Abba’s Child 1 John 3:1-10
In all of the ways that God presents Himself to us, it touches our hearts that He reveals himself as Father.
“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” ~ Brennan Manning
This is an image found often in Scripture.
Ephesians 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
1 Peter 1:3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
Isaiah 64:8 Yet Lord, You are our Father;we are the clay, and You are our potter; we all are the work of Your hands.
Matthew 6:9 “Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Our text today is a word of assurance that is based upon the truth that we are the children of God.
1 John 3:1-10 (HCSB)
Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him. Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed.We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure. Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law. You know that He was revealed so that He might take away sins, and there is no sin in Him. Everyone who remains in Him does not sin everyone who sins has not seen Him or known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you! The one who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works. Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because His seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God. This is how God’s children—and the Devil’s children—are made evident.
Abba’s Child is Loved.
“Look at how great a love the Father has given us!” Love is from God and He teaches us to Love.
1 John 4:7-8 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:19 We Love because He first loved us.
John 3:16-17 For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He’s sufficient for all of our needs. ~ Charles Stanley
Abba’s Child Grows Like Him
We are Called by His Name (1:1 That we should be called God’s children…)
We will be like Him (1:2 We will be like Him …).
We purify ourselves as he is pure (1:3).
He takes away sin; there is no sin in Him (1:5,6).
He remains with us after new birth (1:9)
F. There is here the present sense that we are God’s children now … and the future sense that we will become like Him when he is revealed. For now we imperfectly follow Him. We are assured that we are secure in our salvation
because of his cleansing blood. This is to make a difference in our daily lives.
Abba’s Child is Distinct
From The World (Vs. 1 – ‘The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him.’)
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.” – E. E. CUMMINGS
From the Devil (Vs. 8)
AMP: [But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].
Verse 10 – This is how God’s children and the Devil’s children are made evident.
Being a child of Abba means we have a different approach to life, a different idea of what is right, and we are distinct.
What a privilege it is to be Abba’s child … loved by Him and growing to be like Him. I think this text speaks to a lot of people.
*The Outsiders – you are inside God’s great family.
*The Regretters – you are forgiven eternally.
*The Lost – you are wanted, sought, and invited.
Thomas Obadiah Chisholm was born in a log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky around 1866. As a young man attended then became a school teacher at age 16. By the age of 21 he was associate editor of his hometown newspaper. He was a humble man, calling himself ‘an old shoe’. It was 1897 at a revival that he gave his life to Christ … about age 27. He wrote a poem that expressed his desire to grow to be like his Heavenly Father. After many challenges in life, he died in 1960 at age 94 having written 1,200 poems, many put to music.
We owe to T. O. Chisolm songs like Bring Christ Your Broken Life, Great is Thy Faithfulness, Living For Jesus, Only in Thee … and a song that relates so well to our message today.
O to be like Thee! blessed Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
LifeGroup Discussion Questions
1. This passage shows us that we are becoming more and more like our Heavenly Father as we live in faithfulness and purity. Can you think of some ways you are like your earthly father – whether you intended to be or not? (This can be sensitive to some, this is not a question to probe painful memories if they exist … so feel free not to comment if you choose.)
2. One of Apostle John’s devices is to use contrasting figures. Look through this passage and identify the contrasting figures you see here. What are your observations about them?
3. Apostle John says that “The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him.” We know from the teachings of Jesus we are to be in the world but not of the world. Apostle Paul said he would become all things to all men to win some. In what ways should we be distinct from the world? In what ways should we become like the world in order to reach out to the lost with the Gospel? What are some ways we can become so much like the world that we lose the distinctive message of the Gospel?
4. Verse 3 suggests that those who know Christ will purify themselves. Why does knowing Christ lead to purity? What do you think of when you see the word “purify” … how would someone purify their life?
5. What do you think it will mean to be like Christ? (See 1 Corinthians 15:42-49; Ephesians 4:24; Philipians 3:21.)
6. Can a Christian sin or not? Verses 6 and 9 contain some thoughts that have perplexed Christians for centuries (so, don’t feel bad if it confuses you!). John has already made provision for “when we sin”… but here says we cannot sin. Look up these verses in the Amplified Version and the New International version and see if they offer some clarity. In our text, what are we told that Jesus does with our sin and with the works of the Devil?
7. Brennan Manning reflects on how we think God feels about us. “We unwittingly project onto God our own attitudes and feelings toward ourselves… But we cannot assume that He feels about us the way we feel about ourselves — unless we love ourselves compassionately, intensely, and freely. ” ― Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging. What are your thoughts about accepting that God truly does love us? What stands in the way of accepting that as a reality?
In some private devotional time this week examine your own life in light of 2:29-3:10. To what extent do you act like a child of God, and to what extent do you act like a child of the devil? Spend some time in confession, if necessary. From what habits do you need to purify yourself (3:3)?