From Pastor Mike’s personal blog:
Jesus liked calling those who followed him children. Maybe because they where young, maybe because they acted immature, maybe it was because in following Jesus they became just like him and he was the Son of God. Disciples of any kind have one real job, to be like their teacher in every way. If you were a good disciple you would talk like your teacher, walk like your teacher and as you grew, you would start to think like your teacher.
Now in 1 John 3, John talks about us being children of God and that we are to abide in him. We like to think of ourselves as children of God, co-heirs with Christ. As followers of Jesus we identify ourselves as brothers and sisters of Him and each other. I believe He uses this language because we all have a desire to be apart of a family, we were designed by God to be in relationships with each other and Him. John takes this a step farther and in doing so he makes the case for whom we are children of.
“Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.” Well, how does that make you feel? Granted I am far from perfect, I struggle with sin just like everyone else, but I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life that I thought to myself, “I’m a child of the devil”. A child of the devil is a title for those really bad people that kill others, rape, destroy, ya know those evil people that do really bad things. I mean, my sins are not that bad. Yet in the eyes of God a sin is a sin, He has no scale from 1 to 10, either you abide in Him or you don’t. Either you follow his Son or you follow someone else, there is NO middle ground.
I don’t know about you, but now I feel bad, crap, every time I sin I know it’s because I’m not putting Christ first. I’m putting myself first, chasing what I want, what the world say’s is good, I have a right to feel good (wrong) and every time I do that, what I am is a child of the devil. Satan has one goal, to kill, steal, and destroy. He hates us and I have no desire to be called a child of him. John continues, “The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”
When the Son of God, Jesus Christ, gets revealed to you, when you allow yourself to be in His presence, when the light shines in the darkness of your soul all the shame, guilt, sorrow, and work of the devil will be destroyed. And what will be left is a child of God. Jesus didn’t come to punish you, he came to give life, to restore, redeem, and forgive. But we have to come to him, we have to let the old self die, so that we may be made new in Christ.
So, who are you a child of? According to the Christ follower John, we have 2 choices, be a child of the devil or be a child of God. So how do we abide in him, love. John says we need to love one another, if we hate anyone then we fail. “We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.” You can’t be a follower of Christ if there is no action to support it. John says, “Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” In light of all the racial tension, the political hate speech that is all over the world, can’t we do better. Let us love one another in the name of Christ, and show the world what it really means to be child of God.