Friday in the Sixth Week of Easter

1 John 3:1-10

What Lavish Love Is This!

We return to the First Letter of John.  The beginning of this chapter is so wonderful as it establishes some realities about who we are as Christians.  It begins: “See, what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.”  That’s good enough, but then it adds: “And so we are.”  (Had I been translating this passage, I would have stuck an exclamation point at the end of that sentence.)  “And so we are!”  (There.  I did it.)  It’s as if John really wants to drive this point home: We are God’s children, adopted into His kingdom.  We weren’t born this way, mind you.  We were children of wrath (Romans 1:18).  But God has transferred us from “the domain of darkness … to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13).  We are now heirs of God and fellow heirs of Christ (Romans 8:17).  It’s not just an idea; it’s not idle talk.  We really are his children.

And because we are, “When he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”  Throughout the Scriptures, no one can see God and live (Exodus 33:20).  Yet, one day, we will.  And the only way we will be able to do such a thing is if he remakes us to be like himself, which is the very hope of glory.  One day, this mortal body shall put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:42-57).  Our souls shall no longer bear the shattered images they do now but will be fully restored and redeemed, so free, in fact, that sin will no longer be a temptation or desire (2 Corinthians 5:17).  And it is this hope and assurance that compels us to holiness right now, for “everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”  No Christian wants to stand before his Savior ashamed.

The rest of the passage reminds us that Christians do not make a habit of sinning.  Christians do sin; John is certain of this (1:8-2:1).  But something is wrong in the Christian’s life if he “keeps on sinning.”  This challenges us, for we know that we each have besetting sins that seem to hound us and never give us relief.  Our adversary seems to know our every weakness and rarely gives us respite.  But we also know that there is mercy with the Lord.  Through daily repentance and continually walking after the Spirit, we shall conquer through Christ, for “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4; see also 5:4-5).  We shall never be sinless, but we can at least make a beginning in this life – a beginning that our Lord will one day bring to completion (Philippians 1:6).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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