Day 4

How Great a Love

from the 1, 2, and 3 John reading plan

1 John 2:28-3:10, James 1:19-27, John 3:1-15

My daughters bear a striking resemblance to me and an even more striking resemblance to each other. They are three years apart in age, and the younger one looks exactly like the older one did at the same age. When I show up at their school, their teachers say things like, “Yep, they’re yours alright.” The family resemblance is strong.

Family resemblance isn’t just genetic, though. It’s spiritual too. In 1 John 3 we are told that we are children of God, born of Him. As a mark of God’s great love, we are His children. Jesus explained this to Nicodemus as being “born again” (John 3:3). This phrase is one that has almost been clichéd out of any meaning, but think about it: born again. Nicodemus was a religious teacher and he was utterly baffled by this imagery. We should be too. How can a person be born, grow up, then be born again? By the Holy Spirit, Jesus says. That’s how. Our new life as children of God is a miracle of the Holy Spirit; we are remade as people.

In being made new—in being born again as God’s children—we take on a family resemblance to Christ, God’s Son. If we are His children, we are no longer marked by sin. We don’t look like sin; we look like Christ. This doesn’t mean that we never sin. It means that the defining characteristics of our life—the things that stand out, what people remember us by, and the shape of our personhood—is holy and Christlike. If someone met Jesus, they would look at us and say, “Yep, you’re His.”

Practically, what this looks like is to be “doers of the Word” (James 1:22). We know what it means to follow Jesus because He told us. We know what it means to pursue holiness because He told us. It’s all in the Bible. And as children of God, we go from just being hearers and knowing something about it, to living by it. It’s the family story and the family expectations.

Being a child of God means being transformed. That is what “born again” means. It’s more than a profession of faith; it’s a new life in the Spirit. And it’s a life that resembles Jesus as we live out His Word daily. Yes, we will sin. But when we do, we know that we are still family and that Christ has made a way for us to be forgiven and accepted as children of God.

Written By Barnabas Piper 

Post Comments (5)

5 thoughts on "How Great a Love"

  1. Bryce says:

    Father, thank you for making me your son. It’s too great an honor, far beyond what I deserve. Help me to be a father like you to the souls that you have entrusted to my care. I want to be like you Lord. Amen.

  2. Sean Morecraft says:

    I don’t even know how to reflect. I always find that I’m convicted when I read about the standards God places on us. There are times I feel like people see the resemblance of holiness but then I look at my private life and wonder… Am I as sincere as I believe I am? Am I living a life that’s resembling holiness or do I have the family resemblance of sin and rebellion?

    Praise be to God through Jesus Christ! He loves me and calls me his own! I no longer bear the marks of sin but I look like Christ to The Father. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” I am a child of God. No longer should I bear the identity of sin, but only that of Christ!

  3. Drew S says:

    We must pursue a relationship with Christ that is visible and authentic, as being doers of His word, so He receives the glory. Through Jesus we have been cleansed and made new. We must honor this transformation and stay away from repeated sin. Because knowingly allowing sin to go on in our life separates us from the most important thing, God!

  4. Christoper Olson says:

    I’m happy to be God’s child today. Remembering it’s nothing I ever did that made that. I never had to earn it. I simply had to trust him. I love God, and today that makes me happy and fills me with joy.

  5. Kevin says:

    Day 4: “anger of man does not lead to righteousness”. I think this is huge. So often I let something minuscule bother me and make me angry. This isn’t how the Lord wants me to look at things. I really love the line in the Devo part that says “if someone met God, they would look at us and say ‘yup, you’re his’”. This is how we should look at other brothers and sisters of Christ who know the lord.

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