“Don’t Miss This!”
“Behold!! what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” I John 3:1-3 NKJV
Strong’s Greek– íde (the aorist imperative of 1492 /eídō, “to know, see”) – properly, a Greek imperative meaning “Behold!” – literally, “Don’t miss this! It is an observable, objective fact!”
Do not miss what John is saying here. DO not check out. Do not read it and forget. John is telling the church something we need to live daily by—we are the children of God. And because we are God’s children, the world is foreign to us. The world does not know or understand us because we are becoming like Jesus. One day we will see Him face to face and this is the hope that drives us to purify ourselves.
King David has my heart when he said, “who am I?’
2 Samuel 7:18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?
It might surprise you that I feel unworthy most days. I feel abandoned and rejected. I fight a daily battle in my mind that regardless of how I feel about myself, I am His child. Not because of anything I have done. Not because I was good. Not because “we are all Gods children” as some would tell you. NO, I became a child of God when I was born again of the Holy Spirit. I became a new creation and went from being a child of darkness and a child of the devil into a child of light and of the Most High. The devil was my father when I lived in the world but I have been adopted by God through the blood of Jesus.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the [a]right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
What manner of love the Father has bestowed up us–God’s love is not unconditional. It is conditioned upon your response to the cross!
John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
Jude 20-21 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
WE have to respond. Obedience is commanded in order to remain in His love. This is a condition.
The gospel is concerned with a new life as a child of God. Jesus came not to just die for our sins, but to restore relationships that existed in the garden between God and man, and man and woman. True Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. When Hagar was cast out from Sarah and Abraham’s presence, she was alone in the desert and an angel appeared to her.
Genesis 16:13-14 Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-[a]the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here [b]seen Him who sees me?” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi;[c] observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
Like Hagar, you have to know that you know that you know- HE is not just the God who sees, but the God who sees me. A theological assent is not enough to change you into a child of God.
There is a sharp distinction between knowing about and knowing. The distinction is the same as between knowing about food and actually eating it. I binged watched this show call “Alone”. These people are survival experts. They all know how to hunt, fish, find vegetation- they know all the survival tricks. Yet, quite a few get sent home because they have no food to eat and their body shuts down. A man can die of starvation knowing all about food. He must eat it.
In a like manner, a man can remain spiritually dead while knowing all about the facts of Christianity. You can even have good doctrine and still be dead.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
add one extra word, “that they may know about you” and it changes the whole meaning
We must constantly keep in mind that the gospel is not good news only, but a judgment as well upon everyone who hears it. For sinners who want to cease being willful sinners and become children of God, the gospel is a message of hope and peace. But to those who do not obey the gospel, it is a warning of the wrath and judgement to come on sons of disobedience.
Salvation includes a judicial change of status- we are saved from our sins; but this also includes an actual transformation into a new creation which includes a new Father. The world does not know us because it does not know (is not intimately connected with) our Father.
Religious people seek to make themselves children of God by association. Some of you want all the benefits of being a child without actually becoming a child. But we do not become Christians by associating with church people, nor by any religious contact, nor by Christian education; we only become Christians by an invasion of our nature by the Spirit of God in the new birth.
Matthew 18:3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
There are many in the visible church who have never repented and been converted. Conversion means I have taken on the nature of God. THEREFORE, says John, the world does not know us.
Megan and baby Noah, told to terminate. People used to say of me, “Crystal found religion”. You don’t know me because you do not know my Father. They do not understand why I am in church worshipping every time the doors are open. They don’t understand why I forgive those who have treated me horribly. They do not understand why I hate evil and hate sin. They don’t understand why I do not let me children do what the world’s children do. I have been CHANGED. I remember after my baptism how I saw clearly for the first time in my life. When I born again, I saw everything differently.
The Christian faith teaches a complete antithesis between the church and the world. It is an illegal marriage. We have no Biblical authority to try to bridge the gulf between these two polar opposites. No real union between the world and the church is possible. When the church joins up with the world, it ceases to be the true church and becomes an abomination to the Lord.
Nothing could be clearer than the pronouncements of the Scriptures on the Christians relation to the world. The confusion around this matter results from the unwillingness of professing Christians to take the Word of the Lord seriously.
John 15:18-19 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Throughout Scripture, a sharp line is drawn between God’s people and the world. There is no middle ground. The Lord recognizes no good-natured “agreeing to disagree” so that followers of the Lamb may adopt the world’s ways and travel along the world’s path. How can the world know us when we are so drastically different? The difficulty we face is not misunderstanding the Bible, but in persuading our hearts to accept its plain and simple instructions.
You have done nothing until you have left the world. It is one thing to say, “I believe in Jesus” and quite another to obey His command. The spirit of this world and the Spirit which dwells in the hearts of those born again are as far apart as heaven and hell. Not only are they completely opposite of each other, they are antagonistic to each other.
James 4:4 [a]Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
This language is too plain to confuse anyone who honestly wants to know the truth. It is not a problem of understanding, but of faith and obedience. These words of God are not for our consideration; they are there for our obedience and we have no right to claim the title of child of God unless we follow them. THIS is how we keep ourselves in His love. SO what does purify even mean and how do we purify ourselves?
There are many words for “pure” in the Greek language. John uses the word for pure: “hagnos”- free from ceremonial defilement, holy, sacred. Usage: (originally, in a condition prepared for worship), pure (either ethically, or ritually, ceremonially), chaste.
