Children of the Lord (1 John 3:1–3) - Radical

Children of the Lord (1 John 3:1–3)

“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. 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, and everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
– 1 John 3:1–3

Praise God. There’s so much in these three verses. Just soak in, for all who’ve trusted in Jesus, you know God as father. You are loved by God as father. Some translations in 1 John 3:1 say, “You are lavished by the love of God as your father.”

And just look around you in the world today, see creation shouting his glory and realize this is your Father who calls you his child. You’re his son or his daughter and he has lavished his love on you. We are God’s children now and what we will be has not yet appeared. In other words, amidst all the challenges and the trials and the struggles of life in this world, none of those things are the end of the story. What we will be has not yet appeared.

1 John 3:1–3 Shares the Freedom We Have From Sin

But we know that when he appears, when Jesus comes back, we shall be like him. What does that mean? We’re going to be like God? Well, no, not divine, but we will be pure as he is pure. That’s verse three. What a picture. We will be totally free from sin. From the stains of sin, from the shame of sin. We will be pure as Jesus is pure because we will see him as he is. Do you see that connection? When we truly see who Jesus is, we will be pure as he is pure.

So how does that affect the way we live today? Fix your eyes on Jesus all day long. In everything fix your eyes on Jesus. And we will become, this is 2 Corinthians 3:18 too. “We will become like what we behold.” As we behold Jesus and his word and our hearts and our minds and our thoughts and our affections. As we behold Jesus, we become like Jesus with hope. That’s what verse three says. Hope that one day we will be like him, pure as he is pure and welcomed by God, our Father into his eternal home for us.

1 John 3:1–3 Leads Us to Long for Jesus

God, oh, come Lord Jesus. Come quickly. We long to see you as you are. We have such an incomplete picture here. And we want to see you as you are. We want to see you more and more and more every day. God, we pray you’d help us to see Jesus more clearly, help us to know Jesus more fully.

God, we praise you for the privilege of being your children through faith in Jesus. For the privilege of calling you Father right now. Who am I? Who are we to call you Father? To know you, to be known by you as your children. God, we praise you for this.

This Leads Us to Pray for Afghan Believers

And we pray for our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. And they’re facing so much cost right now. The threat of persecution, the threat of death for following you. We pray God, that they would see the reward of being your children as better than life itself. We pray that you’d help them to hold fast in these days.

And God, we pray that you would help us to live today like you are better than life itself. Help us to surrender our lives completely to leading other people, to know you as Father, to following you faithfully in this world, no matter what the cost, because we have put our hope in Jesus. And what we will be has not yet appeared. We pray all of this according to your word in 1 John 3:1–3. In Jesus’ name, amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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