Summary: Sermon Series on 1 John
Series: 1 John
Passage: 1 John 3:1-3
Title: The Two Distinctions of the Children of God
Focus: Christian Living
INTRODUCTION: A group of expectant fathers were in a waiting room, while their wives were in the process of delivering babies. A nurse came in and announced to one man that his wife had just given birth to twins. "That's quite a coincidence" he responded, "I play for the Minnesota Twins!" A few minutes later another nurse came in and announced to another man that he was the father of triplets. "That's amazing," he exclaimed, "I work for the 3M company." At that point, a third man slipped off his chair and laid down on the floor. Somebody asked him if he was feeling ill. "No," he responded, "I happen to work for the 7-up company."
No matter how many children a man is blessed with, the Father truly appreciates them all. There is great pride in a man knowing his children are knitted out of the same fabric as he and bear his image. His children, however individually gifted, have similarities of their dad and perform much like him when disciplined to do so properly.
While unexpected and often unknown until much later in life, the children have the inherited the ability to become pure by honoring their Father and placing their hope in what will last forever and not simply a mortal lifetime. He we are not simply talking about a man and his children in an earthly relationship but more God the Father's wonderful plan of salvation for those who would accept to become His children.
SCRIPTURE: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3
TITLE: The Two Distinctions of the Children of God (1 John 1:1-3)
Point #1: Children of God Change Personalities and Practices (1 John 3:1)
ο Explanation: John continues to expound on the applications of God's love to the children (the church) to help demonstrate how once they were accepted into the family of God their personalities and practices would change. This is shown in a few ways.
1. We change because of the love that was shown: (“What Matter of Love”): God, caring for us his children choose to adopt us into his family. Paul explains in Romans 11 how the Gentiles were grafted into the family of God through faith. This means, in summery, that God, through the affliction of Jesus Christ and the acceptance of His creation (the Saints) allowed us to be accepted into his family. We gain in the adoption process the ability to call Him (God) “Father”. As James states there is no greater love than adopting an orphan or taking care of widows (James 1:27). This is a perfect picture of what Christ demonstrated for us on the cross.
2. We change because of the name that was given (“called”): “Called” is often used in the sense of “to be” meaning here, the gaining of privileges in the adoption.
i. Romans 8:15 “You have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
ii. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
iii. 2 Corinthians 6:18 “I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
3. We change because of the rejection of the world (“the world does not know us”): After accepting the love and receiving the name/calling, one cannot gain pleasure from the world once they have tasted the goodness of God. Earthly pleasures are abandoned when eternal understanding is gained. There is nothing greater than the source of joy from God knowing that we are His children.
ο Illustration: Ann Landers Column. “Dear Ann Landers: It happened again today. My two sons and I were in a shopping mall, and a total stranger felt the need to comment on the fact that my boys didn't look anything alike. Apparently, my 6 year old decided it was time he explained the difference. "I'm adopted," he said. "That's when you have the same family but not the same face."