And Such We Are

“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.” (1 John 3:1)

God, our Creator, loved us so much that He paid the debt of our sin, death, (Romans 6:23) that we have committed against Him. So great is His love towards us that while we were yet lost in our sin towards Him He sent His Son to pay the penalty that we could never pay and yet live. (Romans 5:8) This is the love that is beyond our comprehension, this is the love so great that no man can offer, the love that God has for His creation. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

Becoming a Child of God is a privilege that we accept in the will of God. It is a choice that all make or reject. It is not something than can be earned by our treasure or effort, as the value of becoming a child of God is of greater price than any man can acquire. None can obey the whole law and all are born into sin by our nature. Only by God’s grace can we receive salvation through Jesus Christ. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

By our personal relationship through Jesus we become members in the family of God. As a child of God there are privileges than none other than His children can obtain. As children of God we are led through this world by His Spirit, we become lights of His truth in this darkened world, and as His children we are heirs to all things according to the riches of His glory. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:16-17)

We are spiritual beings living in a fleshly tent while on this earth. The flesh does not desire that which the spirit needs for eternal survival. The flesh is attracted to the materialism of this world while the spirit hungers for the love of God that was breathed into the body by the breath of God in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 2:7) If we walk in the flesh, then we will be as the passing world. Children of God walk in the spirit and are led by the Spirit of God. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit if we would walk in faith with Him. When we receive Jesus as Lord of our life He gives us His Spirit to guide our daily walk. This is a privilege of being a Child of God. “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)

The follower of Christ becomes so united by the Spirit of God that we can be led throughout our life by the Creator of our life. The follower of Jesus who is led by the Spirit experiences a transformation from living for the glory of this world to living for the glory of the Kingdom to come. Our minds are transformed from seeking the value of the flesh and its lust for the world to seeking the seeking the spiritual truths of God’s Word. No longer do we desire the imperfections of this world but the perfections of the righteous world that we are bound for. Still we stumble and fall but we live in the righteousness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and walk according to the will of God. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2) This is the measure of our worship of our God and Savior that we strive to live in the model of our Creator and forsake the imperfect model of the world we are presently in.

We are in this world but we no longer are of this world. We are living members of the Kingdom of God. We are here in this world as His Ambassadors. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) As Children of God, His Ambassadors, we are the lights of His truth for all to see. We are a reflection of God’s character that people may see Him through us. As we grow to become more like Christ, we display His attributes. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22)

We are God’s light of truth, righteousness, and love in the midst of a twisted world that cries for love and truth. Through the follower of Jesus that world can see and learn the narrow path that leads to the home of Peace, Joy, and Love. We are the lights of God that through us people can find their way. “So that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15)

We are fully human, flawed as we may be, but we are different from the rest of the world. We do not seek the pleasure of this world but the Joy of the world to come. We do not live by the popular law of mankind but by the enduring truths of God’s eternal law. Neither do we desire to blend but to be set apart as our God is holy and we are to be holy as He. We have surrendered our spirit to the leading of His Spirit and therefore the world does not know us as the world does not know Him. “For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” The world may see the Christian life as foolish for the values of this world are so twisted from the truths of God’s Word. Man has rejected God for so long that he does not know what is true and what is false. Look at the confusion of today’s society and the point is made. “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

This is our purpose, this is why we have not yet been called out, we are to let the world see through us that God that loves them and desires that none should face the second death. Our Lord commanded us to be points of His light in the darkness of this world’s confusion. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Jesus, the Lamb of God, who finished the work of His ministry according His Father’s will, and now sets at the right hand of the Father and is the heir of all things, and of all creation. “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” (Hebrews 1:1-2) His followers, His disciples, the Christians are joint heirs with Him in the Kingdom of God to come. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:16-18)

How simple man’s thinking is. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:20-21) Why then does man strive to possess and own the passing things of this world when through Jesus Christ he can be joint heir to all things in creation? “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God.”

With privilege comes responsibility, we are to be led by His Spirit and obey His Word. “Beloved, now 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. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:2-4)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, November 29. 2016

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