In the coming weeks we'll look more closely at the different clauses of these verses. This morning, however, we're going to look at all of them collectively so that we don't miss their clear message (which is captured in v.10): True children of God are characterized by righteous behavior, especially love for other Christians; and, conversely, true children of the devil are characterized by unrighteous behavior and apathy or hatred toward Christians. John wrote this in order to remind the Christians of what they already knew in order that they would repent of their sins, gain certainty of their salvation, and grow toward full joy in Jesus. Let's pray that God would do the same work in us.
This morning, we're going to look at the final clause of this passage (1 John 3:3). In it we'll find nothing short of the scope, source, shape, and standard of his grace in the lives of his children. Let's pray that God would grant us and sustain in us the kind of hope that John talks about here in order that we'd be pure like Christ.
The first reason, as we saw last week, that the believers in John's churches were not experiencing everything they should have experienced as God's children, is that the world does not recognize the authority and kingship of God and, therefore, it does not recognize the royalty of the children of God. The second reason, which we'll look at this Sunday, and which we see in verse 2, is that we are not yet what we will be. That is, we are not yet able to fully experience our sonship and daughtership.
Back in 1 John, the simple message of our passage for this Sunday is that God has an awesome love for his people that brings about awesome change in his people. I've seen some very significant acts of love, but when I hear the words, "See what kind of love the Father has given us," I perk up. If finite people, still scared by sin, can love in exceptional ways, hold on to your seats as you consider the love of God! And that's precisely what we're going to do this Sunday; we're going to consider the nature and magnitude and effectualness and effect of the Father's love on the Father's people. Please pray with me that we would find all the comfort and rest and hope and joy in the love of God that we're meant to this Sunday.
Most of us have a hard time working to satisfy anything other than our own needs and wants and desires; much less the needs and wants and desires of the people near us that we already care about; much less the needs and wants and desires of the people near us that we don't care about; much less the needs and wants and desires of those not near us who we don't already care about, but this is precisely what our passage for this morning calls us to do—to care about complete strangers enough go, at great expense of ourselves and the people we love, to the ends of the earth to meet their deepest needs and wants and desires. And if we feel the need for God's help in anything it's likely this. So let's pray that we'd leave church on Sunday, through the help of the Holy Spirit, committed to bringing salvation to the ends of the earth.