Read - 1 John 3:3
Message - Alan Burke
There are all ways in which we are like our parents, whether that is because of genetics or learnt behaviour. We don’t really mind when we are being told that we are like our mum or our dad when it is a quality that is admirable, but when were told that we have our ma’s temper, and our da’s laziness were not so keen to hear it. When people look at us they should also see a familial resemblance in who we as the children of God. As a child of God one would expect to see the visible fruits of the work of God’s free grace (2 Thess. 2:13) whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, (Eph. 4:23–24) and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness (Rom. 6:4,6, Rom. 8:1) (WSC Q36). This is a result of God work within, although sin is not instantly eradicated, all those who hope in him purify themselves just as he is pure (1 Jn 3:3). That is what John is making clear to us as he continues, for we purify ourselves as the children of God as he is pure.
The truth is that the flesh and the fallen instincts remain and will try to drag the child of God back into sin, as Paul says he is unable to do what is right, and unable to restrain himself from doing what is wrong (Rom 8:14-25), the conflict and the frustrations continue in our daily walk with God continue. Yet within the life of those who claim faith there must be a desire to put to death particular sins that are incompatible with the life of the Christian (Rom 8:13, Col 3:5). There may be failures along the way as we battle sin, yet we do not expect the believer to place themselves facing temptations that are impossible to resist (1 Cor 10:13). In our lives we seek and desire to be conformed be conformed more into the likeness of Christ, that as we come into the presence of the pure son of God. For everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him for he is righteousness (2:29). The more we know of the truth of what God has done for us, the more we see the hope that awaits us though faith, the more we should desire to live in a way that pleases him. It will be seen in our lives.
There are many who have put there hand up at a meeting, who have prayed the sinners prayer but it has never made a difference in their lives, well John makes it clear that if you have come to know Jesus as the Holy One of God then it will be seen in our lives, for we live as the children of God. If you are in doubt about your standing as a child of God then ask yourself have you sought to live in this way, as a child of God, being more and ore conformed into the likeness of Christ, that you seek to purify yourself from sin, of course there will be struggles along the way, there may be persistent sins that you are finding hard to die to, but if you are seeking to live for Christ, if you are purifying yourself then know that you have all the privileges of God’s children. Maybe you are frustrated with your current progression in holiness, you think that you will never overcome those persistent sins, but know that if your hope is in Christ you are his, a child of God and are already becoming more like Him. Ask the Lord to remind you that you are His child. Thank Him for restoring you when you do fall, and hope on Him today so that you might live accordingly. Do not listen to the lies that Satan will tell you or accept that this is it in your battle with sin, do not believe Satan’s lie that you can’t do it, that you may just give on, instead continue to look to the saviour knowing the hope that there is as a child of God.
Q 31 What is effectual calling?
Effectual calling is the work of God’ s Spirit, (2 Tim. 1:9, 2 Thess. 2:13–14) whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, (Acts 2:37) enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, (Acts 26:18) and renewing our wills, (Ezek. 36:26–27) he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel. (John 6:44–45, Phil. 2:13)