Saturday in the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time

1 John 3:1

Who We Are

It appears that I am moving slowly through John’s first letter, but he packs so much in a single verse that it is hard to leap over several verses in a single bound.  In this one verse, the Apostle reminds us of our identity.  We live in a day when much is made about “identity” and much of it in a perverted way.  So it is fitting that we should likewise claim our identity—not in a brash way but certainly unapologetically.

To begin, our identity is rooted in God’s love—not our works, not our successes, not our failures, indeed, not in anything that has to do with us but only in God’s abundant and life-giving love.  And what does that love make of us?  Children of God.  And if anyone was doubting, John then adds, “And so we are.”  That is, we who have been born again of the Spirit have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:13).  We must let these words sink into our ears, for doing so has two effects: 1) That we bask in the glow of amazing grace that has been showered over us.  It is enough to make one swoon.  And this sonship is not that pitiable thing that even pagans claim when they say that we are all children of God; no, this is that sonship that saves from death and hell, opens the gates of heaven, and transforms sinners into saints—real sonship!  And, 2) That we remind ourselves of our divine parentage and patrimony when persecution comes.

And come it will.  So, John reminds us: “The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”  Jesus said, “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they malign those of his household” (Matthew 10:25).  And then he adds, “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).  The gospel divides the world into two opposing camps, and it must needs be so because the majority will never receive the Savior.  And because they walk in darkness, they will hate those who walk in the light.  God’s children will shun the world—the desires of the flesh, of the eyes, and the pride of life.  Their lives are thus lived in direct contradiction to the world’s values—and the world doesn’t like that and will eventually try to snuff such a life out.

And this is where we are now in America.  As the light gets brighter, the darkness grows darker.  The demons begin to howl and their minions on earth heed their call.  But remember, Christian, you are a child of God, and your inheritance is in heaven.  Fear them not and fix your eyes on Him.

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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