FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2017
BEING CHILDREN OF GOD
January 4, 2017
Today’s reading: 1 John 3:7-10
Unity is a characteristic of those who are truly children of God. They have one Father, they have one Lord, they are animated by one Spirit. They are truly brothers and sisters to one another. They are one family, the very family of God. So they are one in Christ.
On the other hand, there are those who should be children of God, but who become children of the devil. They are those who persist in sin. This is not just about those who kill, steal or have illicit sexual relationships, but also about those who on the surface look like good Christians but who enter into such works of the flesh as rivalry, jealousy, dissensions, factions, envy, gossip, slander. They think they are right with God, but they are not right with their brethren, and so are not right with God.
“Children, let no one deceive you.” (v.7a). It is not what you think that makes you right with God, but what God’s word teaches you. Here are two basic principles: One, “Whoever sins belongs to the devil” (v.8a). Two, “No one who is begotten by God commits sin” (v.9a). “In this way, the children of God and the children of the devil are made plain” (v.10a). Whose child then are you?
There are two distinguishing aspects in determining this. First, holiness. “No one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God” (v.10b). To belong to God is to love Him with all our mind, heart, soul and strength. When we do so, then we strive to be righteous in every thought and act. Then we become holy. We are to be holy as God is holy. We are set apart, destined for eternal life in heaven.
Second, fraternal love. Among those who do not belong to God is “anyone who does not love his brother.” (v.10c). If we love God, then we must love those whom He loves, especially those whom He has made His children. We belong to the one family of God. We care for one another as our Father would care for them. We do not speak ill of them or do them harm. We look out for their interests.
What ultimately unites us? What makes us one in Christ? It is loving God and loving our neighbor. It is living out the two greatest commandments.
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