Summary: What difference does it make that through faith in Christ we have a love relationship with god and know Him as our Father?
While the first 2 chapters of 1 John have as their main theme the subject of fellowship, the next 3 chapters have sonship as their theme. The key verse in these in these chapters is 4:8, "God is love." We, who have trusted Christ as Savior, are children of God, we are in the family of God, all because of the amazing love of God, revealed through the cross of Christ (1 John 3:16a). John reflects here on the fact that God is our Father and the impact that makes on our lives as His children.
1. How this impacts our past - v. 1
Once we were in the world, but now we are not a part of this world. Once we were condemned by sin, but now we are under condemnation no more.
What makes the cross of Christ such a wondrous demonstration of our heavenly Father's love is the fact that though these things were true of us, Christ came to die for us anyway.
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8
Many years ago, a little girl who had been disfigured in a fire was taken to a children's home. Her face was scarred and unbecoming. When along with some other children she was brought to the train terminal where the superintendent of the children's home would pick her up, she stood off in the corner and watched as the director picked up the others, hugged then, and smothered them with kisses. After a while, she edged up beside the director and said, "Please, mister, I know I am not pretty like the other little girls; I know that my face doesn't look too good, but would you mind hugging me just a little bit? You don't have to kiss me, but would you just hug me and let me know you're glad I'm here?" Well, of course, you know what he did. He reached down and took that child with the scarred face, wrapped her in his arms, and smothered that scarred face with kisses.
That's what God did for us through Christ. No wonder John says, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God!" As Peter reminds us, " . . . love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8b). Our past is under the blood of Christ and covered by the love of our heavenly Father!
2. How this impacts our future - v.2
One day Jesus will return. When He does, we, as the children of God, can look forward to two things:
A. We will see Jesus as He is -
How is that? We will see Him as King and Lord. We will see him as the glorified, risen Lord!
Men have gone off to war and while they were gone babies have been born into their home. They have never seen them. Their wives have sent pictures, and through pictures they have gotten some idea of what their baby looks like, but how they long for the day when they will not look at pictures anymore but will see their son or daughter face to face!
We have never seen Jesus, yet God has given us pictures of Him in the Bible. But someday our faith will turn to sight.
"You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy." - 1 Peter 1:8 (NLT)
Although we have not seen Him, we love Him.
We have a picture of this in Genesis 24, in the story of the servant of Abraham seeking a bride for Isaac. When he found Rebecca, he told her about his master. All he could do was tell her. There were no picture to show. Although she had never seen Isaac, the moment of decision came. The father looked at Rebecca and looked at the servant. Then he looked back at Rebecca and asked, "Are you
willing to go?" She made her decision. She said, "I will go!"
It must have been quite a journey. She was riding on a camel, and camels go only about three miles per hour. It must have become quite wearying through those hot, dusty roads, looking forward to seeing this man she had never seen before. That is the way it is with a Christian. Sometimes the road gets dusty. Sometimes we wonder, "Will I ever make it, will I ever get there?"
Then one day along about sunset, Isaac was out meditating in the field. The caravan came in sight of Isaac, and the servant saw his master. he said to Rebecca, "My master!" The Bible says when she saw him she got off her camel and went to meet her future