What We Are, What We Shall Be, and What We Should Be

1 John 3:1-3, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

The child of God will face many trials and troubles in this world.  Each heir of promise will experience ups and downs, highs and lows, good times and bad.  The Apostle John understood this fact and longed to encourage, comfort and exhort those to whom he would be blessed to preach.  John, in his effort to do these things, labored to give assurance to his congregation concerning who they were by grace; what they would be one day in the resurrection; and what they should be in their everyday lives.  John in the verses previously cited says:

1) Be encouraged and have assurance that you belong to Jesus Christ (“Beloved, now are we the sons of God,…”)! Blessed Assurance Jesus is mine, are the words found in a hymn that is requested often in worship services.  What a rich blessing it is for a sensible sinner (one who knows they are a sinner) to be able to experience the assurance of being saved by grace and sing the words of this hymn.  It’s almost as if they are saying, “the flames of the hope that are within me are burning unto the clouds.”  Paul, in Romans 5:1-2 reads, “ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”  Galatians 5:22 tells us, “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”  Truly, dear child of grace, if one of these are found in your life, it is evidence that you belong to the Lord.

2) Be comforted that a better day is coming (“it doth not yet appear what we shall be:…”)! John comforts the reader by telling them that they are not what they shall be one glorious day.  When the Lord Jesus Christ returns to take His elect family home to glory, according to Paul in Philippians 1:23, it will be “far better”.  Dear reader, on that happy and glorious day every disease will be healed; every eye will be dried; and every frown will be turned upside down by the Eternal Son of God.  In Psalms 17:15, David affirms that we will be “satisfied”.

3) Be motivated and exhorted to live a better life right now (“purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”)!  Not only did John labor to encourage and comfort, he also worked to motivate the children of God to live to the glory of God in this present world. If you believe you belong to the Lord, John says you should purify (cleanse yourself from the works of the flesh), to praise and glorify Jesus, who gave His precious life for you on the Cross of Calvary.  Amen!

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