â€œBehold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.â€ (1 John 3:1)
One of the most motivating truths of the Bible is the doctrine that we become sons of God when we are born again through faith in Christ. God then deals with us as a father does with his beloved children. We should therefore respond as obedient children who love their father.
The little epistle of 1 John has many references to this relationship and our consequent responsibilities. In the first place, â€œye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of himâ€ (2:29). â€œWhosoever is born of God doth not [habitually] commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of Godâ€ (3:9).
Another attribute of our sonship is brotherly love: â€œWhosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of himâ€ (5:1). â€œEvery one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth Godâ€ (4:7). Furthermore, each child of God should have a victorious faith. â€œFor whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faithâ€ (5:4).
All who are truly sons of God will never lose that holy relationship. â€œHe that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him notâ€ (5:18). This is because of the fact that â€œgreater is he that is in [us], than he that is in the worldâ€ (4:4).
There are many such references in the Bible. All stress that we should reflect the character of the Father in our lives as His children. The glorious, ultimate promise is this: â€œBeloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he isâ€ (3:2). HMM