FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
January 3, 2012
Today’s reading: 1 John 2:29-3:6
Because of God’s love for us, we have been restored to fellowship with Him and are called children of God (1 Jn 3:1a). Because of this, we have our eternal hope, to be with our Father in heaven forever. It is something to look forward to, while we are still on earth. But we do not only look to what is to be; rather, we prepare ourselves right here and now. How do we do that? We live pure. “Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.” (1 Jn 3:3).
What does it mean to live pure?
Because we are children of God and God is holy, then we too must be holy. This means living righteous lives. “If you consider that he is righteous, you also know that everyone who acts in righteousness is begotten by him.” (1 Jn 2:29). Because we look to a righteous God, then we need to act righteously. We avoid sin and wrongdoing.
On the other hand, if we persist in sin, we become hostile to God and in effect reject Christ. This is the work of the anti-christ, referred to as lawlessness. “Everyone who commits sin commits lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness.” (1 Jn 3:4). There are many people in the world, including so-called Christians, who are among these lawless elements. We too were among those.
But Jesus redeemed us. He who was sinless took on the weight of our sins and paid the price for our salvation. “You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.” (1 Jn 3:5). Jesus is the pure and holy One.
Having been redeemed by Jesus, we now belong to him. We now live our lives for him and in him. That has a very important consequence. “No one who remains in him sins” (1 Jn 3:6a). If we belong to a holy God, called to remain in him and he in us, then there is no place for sin in our lives. Otherwise, if we sin, then we have not really known Jesus or experienced his salvation, since “no one who sins has seen him or known him.” (1 Jn 3:6b).
Such is the high calling to live pure. It is total avoidance of sin. Now that would be impossible for man, but by God’s grace we just might possibly be able to do it, for nothing is impossible for God, and He Himself desires our holiness.
To live pure, as God’s children, is our call right here and now. “Beloved, we are God’s children now” (1 Jn 3:2a). We are not to procrastinate in embracing righteousness. We are not to delay confronting our sins and, by the grace of God, letting go of them. We are to strive to live not even one moment in sin.
Even as we are in this imperfect world, we look to the perfect existence that is to come. We do not know how it will be in heaven, since no human has come back from there to reveal things to us, but we do know what God calls us to be here and now. We are given the privilege, having been created in His image and likeness, having been restored as His children, of being like Him. Thus, “what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him” (1 Jn 3:2b).
So live pure now, and when we finally enter into our eternal reward, we will feel right at home in heaven with our pure and holy God, “for we shall see him as he is.” (1 Jn 3:2c).
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