Lecture on 1 John (17)

Passage

1 John 2: 29- 3:1
“If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him. See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”

Introduction

This is the 17th session of the lectures on 1 John.
If we truly understand that we have got the precious right to become God’s children, we should have joy stemming from the depth of our hearts. Our previous lives should change and change completely.
Thinking about how we could live a life that is worthy of being God’s children and how we should live according to God’s word, we would have a thirst for the truth and a desire to live by the will of God.
That is why we learn the Bible and change ourselves through prayer and expending our own effort.
If we say we believe in God, but do not dwell in the word of God, then we cannot have confidence at the time of the Lord’s coming.
When we stand at the judgment God we will only think, “Why did I live such a life,” and be put to shame.
The 29th verse of John explains that God’s children must dwell in the truth.
It says, “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.”
Sometimes, when you see the face of a child, you naturally realize whose child he/she is.
It is very natural that children resemble their parents.
We children of God obviously have to resemble the Father God.
Just like God who does not have any unrighteousness, His children also must live righteous lives.
Matthew 5:48 reads, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
1 Peter 1:16 records, “Because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'”
We understand that those who act in perfection, holiness, and righteousness are born of God who is righteous.
Even the enemy devil and Satan understand this and depart from them.
But those who practice unrighteousness cannot be recognized to be born of God.
Even though they say they believe in the Lord, they have nothing to do with God who is light. They belong to darkness.
They cannot receive God’s blessings. They rather become the prey of the enemy devil and Satan, the ruler of the darkness, and suffer from tests and trials.
God is looking at you hoping that His children will act in perfection and holiness.
When He sees His children acting in the truth, He rejoices greatly.
He will answer to the desires of their hearts saying, “What shall I give you?”
If I am observing you, you would probably maintain a mild facial expression, use good words and beautiful actions.
I cannot watch you every moment, but God is watching you all the time without falling asleep or dozing off.
If you remember this fact, how much would you try to make yourself more lovely?
I hope you will feel the eyes of God everyday and abide in the truth and righteousness.
I urge you, in doing so, you will be recognized as being born of God.
1 John 3:1 says, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
It tells us to see how great a love God has bestowed on us that we would be called children of God.
Do you see His love?
Do you really understand and feel that love deeply in your heart and in your lives?
When God existed alone in the beginning, He did not lack anything.
His glory filled the entire space of the universe from eternity and throughout eternity.
And to share such great love and glory, He made up His mind to create human beings.
Just like parents prepare for the baby who will be born soon, God created the whole universe, the stars, and the plants and animals on this earth.
Finally, God made Adam in His own image with so much care. God gave him the authority to rule over everything.
But when Adam committed a sin, God was so heartbroken.
When He saw Adam’s descendants being corrupted with sins and evil following the works of Satan and standing against God, He mourned so much that He even said He regretted having created men.
But God never gave up on human cultivation.
He believed that He could finally gain true children with whom He could share true love after all the painful moments would pass by.
With that faith and hope, God showed the greatest love to us.
1 John 4:9-10 says, “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Who in this world would sacrifice his life for you?
Who would love you to the point of being scourged and blood-stained, who’d be nailed through hands and feet and die on the cross amidst receiving so much contempt and mockery?
God the Creator did it.
Even when we had no goodness and we did not fear God, when we were the foremost of sinners who stood against God, He gave the life of His one and only Son for you and me.
This love is a real life event that the history also testifies.
The calendar that we use divides time into B.C. and A.D. based on the birth of Jesus.
Saying that this year is 2011 is that it’s been 2,011 years since God sent His only begotten Son with His great love.
This love that God gave to us did not come with any conditions.
It was not just for the sons of Israel or only for good people.
Even though we lived in sins of greed, falsehood, and lewdness, God does not discriminate against anybody.
We can just acknowledge that we are sinners, repent of our sins, and accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.
God gave us the life of His one and only Son to unconditionally forgive us of all our sins and save us. All we have to do is take hold of the out-stretched hands that God offers.
He forgives us all our past sins, and He promises us the glory of bright Heaven, and calls us His sons and daughters.
Numerous people realized this amazing love and they accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
They departed from the ways of sins to come into the bosom of God.
As the reading passage said, “and such we are,” we have received this overflowing love and become precious children of God.
But as said, “For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him,” this world belongs to the enemy devil and Satan, and it does not know God because it does not accept His love.
Neither does it know God’s children who have received His love.
It cannot understand the lives of the believers.
God’s children have their hope in Heaven.
When the worldly people enjoy themselves getting drunk with the world, the believers do not participate in the fleshly things.
Rather than seeking the momentary profit on this earth, they want to be holy in the eyes of God. So, they do not compromise with the untruth and unrighteousness.
The world sometimes persecutes or hates these children of God for it does not understand them.
It may even despise them saying they are foolish.
But God’s children do not care about any kind of persecution or mockery.
Even though they cannot enjoy fame and honor on this earth, and even though they live in sufferings and trials, they still rejoice and give thanks.
When the children of God live in light looking up to the spiritual things, there are some among the worldly people who will open their hearts.
They wonder about who God is and they want to find out about His love.

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