The Levitical priests of ancient Israel were required to be without physical defect and ritually pure before performing their duties. They followed strict guidelines related to physical condition when going before God in their Temple or Tabernacle duties.
Leviticus 21 outlines the requirements for the purity that God required of them. A descendant of Aaron had to be pure, unspotted and without physical defects before he could offer sacrifices or offering to God. These defects included blindness, lameness, a marred face, a limb too long, a broken foot, a broken hand, hunchbacked, dwarfed, a defective eye, eczema, a scab and castration. They can be further categorized into four basic areas: injury, deformity, disease and surgery.
The priest could not go near the veil or approach the altar if he had a defect profaning God’s sanctuary. These defects represented the effects of sin. Sin separates man from God.
When the building of the Temple of God in Jerusalem was completed in 515 BC, the priests followed the instruction given by God in Leviticus for purifying themselves.
Ezra 6:20 “For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves; all of them were ritually clean.” Purification came by offering sacrifices as sin offerings and continuing obediently in God’s law.
In the New Testament church, God is calling out of the world a new, spiritual priesthood. The apostle Peter writes,
1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
The responsibilities of ancient Israel’s Levitical priesthood and the spiritual royal priesthood of God are similar in that purity is required. The ritual purity of the Levitical priesthood was accomplished by such physical activities as ritual washing and burnt sacrifices. Israel’s priesthood was a shadow of God’s spiritual priesthood. WE are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, but we also have a continual purification process. John says, therefore IF this hope to see Him and be like Him is in you, then we have a command to purify ourselves.
#1 Come out of the world and sin no more.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”
Coming out of the world is a requirement for the child of God. God has called us to be pure as He is pure. This is a biblical principle. The building of the temple in the OT, was a representation and shadow of what was coming in Christ, and His future kingdom
1 Kings 6:30 And the floor of the temple he overlaid with gold, both the inner and outer sanctuaries.
The inner and outer sanctuary was covered with PURE GOLD. Gold is representative of purity in other Scriptures:
Zechariah 13:9 I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’;
And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”
God requires a pure people- inside and out. The church is pure inside and out. THIS is God’s way
Titus 1:15-16 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being [a]abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
Gold is only refined through the fire- process of purification. You have to stay in the fire when God is refining you. If you jump out, church hop, run from His holy process, you will never reach the level of purification that God requires of His people. Let the Spirit bring out all your impurities
As the priests had to physically wash with water, we have God’s Word to cleanse us
Ephesians 5:26 that He might [a]sanctify and cleanse her (the church) with the washing of water by the word,
Let the Word of God have its way. When you read something, hear something, a friend tells you something, whether its correction or instruction, let that word have its way in you. Conviction is a good thing.
#2 Guard your heart with all diligence. Keep it pure from idolatry. You cannot worship the Lord and worldly idols at the same time. This produces a divided loyalty. A person with divided loyalty is not completely convinced that God’s way is best. He treats God’s Word like any human advice and retains the option to disobey. He vacillates between allegiance to subjective feelings, the world’s ideas and God’s commands.
What are some common day idols? Anything that you place above or equal to God or His Word. In today’s world, it would be things like your emotions and feelings; hobbies, sports, job, approval, tolerance, worldly philosophy and wisdom. Keep your heart free from offense, bitterness and unforgiveness. These things will block and hinder the Spirit of God in your life
#3 Guard your thoughts with all diligence. Keep them pure. This is a daily battle. The purifying of our thoughts by studying God’s Word and properly applying it in our lives spiritually heals our minds of the damage sin inflicts. By mentally dwelling on God’s way and laws, we replace the carnal thoughts with righteous, pure thoughts. Purity is the spiritual cleansing of our mind resulting in complete devotion to God. Carnal thoughts are replaced by God’s truth resulting in godly love. Take every thought captive
#4 Hang out with the pure. Stat on people who divorce because they have a divorced friend. “People are 75% more likely to end their marriage if a friend is divorced” Brown University study. Sounds to me like bad company corrupts good morals.
Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.
Who you surround yourself with matters.
#5 Take up your cross with its blood and reproach, deny yourself, and you will invite the hatred and rejection of men, but the love and favor of the Father.
Author and apologist Sam Allberry said this, “It is the same for us all – ‘whoever’. I am to deny myself, take up my cross and follow him. Every Christian is called to costly sacrifice. Denying yourself does not mean tweaking your behaviour here and there. It is saying ‘no’ to your deepest sense of who you are, for the sake of Christ. To take up a cross is to declare your life (as you have known it) forfeit. It is laying down your life for the very reason that your life, it turns out, is not yours at all. It belongs to Jesus. He made it. And through his death he has bought it. Ever since I have been open about my own experiences with homosexuality, a number of Christians have said something like this: ‘the gospel must be harder for you than it is for me’, as though I have more to give up than they do. But the fact is that the gospel demands everything out of all of us. If someone thinks the gospel has somehow slotted into their life quite easily, without causing any major adjustments to their lifestyle or aspirations, it is likely that they have not really started following Jesus at all.”
Our loving God and Father has purified us from our former life of sin through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. Now are we the children of God! Rejoice that He calls you a son or daughter and do not fret or be surprised because the world doesn’t understand you. We are growing toward spiritual purity little by little. Remember, it is a process, not an overnight success. It is our duty now as God’s beloved children to prepare ourselves for God’s Kingdom by purifying our hearts and minds so that we will one day stand before the Father and be like Jesus.
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