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CHILDREN OF GOD Introduction [For Sure: 1 John] “And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.” - 1 John 3:23 The message of 1 John is knowing you’re saved comes from obedience to this command, continual trust in Jesus and continual love for the church. Today we’re going to talk about how knowing God as your father is essential to knowing whether you’re saved or not. Read 1 John 2:18-3:10 [Prayer - Mark and Liz Hataway/Epiphany Camden {outdoor service}] How do you become a child of God? [Parent Me] What stands out to you guys about this song? The reality is that most children in this community grow up just like this. So, the idea of God as a father may not really be that exciting to you. The incredible thing is God is not our like our fathers. “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close (Psa 27:10).” Our fathers were supposed to be like him, not God like them. He is a good father, loving, strong, protective, generous, and faithful. So, the first question I want to ask from this passage tonight is how do we become a child of God? Before we do this I want to address a couple of ways we get God as father twisted: 1) I never had a dad and 2) everyone is a child of God. Even within 1 John, the Bible is clear not everyone is a child of God. Read 1 John 3:8, 10 Why is everyone not a child of God? 1) Creation - All were sons and daughters of God “Jesus was known as the son of Joseph (23)...“the son of Adam, the son of God (38).”

2) Fall - All became sons of the devil - “This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world (Rev 12:9)” 3) Recreation - Only those who belong to Jesus, the son of God are God’s children. So, if we ALL come into this world children of the devil, then how do we become children of God? #1 By Grace Grace is a gift you cannot earn and do not deserve. So, there is nothing we can do to somehow become children of God. We also do not deserve to be called children of God. It is completely up to God and his grace if anyone is a child of God. [Made Men/Goodfellas] - The decision is up to the boss. Read 1 John 3:1, 9 How does John describe being a child of God here? “See!” “Behold” “how very much” Greek ποταπός root means “from what country” [what kind of person] “he allows” “we are” [Prodigal Son] Did the father in the story have to receive his runaway son back? “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” - Eph 1:4, 5 #2 Through Faith [Children/Sacrifice] What did God give up for you to become his son or daughter? “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” - John 3:16 “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” - Eph 2:8, 9

How do you know if you’re a child of God? So, the second question I want to ask from this passage tonight is how do we become a child of God? [Maury Povich] How do you know if you have an earthly father? #1 You love him - 1 John 3:1, 2 How is John expressing his love for God here? “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.” - 1 Peter 1:8 [Brady’s Family] #2 You can’t wait to see him - 1 John 2:28; 3:2, 3 [Eva running to the door] Are you going to run to Jesus when he returns or runaway? #3 You look like him - 1 John 3:3, 7 [I look/act like dad] If God is pure, his children will also purify themselves from sin. How do we keep ourselves pure? Read 1 John 3:9, 10 What is the paternity test that shows whether we’re children of God? “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” - 1 John 2:6 Application What should be your response if you are a child of God? 1) “Behold” the out of this world love of God. God loved us so much that he gave up his son on the cross for our sin, so we could become his children. We should be amazed by the love of God.

“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all.” - Acts 2:42 2) All our hope for now and the future should be in Jesus. Our hope should not ultimately be people, relationships, spouses, children, but in Jesus. Our hope should not be in money or career, but in Jesus. Our hope should be focused not on this world, but the new world to come in Christ Jesus. 3) We should purify ourselves from sin. We should make every to be like Jesus. If God sacrificed his son, when we were sons of the devil, then we should be so grateful that we would begin to act like Jesus in our lives. We should make war against sin in our lives! “There can be no victory where there is no combat.” - Sibbes 4) If you’re a child of God you should believe you’re a child of God. God is our father, so we should not think of him as anything that would not make him out to be a loving gracious father. “See the contrary disposition of Christ on the one hand and Satan and his instruments on the other. Satan sets upon us when we are weakest...but Christ...He `binds up the broken hearted' (Isa. 61:1). As a mother is tenderest to the most diseased and weakest child, so does Christ most mercifully incline to the weakest.” - Sibbes What should you do if you’re not a child of God? 1) Admit it! If the Spirit of God is showing you’re that you’re not right with God, give into his work. There is no child of God, who does not admit that they were one time a child of the devil. If you can’t admit that, you’re not a child of God! 2) Recognize that your only hope is if God can set you free from slavery to the devil. Only God can do that. You have to go to him. You have to go to the cross! 3) Don’t try to make yourself a child of God. No child ever came into this world, because it was their idea or work. Parents brought them into the world. God must do it, not you! 4) Put all your hope in what Jesus did at the cross and turn away fro your sin. “But the son of God came to destroy these works of the devil (1 John 3:8).”


A sermon on being children of God from 1 John.

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