1 John 3:1-3, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 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. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
As the Beloved Apostle continues in this next verse, we see that it is, in essence a continuation of the last previous verses in Chapter 2, but look at what manner he writes: Behold! As in “So therefore, Behold!” He conveys an excitement concerning the Father’s Love! Contemplate it, look at it, be amazed by it, wonder at it, this love that God Almighty, our Heavenly Father HAS already bestowed, given, gifted, awarded, bequeathed, imparted to us! According to the Apostle under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, be amazed because this love has already been given; not SOON to be given, not eventually given, but has already, past-tense, been given.
I would imagine that John was probably thinking back to previous writings and circumstances he witnessed firsthand; looking up upon the battered, bruised and broken body of his Lord and Master as Jesus hung limply on the Cross of Calvary. I can imagine the tears welling in his eyes as he remembered the undeniable depth of sadness and fear at what might happen following. YET – I am sure, as he remembered the words he wrote concerning the Love that His Master had shown the world in those final moments, his heart leaped at the promises:
John 3:14-17, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Behold!! What manner of love the Father has already given!! How gracious, how precious, and yet to a degree how unknowable the depth of that love. Man in his limited knowledge and even more limited wisdom cannot truly fathom the depth of this amazing gift that he has been given. Such is the ABSOLUTENESS of our Heavenly Father’s great gift to us!
Yet even as John writes this statement with such awe and wonder, he doesn’t finish the sentence there. This love is so awesome, so wondrous, so amazing, yet, the Father isn’t finished with just that; rather, we can with certainty and confidence be called, CHILDREN of God Almighty!! If you are even catching a glimpse of the Apostle’s excitement in putting this down on paper, think of all the implications of that statement! God Almighty, Creator of all that is, all that ever was as far back as man’s imagination can take him and as far forward as man dares to think! That God! The God who made the vastness of the universe that even today modern man with all his knowledge can’t even begin to comprehend and then, the same God who made the smallest infinitesimal particles that make up every material thing, so small and seemingly insignificant, yet even now we don’t know truly what makes up the smallest known particle in existence. The same God, the same Creator, lovingly bestows upon us His love, in and of itself, not being fully comprehended and on top of that calling us HIS children! Children of the Creator of ALL! Children of God Almighty! It is no wonder, the excitement that the Apostle’s writings conjure up when we truly read this first sentence!
But, with all the excitement and wonder that implies; the world does not, even now, in this exact moment and instance, know us or recognize us as children of God Almighty. And, John tells us the sobering truth; because it did not nor ever did, know Him, God, Almighty! If the world, those in love with the world system, do not even recognize the Creator of All that is, how will they ever recognize those who are His children. Though we are right in front of them living our lives, they do not recognize us, for they do not recognize our Heavenly Father as Almighty God. How truly sobering and ultimately sad. This fact should make every true child of God’s heart break with sadness.
The same love that our Heavenly Father has for His children, those He calls His children is the exact same love He has and is available to those who do not even recognize or acknowledge Him. It is within the grasp of every man, woman and child, just within a whisper of saying “yes” to the gift He has for everyone, and some refuse to believe it possible, to believe it is free, to believe that it is available. Because of this, if the world hates the Father, the world will and does hate the children and we see it so blatantly in the day we are living today.
But there is hope, there is promise, there is comfort in being a child of Almighty God and being able to confidently call Him Father! Just look at the next statement the Apostle writes down; NOW, right NOW we are children of God! We don’t have to wait until some future time to be called or to acknowledge to ourselves that we WILL be children of God! No, for right NOW we ARE children of God! Just contemplating this and writing it down is giving me chills. To think that, as I stated before, the Creator of All, God Almighty considers me (and you) His children right this moment!
But then, the Apostle who calls us beloved, continues with the glorious promise starting with a mystery; “and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, . . .” John just got through stating with such passion that right now, we ARE children of God Almighty. But then, the mystery. This mystery is not concerning us being children of God. John is NOT going back on his previous statement, but rather continuing on with further revelation of what we can look forward to AS children of God! Up to this point, the Holy Spirit has revealed to us our heirship as children of God. Here he is telling us, not just inferring, but coming straight out and telling us that there is more in store for children of the Most High! Yet, what that is, has not yet been revealed! There IS more, but that part is a mystery, a mystery found in Christ Jesus!
Why do I say, a mystery found in Christ Jesus, you may ask? Simply because of the continuation of what John is telling us of God’s precious and amazing promise. “. . . but we know that when He is revealed, . . .” When Christ Jesus is revealed; but then again, hasn’t He been revealed already? Certainly to his close disciples and Apostles, for they walked with Him daily. Yet the Apostle is talking about something else entirely; for you see, don’t forget that NOW, in this present state we are in, we are called and acknowledged as children of God. I don’t mean to be redundant, but understand, we are still flesh and blood; we are still carnal, though spiritually, inside reborn and because of that fact we do not have to wait to be called or acknowledged as children of God. But something ELSE is going to be revealed in the future that is NOT revealed to us in the NOW! Right now it IS a mystery, but a mystery with promise for when He, Christ is revealed it will no longer be a mystery.
