This post by christinecoltman was originally published at GRACE PLACE
Family Likeness: 1 John 2 v 28 – 3 v 10 (NIV)
28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
3 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.
- Take a pen and underline every time John mentions the word know/known. Why do you think he references ‘knowing’ so often? How does this help or encourage you as you read this?
- ‘See’ in chapter 3 v 1 can be translated as ‘to behold/gaze upon in wonder’. What things in life do you enjoy beholding/gazing upon?
Do you take time to behold God’s great love for you – and if not, how could you do this? What difference would it make in your life if you took time to do this regularly?
- v2 – What does being a child of God ‘now’ mean? What does this give you access to? How could this help you in your daily life?
- v4-6 – Does this mean Christians no longer sin? (See 1 John 1 v 8-10)
How does v5 encourage us to turn the trajectory of our lives away from sin?
- v8 Why did Jesus appear? Is this surprising to you?
Whose family likeness are we displaying when we continue to sin? How does this make you feel?
- v9 Why is a ‘seed’ a good way to describe what is implanted in us when we become a Christian? What do seeds do?
- v10 John closes this section by saying that, as God’s children, we must love those around us. Why is this so important? Why would such behaviour show our family likeness? (See Matthew 14 v 14 and 20 v 34).
Finish by re-reading verses 1 and 2.
- Thank God for the privilege of our daughtership in his family. Thank Him for the assurance of the certainty (‘we know!’) that we belong to Him now, and for the immense privileges this grants us.
- Repent of the times when we forget to behold the greatness of His love for us, and the sin that this causes in our lives. Take a moment to remember that you are forgiven, and that you have the burden of sin removed from your back.
- Rejoice in the sure and certain knowledge that our family likeness will be made complete in heaven, where we are destined for glory.
“I’m a child of God! I can address him directly as my father! He went to the extent of sending His son to die for me. And our being made like Him will be made complete in heaven. We will look into his face, and see the head that was once crowned with thorns, crowned with glory.
When we look into his face, will we wish we had given him more?”