God’s love for His people is like no other kind of love in the whole universe. Let’s look at the unbelievable kind of love that God has for His people. Look at 1 John 3:1-3…
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
Look at that first line again“See what kind of love the Father has given to us…” “Eidō is the first word in Chapter 3 in the original Greek. The ESV translates that word (eidō) as “see.” That’s technically accurate, but that’s nearly strong enough. The Greek word means to “Pay attention.” If I was translating this text, I would put it like this:, “Wake up. Pay Attention. What I’m about to tell you is really important.”
The message that John wants us to wake up and pay attention to and understand is that God’s love for His children is amazing and His love changes them forever.
I want to briefly look at 2 reasons why God’s love is amazing: His rescue and His adoption.
God’s love is amazing because He rescued His people out of sin’s deadly grip
Skip down to the last part of verse 8b. It says, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”
Turn in your Bibles to Romans 8:15 and keep a finger in both Romans 8 and 1 John 3.
God’s plan of salvation begins when He reveals to a person that they are in a desperate situation. God is perfect and any deviation from perfection would ruin His perfection. It’s not a problem for God that He’s perfect. He can remain perfect and surround Himself with perfection forever. BUT… His perfection is a problem for us if we want to draw near to God.
We fall short of perfection all the time and that imperfection in our lives separates us from God. The Bible frequently identifies 3 causes of imperfection in the lives of all people: “Transgression,” “Sin,” and “Iniquity.” These are a rarely used words in our language and culture. Let me take a minute to define those terms as they would have been understood by the original readers of the Bible:
- Transgression: Refers to a revolt or rebellion
- Sin: mean to miss the mark or to not live up to a standard.
- Iniquity: (probably the most archaic term of the 3) lt is word that refers not just to sin, but to inner perversity – especially the guilt associated with a depraved mind.
If you and I – through our own effort and self-will – needed to root out all inner rebellion, never miss the mark of perfection and perfectly control every thought in order to have eternal life, we would all be in a lot of trouble.
Without Jesus, we all tend to get entangled and tripped up by some form of worldliness. When the Holy Spirit reveals our imperfections, it is meant to lead us to a healthy fear of God so that we will seek a cure for the disease called “sin.”. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death.
You could compare the Holy Spirit’s revealing work to a man going in for a routine physical. The doctor comes back with the results and tells his patient that he has a serious, life-threatening, cancerous tumor. The patient asks, “Is it operable?” The doctor says that it is, but the procedure is hard and painful. The patient then asks, “What happens if we don’t operate?” The doctor says that ignoring the problem will surely result in death.
The threat of death causes a healthy fear in the patient. That fear is a good thing because it forces the patient to seek a cure. It forces the patient to do something that they would not have otherwise done. The doctor tells the patient about his condition so that a cure can be applied and life can be extended to the man who would have otherwise died.
The Holy Spirit’s work doesn’t stop at the fear of God. The last part of Romans 6:23 says that the free gift of God is eternal life. When the Holy Spirit reveals that a person is bound to sin, helpless to escape and incapable to save themselves from eternal punishment, His goal is to reveal a need for salvation and then to lead that person to the cure. His work in the heart of a believer ultimately leads to everlasting spiritual life.
This new life reveals that God’s love for His children is amazing and His love changes them forever. A believer’s new position in the household of God is not just that of a servant but the Bible says that God’s people are adopted sons or daughters. Romans 8:15 says, “15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, (we don’t live here) but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (This is God’s ultimate position for us!)
God’s love is amazing because He transforms sinners into sons and daughters
The fear of God, produced through the illuminating work of the Spirit, paves the way for a person’s repentance and adoption into the Kingdom of God. Fear has to do with punishment, but the child of God will never know God’s wrath for their sins. God poured out his wrath on Jesus on that dreadful day of Jesus’ crucifixion so that we would never have to bear the weight of God’s righteous anger.
Instead, we come before God forgiven. He is our Father. The word “Abba” means “daddy.” Owen calls me “Dada.” When I walk in the door, he often calls out “DADA!” and crawls over to me. He has confidence to come over to me because he knows my love for him. In the same way, a believer has confidence to approach our God the way a child would run to a loving father.
Lets go back to our text. 1 John 3:1 says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
God is a good and holy Father who wants the very best for you and me. He’s willing to do anything to bring you into a right relationship with Himself.
God meets us right where we are and displays to us amazing love that we could never deserve. Those who experience His love are never the same. They never want to go back to the entrapments of sin. That life was awful but the new life they’ve found with God is amazing, rewarding and satisfying.
God’s children are those people who have been transferred from the realm of sin and death over to a whole new reality. In this new position with God, they are now sons and daughters of the King. They are God’s children. God’s love for His children is amazing and His love changes them forever.