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. – 1Jn 3:10 NIV
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That a child is as important as the parents is not an understatement. The treatment an individual receives from people will certainly be influenced by who the parents are and most people will love to be associated with very influential parents, as children of socially relevant parents are considered privileged and are so treated by the society. If children of parents who are socially relevant in this world are conferred so much privilege, one then wonders the privilege that is available for those who are the children of Almighty God. The influence of the Almighty God on the affairs of men will only be unknown to the ignorant. He it is that owns the heavens, earth and all that is in it and He does make them available to His obedient Children – Psa. 24:1; Deity. 8:18. This position of advantage became available to us because He chose to adopt us as Children in a demonstration of His immense love for us – 1Jn. 3:1; Eph. 3:20; Rom. 8:15; Rom. 9:26. This is a privilege that we must continue to acknowledge and remain grateful for, even if the people of the world do not acknowledge it in us as it is a status, which in the thinking of the Disciple John, they cannot understand since they do not know Him.
John argues further that even we who refer to ourselves as Children of God do not even know fully who we are, at least not until Jesus Christ returns and we see him in his full glory. That is when we will be able to know what immense advantage our being linked to God as children confers on us all but meanwhile, we have a responsibility to conduct ourselves in a purified manner befitting of our status as His children since he is also pure – 1Jn. 3:2-3.
To aim for purity in living, if indeed we are children of God, will be to avoid being involved in sin, he emphasises further. As children of God, the disciple John expects that we will do everything to stay away from sin. According to him, anyone who sins is a lawless person as sin is actually the infringement of the law – 1Jn. 3:4. He reminds all that Jesus Christ came to take away sin, a task which he was effective in implementing and so really there is no space for sin in him. That being the case, it then becomes impossible according to John’s argument that anyone who is in him will continue to sin just as it can be said that the one who continues to sin has either not seen him or does not know him – 1Jn. 3:5-6. This again remains a valid argument as it is impossible for something that is not found in someone to be in the person who is inhabiting such an individual, and for the one that continues to sin deliberately, there is no other proof to show that such cannot truly be in him or be referred to as a child of God. We are simply to be pure like him and if we are to be in him, then we cannot be comfortable in or with sin.
John explains that to avoid sin and be as pure as he is, is to aim to do what is right in his sight at all times as that is when such an individual can be described as righteous, just as the one who relishes involvement in sinful acts is of the devil since that is the normal character of the devil from the beginning of creation. Such may claim to have kept all the laws but going against His Will in any situation is a current case if lawlessness and such can only be of the devil. Such a person cannot be a child of God but remains an enemy to Him because the aim of the coming of Jesus Christ is to destroy all the works of the devil – 1Jn. 3:7-8.
The Apostle John also argues that no one that claims to be a child of God will continue to sin because the seed of God, which is the Holy Spirit that has been deposited in such a person during the re-birth process, will continue to serve as a caution for such an individual. He concluded his arguments in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s Devotional ( 1Jn. 3:10), stating that anyone may lay verbal claims to being a child of God but we have a standard with which the children of God will be measured as listed below;
- Such must do what is right as doing otherwise will make such a child of the devil.
- Such must genuinely love their brother or sister as anything different from this is a confirmation that such is a child of the devil.
There is no debating these arguments of the Apostle John as it is the exact yardstick of the Lord for determining those who truly are His children. The Almighty God expects His Children to aim to do right always. To do right will mean to do His Will in all situations.
The one who desires to do right by doing the Will of God must know His Will in all situations. This is not always static as it varies according to his wish for the particular situation and until a situation occurs, it will be difficult for anyone to know How Will for it. The one who desires to do his Will must be able to communicate easily with Him and that requires the possession of the Holy Spirit. It is simply impossible to do His Will when there is no communication.
The Bible says the ways of the Lord accomplishes his works is different from that of man – Isa. 55:8-9; Deut. 29:29. His way is His Will and only the one who can be in constant communication with Him with regards to particular situations will be able to know and operate in His Will. Mere desire to operate in His Will will not be sufficient as desire is not same as doing His Will. Anyone who claims to be a child of God but does not operate in His Will will be regarded as a disobedient child and that is the one that is still sinning whilst claiming to be a Child of God. That is the one that Apostle John says cannot be taken seriously with regards to claim of being a Child of God.
Should anyone want to be considered as a child of God, then such must not only hear from the Lord but must do His will always. That is the only way such will not be living a life similar to that of a lawless person and will then be confirmed to be a true child of God. May God grant us all the ability to hear and do His Will always in Jesus name. Amen.