Summary: This sermon talks about the lavish love that God has for His children!
What Do You Know?
I Know that I’m a Child of God!
May 6, 2001
A. [How God’s Children Change, Citation: Craig Barnes, author and pastor of National Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C.; from sermon "The Blessed Trinity" (5-30-99)]
When I was a child, my minister father brought home a 12-year-old boy named Roger, whose parents had died from a drug overdose.
There was no one to care for Roger, so my folks decided they’d just raise him as if he were one of their own sons.
At first it was quite difficult for Roger to adjust to his new home—an environment free of heroine-addicted adults!
Every day, several times a day, I heard my parents saying to Roger:
"No, no. That’s not how we behave in this family."
"No, no. You don’t have to scream or fight or hurt other people to get what you want."
"No, no, Roger, we expect you to show respect in this family."
And in time Roger began to change.
Now, did Roger have to make all those changes in order to become a part of the family?
No. He was made a part of the family simply by the grace of my father.
But did he then have to do a lot of hard work because he was in the family?
You bet he did.
It was tough for him to change, and he had to work at it.
But he was motivated by gratitude for the incredible love he had received.
Do you have a lot of hard work to do now that the Spirit has adopted you into God’s family?
Certainly. But not in order to become a son or a daughter of the heavenly Father.
No, you make those changes because you are a son or daughter.
And every time you start to revert back to the old addictions to sin, the Holy Spirit will say to you, "No, no. That’s not how we act in this family."
B. Today as we continue our study of 1 John, we come to chapter 3 where we will see what John has to say about being a child of God.
1. Pastor Barnes is exactly right in saying that we do not have to change in order to be a part of the family of God—we change because we are grateful for being adapted into God’s family.
2. We are studying in first John things that we can know.
3. Today we want to see what John has to say about how we know if we are a child of God.
4. I’d like to point out 10 ways that we can know that we are a child of God.
5. First, I know that I am a child of God because…
I. I realize how much God loves me
1 John 3:1, How great is the 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.
A. John says that the love the Father has for us is lavish!
1. When you think about the love God has for you, does it just absolutely overwhelm you?
2. If you truly understand how lavish the Father’s love is for you, you can just break down in tears at the thought of it.
3. I know that when I come home from work, my children get really excited and want hugs from me and they want me to hold them.
4. Jill is the same way.
5. Why is that? Its because they know how much I love them.
6. And that’s the way it is for the children of God.
7. We understand what the word "so" means!
8. When our big brother says, "For God SO loved the world," we understand how big that word "so" really is!
9. We are children of God and God has LAVISHED His love on us!
10. For God SO loved Todd that He sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for my sins, that if I would just believe in Him, I will not perish, but have eternal life!
B. And God SO loved me that He loved me while I was yet a sinner!
1. Romans 5:5-8, And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.