Here is the thing; the disciples KNEW Jesus in the flesh, they KNEW Jesus soon after He rose before He received His glorified body, (John 20:17), but they did NOT know Him AFTER He ascended to the Father and received His glorified body. When He IS revealed as He IS NOW, in His glorified body, from that time forward, it will be in ALL His glory! Right now, we can only imagine what it must be like. John is telling us that we just do not know, but the time WILL come, when He, Jesus, reveals Himself that we will KNOW, and here is the greatness of that promise: “. . . we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
If it would help to understand what John is saying, you could finish the sentence this way; “we shall see Him as He is, and we shall be like Him.” When Christ Jesus is revealed, when He comes back to claim His own, those who ARE children of God, AS Jesus Christ is, will see Him as He is right now, in ALL of His glory, and the flesh and corruption of our carnal selves will also fall off and we shall be like Him, with a glorified body that will be uncorruptible, quickened by the same Spirit, the Holy Spirit, that raised Christ from the dead. “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” – Romans 8:10-11.
One side note here for those who love to speculate outside of the Scriptures. There will be NO doubt in our minds, those who are abiding in Christ Jesus and those who ARE NOW children of God as to Who, Christ Jesus is! There will be no more “spiritual fog” or anything that will prevent us from truly KNOWING AND recognizing our Lord and Savior! By the same token, I will be known for who I am, though my Body is no longer fleshly or carnal in nature and so it shall be for all who are now abiding in Christ Jesus and He is abiding in you! The Apostle Paul gave us a glimpse of this when He wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12. Again, further confirmation within the Word of God, by another inspired writer from the Holy Spirit about the wondrous promise that will come to children of God!!
There is another amazing aspect to this promise as well; the sin that was a part of our carnal and fleshly makeup, according to Paul in Romans is dead; it is gone, it is replaced with a body glorified, just as Christ Jesus’ was! Sin will finally be no longer in our DNA or genetic makeup! The ONLY DNA that will matter is the Spirit of God that breathed life into us from the very beginning and made us in HIS likeness!! Think on that! If you want to speculate on something, speculate on the amazing gift of our Heavenly Father’s likeness of spirit, quickening our then glorified and uncorruptible bodies!! It is no wonder the Beloved Apostle said that “as yet we don’t know how we shall be, but when Christ is revealed, we shall know, for we shall be like Him!” Abiding in Him today, assures us of abiding in Him for ALL eternity!! If you haven’t tried to contemplate eternity, do so and then think about this AWESOME gift our Father through Christ Jesus is giving to us so freely! If that doesn’t literally cause your thinking to “blow up” then I can’t imagine anything will!!
Then John goes on to give us the seal to this great and awesome promise: “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” If you are one that is abiding in Christ and Christ is abiding IN you, right now you ARE a child of God, with all of the benefits and future promises described above as part of your heritage. So, you HAVE, right now, not later, this HOPE and so just as Christ Jesus is NOW pure, we will do all to purify ourselves.
John all along is talking about us becoming like Christ Jesus once Christ is revealed to us as He IS right now. I have to reiterate this point; Christ Jesus right NOW is pure. He does NOT have to purify Himself, for He is already pure and in His glorified state! Right NOW, we also have this hope, but here is the difference; we have the hope, but we are not yet, totally purified for as yet we are NOT the same as Christ in His glorified body. We STRIVE to be pure, we work at it and don’t get me wrong, not to GET saved, for we are already Redeemed but rather BECAUSE we are already Redeemed, we strive to be pure as Christ is ALREADY pure. Our hope, our promise is that when Christ is revealed to us as He is now, then, not only do we become incorruptible in body, but we also become pure, because the fleshly, carnal body is dead as we put on the glorified body like our Savior and Redeemer!
Three short verses that the Apostle John wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to encourage and uplift believers and yet they are so full of spiritual promises and insight! This is why it is important to STUDY the Scriptures. To think about them and contemplate them, for in them are treasures that the carnal man cannot even comprehend! And think about the insights into the Nature and Character of our Heavenly Father! We begin to get an intimate glimpse into Him Who loves us without condition! He doesn’t JUST want a relationship with us, He also wants us to be LIKE Him. His love, His justness, His grace and mercy are ALL attainable and WILL be attained when Christ Jesus is revealed as He truly is, right now! What a great and glorious day for ALL of us who ARE children of God!