28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
3 1 See what great 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. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
John continues now in exhortation to believers. As children we are grafted into the lineage of Abraham, and therefor heirs with Christ to the kingdom which is to come. Knowing this, how can we remain silent and still? We are told to continue in Him, to keep moving forward in our pursuit of holiness. By searching out the ways in which to imitate Him we will be made unashamed when He appears. Because we know that Christ is perfect (righteous), we too, should set our goals at no less. Therefor John says that we will know who is His by their works of righteousness.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” – Romans 12:1
We have been given this gift of becoming children of God, and because of that we show love back to the Father. This love is a choice, as recorded in 1 Corinthians 13, that we bestow on each other and on God because we desire to please Him. This is true sacrifice, and a true display of being born unto Christ. What mercies have been lavished on us! How did we get here?
In this very first verse of chapter 3 is the doctrine with which so many have issue. The Father lavished His love on us, and therefor we are called children of God. Did I choose to be His child, to be born into life anew with Him? No. Have I done anything to make the Creator of all things desire me? No. He came to me – a sinner, broken, ashamed – and poured out His mercies onto me because of His love. Remember love is a choice. He chose me. Why?
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. – Romans 9:15-16
So why when I speak of my great love for God and what He has bestowed upon me do I get confusion and resentment? If I speak to someone close to me in whom I am unsure of their salvation, because they have no works of proof, and that person says they are cool with God but say I have no peace, does that mean they are unsure of my salvation as well? As John states in verse 1: the reason they do not know us is because they do not know God.
Our works are clear to them but they cannot see the truth of what salvation means because they themselves are still wearing the veil. The world says peace means level headed and calm, but Christ’s peace is because of our hope for our future, a peace that passes understanding. John reminds us again, we are God’s children, and though the world may not recognize us as such, when Christ returns we will be made known. We will be made like Christ – not as His equal, because He is the head – but as His righteousness. Because of this hope, we as God’s children, should make every effort to purify ourselves of every sinful inclination.
“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” – 2 Corinthians 7:1
Lord’s Day 4, Question 9
But does not God do man an injustice
by requiring in his law
what man cannot do?
for God so created man
that he was able to do it. 1
But man, at the instigation of the devil, 2
in deliberate disobedience 3
robbed himself and all his descendants
of these gifts. 4