Aint It Amazing
AIN’T IT AMAZING
1 John 3:1-3
How many of you know what “language of amazement” is?
- Perhaps you have stood and looked out over a field and as far as you can see it is covered with bluebonnets and you said, “Oh my, look at this!”
- Or maybe you stood looking at a sunset that only God Himself can design and you thought, “Oh wow, what a sight.”
- Or maybe you have held a new born child in your hand and said, “Oh my…”
- That is what language of amazement is.
Well, that is how John begins this chapter. Look at verse 1. John says: “See how great a love…”
- The NKJ and the KJV and the American Standard say, “Behold what manner of love…”
- And that word “see, or behold” doesn’t just mean “look at it”…it is more than that…it is the idea of “give deep consideration to…contemplate…that which is remarkable or impressive.”
And where John says, “How great a love…or what manner of love” that is the Greek word “potapos” and it has behind it the idea of “something amazing.”
- And so what John is saying here is “Give some consideration to…contemplate…do some deep reflection on the Father’s love…and how amazing it is!
But there something more to be amazed about…look what he says next; “See (give deep consideration to)…the great (amazing) love…the Father…has bestowed…
- This is amazing in itself!
- This “great amazing love” was a gift from the Father!
And look at the next phrase…this great love was “bestowed” by the Father…upon us!
- Who is the “us” here? In the context it is the Christians that John is writing to…but this also includes us today…”the Father has bestowed His great love on us…it is a gift.”
In and of ourselves we aren’t righteous people…we were sinners and we still are sinners…and yet Christ died for us.
- We were enemies…and yet we were reconciled to God through the death of Christ.
- We were dead in our transgressions…and yet He made us alive together with Christ…
- He did all of that because He loves us!
- We can’t earn it; we don’t deserve it.
- And there is no other way to describe that other than “amazing!”
But there is more…look at what else John says: “See…give deep consideration to…the great or amazing love…the Father…has bestowed or given upon us…that we should be called children of God;
- That is amazing status!
- I think my children are proud to say, “I am a child of Virgil Webb”, I hope they are.
- And most of you are probably proud to say, “I am the son or daughter of….”
- But give some deep consideration to this statement…”I am a child of God!”
- That is amazing status!
So what you have here in this one verse is “amazing love…an amazing gift…and amazing status.”
- And John says, “Do some deep reflection on that.”
Now, I want you to look at that last statement where John says “that we should be called children of God.”
- Notice what he says next…”and such we are.”
- And look in verse 2: “Beloved, now we are children of God…”
- Three times here in two verses John tells us that we are God’s children.”
- Why does he do that?
Remember why John is writing this letter?
- The Gnostics had come along and they were saying, “We alone have fellowship with God…we alone are sons of God…they were claiming to be children of God exclusively.”
- And they didn’t acknowledge the “son-ship” that these Christians had.
In fact, look at the end of verse 1: For this reason the world (Gnostics) does not know us, because it did not know Him.
- The Gnostics were telling these Christians that as Christians they weren’t sons of God…and unfortunately some of these Christians were being influenced by that…and they were wavering.
- And John, to remind them…to rebuke them…says three times…”You are children of God!”
A lot of people claim to be…and maybe that is why we sometimes don’t fully appreciate the amazing status that we have….this has been trivialized.
- But the truth of the matter is, a lot of people who claim to be children of God are not…and the reason they aren’t, is for the same reasons these Gnostics weren’t.
- They claim to be children of God…but they walk in the darkness.
- They claim to be children of God…but they don’t totally depend on the Father for the forgiveness of their sins.
- They claim to be children of God…but the love of God is not in them.
- They claim to be children of God…but they don’t keep His commandments.
- They claim to be children of God…but they don’t love one another.
- They claim to be children of God…but the word doesn’t abide in them.
- They claim to be children of God…but they love the things of the world.
- They claim to be children of God…but they deny the deity, the humanity, and the Messiah-ship of Christ.
- They claim to be children of God…but they deny the word.
- A lot of people claim to be a child of God…but they aren’t.
But for those who do walk in the light…who do have the love of God in them…who do keep His commandments…who do love one another…who do let the word abide in them…who love the Father and not the world…who recognize the deity, the humanity, and the Messiah-ship of Christ…you are…you can be sure…that you are a child of God.
John writes this to refute the Gnostics…and to remind us of the amazing love…the amazing gift…and the amazing status that we have.
Now, look at verse 2 again. John says, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be.
- Everyone wants to know this.
- You talk to people and they want to know, “After we die…what kind of bodies are we going to have in heaven?”
- Well, John is going to answer that…but before he does let me ask you this…why do you suppose John brings this up here?
- Why does he say, “…it has not appeared as yet what we shall be.”
I will tell you…remember the Gnostics…some of them had come up with all different kinds of ideas.
- Some thought that you would have a body with all of its fleshly desires and when you got to heaven all of your fleshly desires will be satisfied. (Muslims-70 virgins).
- Some said that “if you were poor in this life…in the next you would rich…again…the indication is you will have a body with fleshly desires.
- However, the most common idea was when you die…you die and it is all over…there will be no resurrection.
But John refutes that. He says, “We are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be.”
- Obviously from what John says this life is not all there is!
- We don’t know for sure “what we will be” but we “will be.”
And John says, in the here and now we are “children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be.”
- He says, “It has not appeared as yet what we shall be.”
- It is not clear what we will be when He comes.
- We can know some things perhaps from 1 Cor. 15: 35ff.
- But the truth is, “If John doesn’t know…we don’t either.”
What we do know, because of the word of God…we will be like Him.
- Look at verse 2: We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.
- What He now is we will be.
- What we will be has not been seen by man.
- That means we will not be what Jesus was after His resurrection because that has been made manifest.
- How do we know we are going to be like Him? Because “we are going to see Him like He is…”
Scripture does not attempt to define “what we shall be.”
- What we do know is a change will take place.
- In fact, look at Phil. 3:20: For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
- No one knows what we will be like…but we will see Him.
And now, go back to 1 John 3: 3 and look at this very important verse…because this verse tells us a lot about how we are to be and live.
3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him(no one else…no thing else) purifies himself, just as He is pure.
- “purifies himself”- is present tense…continuous action.
- This is talking about sanctification.
- Our sanctification is not going to be perfect…we will still need the cleansing blood of Christ.
- But we do commit ourselves to holiness of life.
Why do you think John says this?
- Because the Gnostics said they could live an impure life and still have fellowship with God.
- John says, “If you live an impure life not only will you not have fellowship with God…but you will not be transformed from this body to a more glorious body when He comes.
What has John taught us?
- He has taught us about an amazing love, that is extended to us as an amazing gift, and that amazing love grants to us an amazing status, and an amazing future.
- May we each one be determined to hold fast to the hope we have in Him.
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023