Children of God

Read 1 John 3.1-7

You are children of God. You do not belong to the world. You belong to God. In Jesus Christ, God has claimed you as His own. God claims you not as a master to a slave, but as a parent to a child. God loves us so much in Christ, that we have become God’s children.

It is an amazing thing to be a child of the Creator of the universe. Many people today have lost sight of this claim. Many say they believe in God, in some divine order of the universe, and yet they don’t see themselves in such a relationship with God.

Through Christ, we have become children of God. As God’s children, we have a responsibility to love as God has loved us. We have a responsibility to claim our inheritance by living and loving as Jesus lived and loved. The Spirit of Christ purifies us as we respond in love.

This is our inheritance as children of God. We inherit both the ability and the responsibility to love as God has loved us. We love not because we expect some reward, or fear some punishment, but because God has first loved us.

Still, we are human. We are prone to sin. Even when we attempt to love, we can become distracted by sin.

I think of the movie. “Schindler’s List.” It was about a man who attempted to save Jews who were being killed under Hitler’s regime. Schindler was no saint. He was unfaithful in his marriage. He took advantage of others to gain wealth. This sinful man, however, refused to go along with Hitler and his crowd as they were taking away the humanity of Jews. Schindler was able to step out of his sin and do the right thing, even though it was unpopular, even at the risk of his career, his life.

As the movie develops, we see Schindler becoming less distracted by sin and more capable of greater acts of love. Through he was not a man of great faith, by loving his neighbor, he gains faith. He is purified.

Love is a discipline, an action. The more we love the more loving we become. The more

 we serve each other, the more we look out for the needs of the vulnerable, the more we give of ourselves to build up someone else, the more we are purified. The more like Christ we become, the more of God’s seed, planted in us by the Spirit of Christ, bears fruit in our lives. As children of God, we grow up in love. The more we love, the more we resemble God in Christ.
Even though we are children of God, our lives are not yet complete. We still make mistakes. We are still prone to sin. We still become distracted, even when we try to love.

Our hope in Christ is that even though we don’t know fully what we will become, we know that it is in God’s hands. In God’s own time, our true selves will be revealed and we will see God. The image of God planted in us at creation will blossom into something more beautiful than we can image. We who are born of God will no longer be stained by sin. We will be pure, just as Christ is pure.

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