This evening is part three of our Wednesday series, “Walking with God”. So far, we have seen the essence of Christianity, which is fellowship (Common Union = communion). As we continue in fellowship with God, His nature creates three realities:
Constant state of revelation.
Constant state of growth into His character.
Increased and improved state of fellowship with others.
The apostle John used a term for fellowship with God that he had learned from Jesus: abiding (to stay; remain; to wait). In Jesus, we abide – we live with Him, we remain with Him, we wait on Him. The Bible gave us two primary characteristics of those who abide in Jesus:
They keep His commands.
They love people.
The apostle John continues on this teaching track by giving us a spiritual paternity test. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God!” (1 John 3:1) Christianity is about fellowship – a fellowship that makes us His family. This familial relationship culminates in common destiny and common character:
“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.” (1 John 3:2)
In this verse, we see the essence of Christianity at work: fellowship that makes us children of God. Continued revelation of the character of God, His love, and our state. Change into the character of the One who is revealed to us. Purification is a fact of God’s paternity. It reveals that we are indeed His children (1 John 3:3, 6). This is the proof of our paternity (1 John 3:9). You may remember what Jesus told those listening one day. John certainly did:
“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” (John 8:42-44)
Jesus states that the devil was a murderer from the beginning and that he does not stand in the truth. God has children and so does the devil. And here’s the paternity test: “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15) Another thing that the Bible tells us is that the devil does not abide (stand) in the truth. Therefore his children do not abide in the truth. But, the test of the children of God is that they keep God’s commands: “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” (1 John 3:24) And, they have His Spirit which loves other (1 John 2:10).
We hear a lot about not being perfect. Last week, we studied the fact that if we say we have no sin we are liars. On the other hand, the child of God does not have to sin and will not continue in sin once it is revealed to them:
“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” (1 John 3:9)
Everyone takes this paternity test to ascertain who their father is. Remember, you will share (Common union) in the character and destiny of your father. Here’s the conclusive evidence:
“In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” (1 John 3:10)
1 John 3:1-15, 24
1 John 2:10
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Between the coming of the Spirit and the resurrection of Jesus, we see 50 days of relative quiet. Jesus is spending time with His disciple during 40 of those days, but His interaction with those outside His circle of disciples is limited leading to the aforementioned quiet. You see, Jesus is a “mover and a […]