit the sins of immorality, stealing, lying, using profanity or deliberate disobedient to God’s Word. Those who do these, sins. Doing the right things makes one righteous. Don’t let anyone convince you that God over looks all sin.

Christians pass from death to life once they have repented, asked for forgiveness and receive the Holy Spirit into their lives. John is saying repentance must give up hate. He then proceeds to say that love is the evidence that assures us of eternal life.

We must ask ourselves: do we have this kind of love? If we do not have this kind of love we remain dead. I do not know how much clearer John could have made the importance of love as being necessary to have eternal life.

Do you take being a member of God’s family lightly? Do you live to please God in the way you live? Do we realize what God offers to His children that live according to His Ways and are not disobedient? We have a God that wants to meet the needs of every one of His children. Are your needs being met?

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