WEDNESDAY, MAY 17
SCRIPTURE: 1 John 3
As this chapter opens, John makes a couple of huge statements. One of those is “See what kind of love the Father has given to us”. The English language really does a disservice to this statement. If we look at this more closely, we will discover that John is actually talking about the peculiar, out-of-this world, scandalous kind of love that the Father has for us.
Let’s break that down a bit. First, God’s love is peculiar. This simply means that it is very different from any other kind of love that anybody might have for us. It is different from a parent’s love, from a friend’s love, or even the love of a spouse. God’s love really is unparalleled.
Second, God’s love is out-of-this world. Any love that is “of this world” is tainted by our sin. Love that is “of this world” is corrupted by the imperfections of the human heart. So, God’s love is “out of this world”. It is unlike anything that we experience anywhere else. It is not affected by sin. In fact, it is expressed and freely given in spite of sin. God’s love is perfectly divine.
Third, God’s love is scandalous. Think about this. God is perfect, sinless, and holy in every way. We are imperfect, sinful, and anything but holy. And yet God chooses to love us anyway. God chooses to love us who are so very different from Him. God chooses to love us who have turned away from Him. God chooses to love us before we would ever consider loving Him. His love for us really is the scandal of all eternity.
As you look at verse 1, you will see that God’s love is directly responsible for who we are. Specifically, this verse says we are the children of God. Before our salvation, we were dead in our sins, depraved, and, as Ephesians 2 says, were sons of disobedience and children of wrath. But because of God’s great love for us, we can be saved and when we are saved we are made the children of God.
Verse 2 takes this a step further and speaks of what we shall be. This verse is actually speaking of what we will be when we get to heaven. Now, when we arrive in heaven, we will still be human. But we will exist in different kinds of bodies that the Bible calls glorified bodies. We don’t know exactly what that will look like or be like. But we do know that we will be like Jesus.
Verse 4 then fills in the gap between verse 1 and verse 2. In other words, verse 4 speaks of our lives after we are saved and before we arrive in heaven. Actually, the next several verses (through verse 10) speak of this. Let me give you a short version of what is being said.
From the time we are saved until we arrive in heaven, we should be becoming progressively more Christ like. We should, through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in us, be becoming victorious over our sins and struggles. In other words, we should be becoming more like Jesus.
That doesn’t mean we will be perfect. I don’t think we will be on this earth. But we should be getting closer to that all of the time. The Bible actually calls this sanctification which could be defined as becoming more holy. Now this will not make us self-righteous because that is sin. It will help us be more righteous which is Christ-like.
As Christ followers, we really should be on a journey of becoming more like our Jesus.