1 John 3 –
Behold what manner of love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
I have spent a lot of time over the last few days thinking about the message of 1,2,3 John. The letters are explained well by Bruce Schuchard in a commentary put out by Concordia Publishing House. The description on the website says’ “These epistles represent the singular voice of an extraordinary theologian. John, the last living apostle, writes to his “children.” For decades he has served as the elder father of the house churches of Asia Minor, but during his exile, false teaching has persuaded some to abandon the faith and the life of the community of the beloved. At least one church’s leader has presumed to advance his own teaching at the expense of the apostle’s instruction. Knowing that his days are numbered, John sends a general epistle, 1 John, together with its introductory cover letter, 2 John. In order to address the errant leader’s conduct, he also sends a situation-specific, personal and pastoral addendum, 3 John. Rallying the faithful so that none would be lost to the ongoing threat of deception, John urges his children to confess by the Spirit in this last hour the man Jesus as the Son of the Father, come in the flesh in truth and love. The fulfillment of God’s historic dealings with his people of old is Jesus’ atoning sacrifice of himself. Through his shed blood, a cleansing flood, God confers the life of the age to come.”
The Christmas Gift of God the Father was His Son. The gift was given to make us all Sons and Daughters of God by faith. If we are His children then we are His heirs. That is an amazing statement that we need to unwrap like we unwrap the presents on Christmas. We will do that over the next few days.