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 is.â€ (1 John 3:2)
by Dr. John Morris, Ph.D.
lthough the book of 1 John is well known for its use of the word â€œlove,â€ various words, such as â€œknow,â€ â€œperceive,â€ and â€œbehold,â€ occur almost as often.
Several of these words refer to the work of Christ in salvation. â€œAnd ye know that he was manifested to take away our sinsâ€ (1 John 3:5). â€œWe know that we have passed from death unto lifeâ€ (1 John 3:14), and â€œhereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for usâ€ (1 John 3:16). This knowledge brings great comfort and assurance: â€œThese things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal lifeâ€ (1 John 5:13).
This knowledge should bring us into a life of submission and service: â€œBut whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in himâ€ (1 John 2:5). Similarly, â€œhe that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given usâ€ (1 John 3:24; see also 1 John 4:13).
This gives us confidence in prayer: â€œAnd this is the confidence that we have in him, . . . if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, . . . we know that we have the petitions that we desired of himâ€ (1 John 5:14-15).
The culmination of a life marked by salvation, assurance, empowering, and victory will be that we will be with Him and be like Him. â€œBehold [same word as â€˜knowâ€™], what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of Godâ€ (1 John 3:1). JDM