Summary: Message 14 from 1 John focusing on the identifying marks of God's children.
Whose Kid Are You?
Intimate relationship with the God of light and love is the overriding subject of the Apostle John’s letter to Christians of all ages in all ages at all levels of spiritual maturity. He used words like “fellowship”, “abide in”, “be in”, walk in light, love to describe relationship with God.
John interspersed clear declarations of his purpose throughout the letter prefaced by, “I have written…”
1. That we might have fellowship with God and each other. 1:3
2. That we might have joy 1:4
3. That we might not sin 2:1
4. That we might not be deceived 2:26
5. That we might be assured of eternal life 5:13
He wrote of the character of the God of light.
He wrote of the character of the Children of light
He wrote of the Love of God for His children
He wrote of the love of the children of God for each other
I. The God of light 1:1-2:28
A. The Message – God is Light 1:1-5
B. The Implication 1:6-2:28
1. Live in purity (Walk in the light)
2. Confess sin
3. Avoid sin but go to Christ as an advocate when you do
4. Give attention to His instructions
5. Love His kids
6. Keep growing deeper
7. Stop preferring the world of godless materialism and its stuff over God
8. Avoid deception by the antichrist by letting the word abide in you and abiding in Christ
II. The Children of light 2:29-4:6
This passage inspired a closer look at the Father/child relationship between a Holy God and sinful man made possible by Jesus Christ. John is the perfect example of truth spoken in love.
He is clear. He is bold. He is black and white. Yet his letter is filled with compassion and connection with his readers. Considers them dearly loved children.
There are five factors to consider in relation to genuine children of God.
A. The “Likeness” factor 2:29-3:3
God chose us to be infused into His family. God intends that we be like Him.
John speaks to five things God’s kids need to know about God’s kids.
1. Children of a righteous God live righteously.
If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him. 1 John 2:29
God is absolutely righteous. It follows then that children born of a righteous God will also practice righteous. We will come back to this thought in a bit. How do you distinguish God’s children? They act like Him! That leads to the second question.
2. We are God’s children by His loving calling and conversion 3:1a
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.
The word translated “see” or “behold” is actually the same word for “to know intuitively.”
“know”, “be aware”, “perceive”, “understand”, “take to heart”, “consider”, “notice”, “behold”, “contemplate”.
Contemplate the nature of God’s love. John instructed his readers to contemplate the wonder and nature of a love that would take the initiative to reach down to an infinitely inferior, hostile, stubborn, sinful, ungrateful, stiff-necked, proud and rebellious being and invite them to become part of His family by adoption (legal connection) and birth (genetic connection).
I love John’s next phrase that multiplies the wonder even more.
“and we ARE!” We are children of God not only by calling but in actuality.
3. The world won’t acknowledge you because it didn’t acknowledge Him. 3:1b
For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 1 John 3:1
4. You will be like Him when He appears
Beloved, now (henceforth) we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 1 John 3:2
5. Those who realize their destiny – pursue their destiny 3:3
And everyone having this hope upon Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
The focus of this whole passage is to motivate God’s children to actively and enthusiastically cooperate in the process of purification. Passionately pursue purity. The longing for purity is at the core of every born again child of God. The New Testament continually calls us to holiness and purity. Scripture continually exhorts us to like Jesus.
B. The “righteousness/sin” factor 3:4-10
1. The nature of sin
John took the time to clarify sin and Jesus’ relationship to it. The false teachers had redefined sin. Since matter no longer mattered, neither did any physical sin. Since they had arrived at some super spiritual state of enlightenment they were basically no longer subject to any laws.