We play different roles in life as a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife and so on. We know what it means to be in that role and the responsibilities that come with it. We are called the children of God. Do we have the realization of what it means to be a child of God? What difference it makes in our life? Are we living as a child of God?
3 See what great 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. 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 Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.-1 John 3:1-2
In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.-Galatians 3:26
What it means to be a child of God? In previous verses and chapter (Fullness of Joy), Apostle John explained the importance of having a relationship with God. In this section, he explains one of the aspects of it. It is the relationship between a father and child. We are the children of God through Jesus Christ. We know there is such a special bond and love between a father and child but think about our relationship with God. We did start as children of God. We were separated from his relationship by our fallen nature. God loved us when we were still against him. Jesus came as a sacrifice to redeem us from this eternal separation from God and when we trust in Jesus we are adopted to the family of God and become the child of God. If the love between a father and child is special, think about the love of God for us. He loved someone who was against him and gave him the greatest gift through Jesus and called him as his child.
We cannot really understand any relationship just by seeing others who are in that relationship. We have to experience it to really appreciate. In the same way, we can only appreciate this father-child bond with God only when are into this relationship. It is not just about being religious, it is living in this relationship provisioned through Christ that matters. Being a child of God gives us this privilege of knowing him as our father and there is much more in store. As a follower of Christ, we are living in the blessed hope of Christ’s return and the eternal life. Do we have this realization and hope? What impact this has in our life?
3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.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. 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.7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one 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 them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.-1 John 3:3-9
What impact it has in our life? Being a child of God and having such a hope of what to come will have an impact on how we live. Our walk is towards purity in Jesus Christ. When we trust Jesus and be born again, we have been set us free from sin and no more slaved by sin. God has placed his seed of the living word in us which will grow and bear fruits of purity. The grip of sin does not have the power it used to have earlier and we have the power in Christ to overcome. We cannot keep continuing in old sinful life if we are in Christ. Claiming to be in Christ but not living a regenerated life is contrary to the work of Jesus in destroying the work of devil. Do we see this regenerated pattern in our life?
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:8-9
Scripture says that purification is needed which implies there can be stain when we walk in flesh. We are walking towards perfection but living in flesh will get us stained and needs purification. In earlier verses, John said we will be deceiving ourselves when we claim to be without sin. There is a difference in living in habitual sin and getting stained by it. God is faithful and when we ask for forgiveness, he forgives and purifies us to continue our walk in Christ. This is not a license to sin rather the grace of our father lifting us when we fall as his child.
28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him. – 1 John 2:28-29
Remaining and growing in this relationship gives us the assurance of being the child of God. As a follower of Christ we are waiting on his return, think about what John is saying, being aware of who we are as a child of God and when we meet Jesus on his return, can we stand with confidence as a child of God or be ashamed on how we lived? He has given such a love, but are we living in this loving relationship with a renewed life? Are we reflecting our father in our life?
Photo Credit: Reddy Aprianto