Summary: There is nothing more comforting for a child, than a safe and loving home. Such an environment fosters growth and stability. The same principle applies for the children of God. Living confidently in Him, we enjoy growth and stability.
The Comfort and Confidence of Children
1 John 3: 1-3
Our text this evening deals with the wonderful love of God and the eternal blessings bestowed on those who have been adopted into the family of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord. There is no greater comfort than knowing one has been accepted into the beloved and made a partaker of the divine inheritance.
As I considered this passage, I immediately thought of the love found within the home. When a home operates as God intended, love is felt and shown by all. The home is a place of comfort, security, hope, and love. It is a place where all are accepted because of who they are, not what they possess or perform. The home, surrounded by a loving family, is indeed a special place. It is proven that children excel and acclimate to life better within a stable home.
The benefits of the home and family are more than we can number, and being a part of God’s family is no exception. Every believer belongs to the family of God. I want to examine the certainties revealed in the text regarding Christians as we consider: The Comfort and Confidence of Children.
I. John Speaks of our Adoption (1) – 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. Consider:
A. The Reality – Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed…Take a moment to consider the abundance of that thought. Consider the manner of love that is offered to humanity from God the Father. This carries the idea of “from what country and of which sort it is;” it speaks of “the character and quality possessed.” The love that we enjoy is much greater than the love offered by the world. The love of God is not of the world; its character and very essence is much different than that known of the world.
We know that love is one of the great attributes of God. This too speaks of Agape love, love that is unique to God. It is love without merit or boundary. It is love that exceeds all sin. It is God giving what we could never deserve, and maybe not even desired, but given freely. Oh what manner of love He has for us!
B. The Reception – Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us. Isn’t that amazing when you think of it? God has bestowed such wonderful love on us. We are the recipients of such love! This has the idea of “giving of one’s own accord, with the intent of good will.” God purposely chose to extend such love to us. He chose to love us of His own accord. He was not forced to do so, but willing chose to love us!
I stand amazed that such love has been freely given to me. I certainly am not worthy of such love. There is no way I could ever earn such love, and yet He chose to love me! When I consider all that God is, (and my mental capacity presents a feeble effort at best) I am amazed that God would love me. I am amazed that He would love sinful humanity, and yet He does!
C. The Relationship (1) – Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: Because of His great love and the sacrifice of His Son, the saved are now the children of God. We are literally and eternally part of God’s family.
If I may, I would like to summarize the thoughts of John Phillips from his commentary of 1st John. He states there are three ways one can become part of the family. 1) We can be born into the family, the life principle. 2) We can be adopted into the family, the law principle. 3) We can marry into the family, the love principle. All the saved enjoy all three. We are born into the family: John 3: 5-7. We are adopted into the family: Rom.8: 14-15. We are married into the family: Rom.7: 4.
D. The Rejection (1b) – therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Our relationship with Christ is special, but sadly it is not universal. All do not enjoy kinship with Him, all do not belong to the family of God. We are not known, or embraced of the world because the world doesn’t know or embrace Christ.
This reveals a sad truth that remains. Just as Jesus and the early believers were rejected, we too will be rejected. Just as many in Jesus’ day refused Him as the Messiah, the majority today deny Him as the Christ. Our spiritual family will endure for eternity, but sadly there will be separation from some whom we knew as family in this life. This ought to challenge us to do all we can to reach those apart from Christ before it is eternally too late!