Summary: Bible Study
"WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHILD OF GOD?"
Chapter 3: 1-3
Introduction: One of the greatest events in the life of any parent is the birth of a child, it is a very blessed, memorable, and emotional experience.
It is also a very significant day to the child. Of course, this baby has no concept of the significance of its parents.
So many, many factors in life are dependent upon parentage. Such things as: Spiritual training, economic status, educational exposure, social strata, and a thousand other tangible and intangible things are involved in the placement of a child in a home.
That baby is completely oblivious to all of these initially, but the fact of their reality still exists. As time passes, they become more and more evident! These same truths are found in the spiritual life also.
There is not a Christian alive who realized all they were receiving when they received Christ as Savior. Our lesson today discusses several parts of our inheritance as children of God
I/ CHILDREN OF GOD ARE THE OBJECT OF GOD’S UNSPEAKABLE LOVE
1 John 3:1,2 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1/ As children of God, we are objects of His future goodness.
The word "behold" is plural, indicating that this inheritance is for all of God’s children. The phrase "what manner of" is the Greek word "potapen" which is a Greek word referring "to another country or race".
This love of God is something that is foreign to this human race. Romans 8:15-18 declares that we are the adopted children of God and therefore heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. When you remember:
a. That all of this world was created by God for Christ (Col. 1:16 and Rev. 4:11)
b. And when you recall that Christ was the object of God’s love before even the foundation of the world (John 17:24)
then you can see a small portion of the phenomenal love that God has for His adopted children.
Whenever you read in Romans 8:17 that we become "joint heirs with Christ", and in Romans 8:15 where we can approach Him with the same affection and lack of fear that a child would approach a loving earthly father, we see even more of the marvelous love of God which allowed us to become children of God.
Furthermore, when you remember:
a. That we have become His children as the result of His loving us before we even loved Him (I John 4:19)
b. And remember He loved us while we were yet sinners and sought us to become His children (Luke 19:10. And in Rom. 5:8)
then you can see even more of the depth of God’s unspeakable love.
I Peter 1:3-5 tells us that God has a future inheritance "reserved in heaven" for all of His children. I Cor. 2:9 declares that that inheritance is greater than anything we have seen, heard, or imagined.
2/ As children of God, we are objects of His love in this Present age.
Verse 2 calls us the "beloved". This is the Greek word "agape" which is the highest form of love. We have over 3,000 promises in God’s Word to the believer.
We have the right to come boldly before His throne of Grace (Heb. 4:16)
We have the promise of His divine providence (Rom. 8:28)
We have the promise of His divine provision for all our needs (Phil. 4:19); etc.; ad inf.
II/ AS CHILDREN OF GOD, WE HAVE SOMETHING THE WORLD DOES NOT AND CANNOT UNDERSTAND (3:1b) :
"therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not."
By "the world", John means the people of that system spoken of in I John 2:15-17; that is, the people of this world’s system which are without God. People who do not know God as their personal, forever Savior, cannot and do not understand the joys and the blessings of the Christian life.
(1) Jesus said in John 3:3 "That except a man be born again, he cannot experience" ("see" - "eido") which means to understand or perceive the benefits of eternal life.
(2) John 14:16-18 gives the glorious promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit to continue the work and presence of Jesus Christ in this age. And yet, He tells us plainly "that the world cannot receive Him and cannot see Him, and cannot know Him."
(3) Philippians 4:7 says "that the peace of God is beyond human understanding".